Belle. by Lesley Pearse

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Penguin Books Limited, Feb 3, 2011 - Fiction - 624 pages
2 Reviews
London 1910 Fifteen year-old Belle has lived in a brothel in Seven Dials all her life, with no understanding of what happens in the rooms upstairs. But her innocence is shattered when she witnesses the murder of one of the girls and, subsequently snatched from the streets by the killer, she is sold into prostitution in Paris. No longer mistress of her own fate, Belle is blown across the globe to sensuous New Orleans where she comes of age and learns to enjoy life as a courtesan. Yet thoughts of home - and the knowledge her status as golden girl cannot last - compel her to break out of her gilded cage. But Belle finds escaping tougher than she imagined, for her life is threatened by desperate men who crave her beauty and attention. Armed only with resourcefulness and spirit, she has a long and dangerous journey ahead of her. Will courage be enough to sustain her? Can she make it back to her family and friends and find her chance at true happiness? Number One bestseller Lesley Pearse has created in Belle a heroine for our times: a strong woman who stands up for right in a world turned bad.

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User Review  - LarryVoelkel - LibraryThing

This book about Belle kept me reading from start to finish. I love books fiction or factual about times gone by.This helps us understand what or ancestors had to put up with during their lifetime ... Read full review

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After reading such glowing reviews of this book and seeing how many times it got 5 star ratings I just had to read it for myself. It may well be my expectation was too high but I was disappointed with this book. Firstly it was far too long and because of this much of the story seemed to drag which seemed a shame. As a whole, the concept is a good one and the narrative has the right intention, it is just a shame that it is not executed as well as it could have been. I loved the development of characters which really made them come to life however I must admit I was not that fond of Belle as a character. As a result my sympathy for her was rather limited. I just didn't feel like her reactions and behavior seemed true to life so I found it difficult to relate to her. My initial reaction to this book after I reached the end was that I got the strong vibe the author wrote it with the idea in mind that it could be made into a film. The far-fetched story line and dramatic climax at the end of the book seemed fitting with this idea. The trouble is, what works on screen is very different to what works on paper and I do feel the author portrayed the story too much in a Hollywood blockbuster kind of way rather than what could have been a gritty, thought provoking novel of social realism.  

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About the author (2011)

Lesley Pearse's novels have sold close to 4 million copies in the UK alone. Her thirteen most recent books, including Stolen, Gypsy, Faith and Hope - each of which occupied a Top Three slot in both hardback and paperback - are huge bestsellers and are all available as Penguin paperbacks. Lesley lives near Bristol and has three daughters and two grandchildren.

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