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Sunday Scoop

Bella Cora

By Phillip Margulies


Hello my friends!! Halloween is right around the corner. The leaves are golden-yellow and russet. It is Sunday afternoon and the football game is on. I can no longer fight it. Fall is here!! I spent this morning with my new daughter. Now time to relax and do a little reading!!


This book is a re-release by Anchor Publishing for 2014. It is 608 pages. I decided to read this book after reading someone else’s review. I was interested in the subject. I obtained this as an eboo from the library. It was not really very racy or shocking as it could have been. It was pretty tame.

Based loosely on the life of the 19th-century prostitute of the same name, the book is written in the form of a two-volume memoir by one of San Francisco’s richest and most revered dowagers. In it, the heroine tells the story of her moral fall and material rise over the course of the century, carrying her from the farms, mills, drawing rooms (and bedrooms) of New York to the California gold rush (Goodreads).

I enjoyed this book. I am familiar with many of the places that are mentioned in New York and Ohio. This book is slow until about halfway through when things start to pick up and get interesting, also a little slow at the end. It is worth sticking with it. The book seemed to drag and ramble on at the end. It is meant to be a memoir of a prostitute’s life. If you read this you must read the prologue and the afterword for the book to make sense. It contributes greatly to the understanding of the novel. It is based on a real madame’s story. This book was okay, but not spectacular. The beautiful Belle Cora a victim of circumstances becomes a prostitute and is hopelessly in love with Jeptha who is on his way to being a preacher. The love affair continues with many difficulties through out the book.

I wanted to like Belle Cora the person, but I just couldn’t. She is scheming and conniving and out for her own interests throughout the book. She was smart and beautiful and used that to get what she needed. The book is mostly how her choices affected her and her family members.

I did enjoy the history that was woven into the story and the historic events. I liked the information about the gold rush. I give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars.


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