BookBrowse Reviews The Nightingales of Troy by Alice Fulton

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The Nightingales of Troy

By Alice Fulton

The Nightingales of Troy
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  • Hardcover: Jul 2008,
    256 pages.
    Paperback: Jul 2009,
    256 pages.

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Set in Troy, New York, this linked collection follows a quirky and resilient family of women throughout the twentieth century.

Fans of Alice Fulton's poetry (bibliography) will find much to admire. A similar lyricism, use of imagery, facts and curiosities abound, from Kitty painting veins on her face with French chalk and Prussian blue* to the scent of vintage perfumes. The details evoke a uniquely feminine culture. But for all the book's poetic merits, it also stands on its own as a selection of stories spanning the lives of seven memorable women.

Tempting as it is to read The Nightingales of Troy as a novel, it isn't meant to be. There is no device like the four sides of the mahjong table in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, no pivotal family event, memory or point-of-view linking everything together. The stories should not be read with the expectation of perfect symmetry—some of the women's voices are heard only once, while others, like Charlotte, become essential players in several ...

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