The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Interesting historical fiction novel about the first African-American woman to graduate from Vassar. In order to do so, she claimed she was French and English on her application, and led a double life when traveling between college and Roxbury in Boston. I'm always a fan of historical fiction about the gilded age, so the fictionalized world of Anita Hemmings was a perfect fit. Learning seven languages? Pretending to be engaged? All those fancy houses and horrible dresses and up-dos? I'm not sure if the author handled Anita's internal struggles about "passing" accurately, but I know I sure felt some of her pain. What a horrible situation--having to pretend to be someone you're not in order to attend the college of your dreams.
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