Many readers first became familiar with Emma Donoghue through her much-lauded 2010 novel Room, a harrowing story heartbreakingly narrated by a five-year-old boy held captive for years, along with his mother, in a single room. For readers who know only that novel, Donoghue's latest, Frog Music, might seem like something of a departure. In fact, however, this historical mystery shares many characteristics with Donoghue's earlier works, including the historical novels Slammerkin and The Sealed Letter. Like those novels, Frog Music is exquisitely researched, and, like all Donoghue's work, beautifully written and thoroughly compelling.
As Donoghue reveals in the novel's afterword, Frog Music was inspired by a real-life murder that took place outside San Francisco in 1876, heavily covered by the sensational news media of the day. The victim was a woman known as Jenny Bonnet (or one of ...
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