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Red Dancer
Red Dancer | Richard Skinner
1 post | 1 read
Set against the dramatically imagined backdrop of Europe on the brink of the Great War, The Red Dancer re-creates the life of Mata Hari, last century's most romantic, enigmatic, tragic spy. In 1895, Margaretha Zelle, a destitute young woman from The Hague, answers a personal ad placed by a Dutch army captain twice her age seeking a wife. After a speedy marriage, she departs with him for a posting in Indonesia. Marred by violence, infidelity, bitter feuding, and their son's disturbing death, the marriage collapses. Returning to Europe, Margaretha travels to Paris, where, inspired by the exotic enchantment of Eastern dance, she reinvents herself as the erotic dancer Mata Hari ("Eye of the Dawn"), the likes of which the Continent has never seen. Just as the major European powers lurch toward explosive conflict, Mata Hari's reputation as a dancer and courtesan starts to attract the attention of powerful admirers from Madrid to Vienna, from Berlin to St. Petersburg. Entrapped, Mata Hari is drawn into a military intrigue that will affect the course of World War I.Narrated by historical figures whose lives intersected with Mata Hari's -- from her husband to her executioner -- The Red Dancer explores the mystery and downfall of a woman at the center of a notorious espionage scandal that has inspired historians and artists for generations. Ranging from exotic Indonesia to the seedy dance halls of Paris, it brilliantly depicts the delicious and eerie decadence of fin de sicle Europe and the onset of a global conflict that ended an era.
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review
writeropolis
Red Dancer | Richard Skinner
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Panpan

If I don't like a book I make it a point to find something I like: character, plot, etc. Not this time. The constantly shifting, numerous narrators were unnecessary & confusing. Skinner interspersed historical articles - like the history of absinthe - which threw me off. Though a work of fiction based on a real person/historical event, I was left unsatisfied.

MrBook Nice review! 2y
writeropolis Thank you! 2y
8 likes2 comments