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The Measure of a Lady

af Deeanne Gist

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
6461426,616 (3.9)11
Rachel Van Buren tries to escape the gold-rush quagmire of 1849 San Francisco with her high moral principles intact. Rachel is shocked with this mud-infested boomtown where the only females are of ill repute. When saloon owner Johnnie Parker--widower and former missionary--lets her stay in his unoccupied shanty, she agrees to cook and clean. But Rachel soon struggles with their growing attraction.… (mere)
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» Se også 11 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 14 (næste | vis alle)
Although this book did hold my interest all the way through, I just didn't connect with the two main characters, Rachel and Johnnie. I appreciated reading and gaining insight into the times in SanFrancisco in the 1800's, when it was just beginning to be a town. But the "rules for proper 19th-centruy lady" was a little annoying; as seen trying to be be played out by Rachel. And the way that her sister went in this story was also hard to wrap my mind around.

Rachel, her sister Lissa, and her brother Michael, get off the boat in San Francisco, having lost their father during the trip over. They are now stranded in a town with very little if any civility. A saloon owner/gambler offers them his shack out back in exchange for them cleaning his establishment. So begins a very volatile relationship between Rachel and Johnnie. Rachel tries so hard to hold her family together, but her strict adherence to doing things "properly" leads them away from her and she will experience heartache after heartache. Meanwhile the feelings between Rachel and Johnnie simmer just above the surface. It will take a major catastrophe in the end to bring everyone together and for love to be finally acknowledged. At times I wanted to just shake some sense into Rachel, but at the same time I also appreciated her desire to remain true to what she believed was right. She just needed some guidance. ( )
  judyg54 | Oct 18, 2018 |
A woman and her young siblings arrive in San Francisco during the Gold Rush. In a town filled with dangerous temptations, she meets a local gambler and hotel owner and romance ensues.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Dec 9, 2016 |
Since I have lived most of my life in the Bay Area, I always enjoy reading books taking place in San Francisco. I don't think I've read anything earlier than the 1906 earthquake and fire before, so this was new territory for me. The characters were interesting and though I did not sympathize with Rachel too much, I could see she was just going with how she was raised.
I like how the author doesn't shy away from writing about sexual feelings even when they need to be controlled. ( )
  eliorajoy | Nov 12, 2016 |
While it is clear to me that The Measure of a Lady by Deeanne Gist is for a select group, it is a read that I enjoyed. Rachel is a proper lady of society who finds herself as head of household to her two younger siblings after the death of her parents. Getting by on her own is no small challenge, but in Gold Rush San Francisco, there is no shortage of challenges. There are no other “sunbonnets”, no churches, no suitable hotels and an endless amount of drinking, gambling, loose women and eager men.
I sympathized with Rachel for the longest time as she set the rules and laid the law down in her household to ward off the outside world from infiltrating her families christian standards. There is such a fine line between Rachel standing behind her beliefs and taking it to a level where she becomes judgmental. I felt for her and was never clear what my choices would be in comparison with hers if I were in the same situation. I found Rachel’s sister, Lissa, almost unbearable. She is a lazy, attention seeking brat and the main reason that I had so much compassion for Rachel. I can see why it is hard for Rachel to not be judgmental against those who have so many negative influences on her family. It is a realistic and interesting conflict.
The story is full of romantic tension when Rachel discovers her love interest, Johnnie, who is the owner of a seedy hotel, gambling hall and bar. Johnnie is a hardened man with a soft heart kind of guy and super likable. I was pretty sure who Rachel would end up with, but watching her get there was interesting enough.
The problems that I had with the story are few. Besides Lissa being so easily sucked into a life that Rachel fights so hard to keep her out of, the story does get somewhat repetitive. Hard headed girl does as she pleases, gets in a jam, and man saves the day.
The main story line has a predictable, yet decent ending, but there are additional conflicts that are resolved in the end that are more unexpected and are nice additions. ( )
  StephLaymon | Jan 26, 2016 |
Most of the time, I liked Rachel, but her black-and-white view of the world drove me batty. You either were a prostitute for life, or you were lily white, nothing in between.

I could understand why Lissa saw her as a hypocrite. At every new development, Rachel seemed to be redefining the way things worked in order to suit her. If she lived purely by the standards she set for herself, there would not have been a single job she could have taken when they first arrived in San Francisco. She justified cleaning and cooking in Johnnie's saloon by defining the saloon only as a hotel during her working hours, and by saying that she refused to be around Carmelita, a former prostitute who still dressed provocatively in order to distract gamblers into losing more money. Technically, the only thing she did during those early days that truly fit her high standards was the work she did caring for Johnnie's trees. Had she really wanted to live a perfectly moral life, she would have married the naturalist.

However, that doesn't mean Lissa's behavior didn't drive me crazy, too. What Lissa didn't seem to realize was that the only thing that saved her and Rachel from being treated like common prostitutes was their status as "sunbonnet women." Being a sunbonnet woman meant that some things would be more difficult - she and Rachel would have had to work much harder to earn a living. However, by choosing not to act like a sunbonnet woman, she was opening herself up to a life where, if Sumner chose to, he could have basically acted as her pimp, sharing her with anyone willing to pay. The thing that made him despicable was the joking he did shortly after he and Lissa first slept together, telling Johnnie that he might share her with him if he wished. Gist later tries to make it seem that Sumner may actually be in love with Lissa, but I doubt it. Lissa was an idiot, a fifteen-year-old idiot who had a temper tantrum, smacking Rachel when she had the gall to remind her that Sumner hadn't kept the marriage vows he made to his wife, so how could he be expected to keep any promises to Lissa?

In the end, what it came down to was Rachel remembering that Jesus consorted with and forgave lots of prostitutes, and her realization that it's not her job to set the moral standards for everyone - all of that's between individuals and God. All that mortals like her can do is try to give people who want to turn their lives around a place they can go to and people who will help and support them. I can accept that.

The historical aspects of this book were very interesting - this is not a period of time I've read a lot about. I knew a bit about the gold rush, but I didn't know about the specifics or what life was like - Gist made that seem very real.

As far as the humor goes, that starts at the very beginning, with the first line: "This street is impassable, not even jackassable," which was apparently a real street sign. I'm sure Gist's research was fascinating. There was less and less humor as the book went on and people's lives started to fall apart, but I did like those early humorous bits.

Overall, I liked this book enough that I'd read something else by Gist, and I certainly plan on reading Maid to Match.

(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
1 stem Familiar_Diversions | Sep 24, 2013 |
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Rachel Van Buren tries to escape the gold-rush quagmire of 1849 San Francisco with her high moral principles intact. Rachel is shocked with this mud-infested boomtown where the only females are of ill repute. When saloon owner Johnnie Parker--widower and former missionary--lets her stay in his unoccupied shanty, she agrees to cook and clean. But Rachel soon struggles with their growing attraction.

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