Sister Noon by Karen Joy Fowler

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Lizzie Hayes, a member of the San Francisco elite, is a seemingly docile, middle-aged spinster praised for her volunteer work with the Ladies Relief and Protection Society Home, or "The Brown Ark". All she needs is the spark that will liberate her from the ruling conventions. When the wealthy and well-connected, but ill-reputed Mary Ellen Pleasant shows up at the Brown Ark, Lizzie is drawn to her. It is the beautiful, but mysterious Mary Ellen, an outcast among the women of the elite because of her notorious past and her involvement in voodoo, who will eventually hold the key to unlocking Lizzie's rebellious nature.

Loosely based in historical fact, Sister Noon is a wryly funny, playfully mysterious, and totally subversive novel from this "fine writer" whose "language dazzles" (San Francisco Chronicle).

About Karen Joy Fowler

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Karen Joy Fowler is the author of three story collections and six novels, one a national bestseller, another a PEN/Faulkner finalist, and all New York Times Notable Books. She lives in Santa Cruz, California.
Published May 7, 2001 by Plume. 330 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure. Fiction

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But her sense of duty wins out: when a strange, shabbily dressed man visits the Home and asks to adopt Jenny, Lizzie acts on instinct and hides the girl.

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One day, the notorious, fascinating and possibly dangerous Mrs. Mary Ellen Pleasant arrives at the door of the Brown Ark with a girl, Jenny Ijub, a disturbing and winsome child, perhaps four years old, rumored to be the daughter of a mother buried at sea and an unknown father, though Lizzie suspe...

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