The 10 books you need to read this spring: Frog Music


Love historical fiction or a good crime story? What about both? If so, Emma Donoghue has written the book for you. The author behind the 2010 smash hit Room, is back with a new novel. Frog Music shows off her skills as a writer: she knows how to set a scene and make a mood with her words; but that's where the similarities with Room end. This time, Donoghue takes readers to 19th century San Francisco where a burlesque dancer has just lost a good friend in a murder. At the risk of her own life, she takes it upon herself to seek justice for her friend.

Related: How Emma Donoghue wrote Frog Music

Emma Donoghue on writing in the space between fact and fiction:

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An excerpt from Frog Music:

Sitting on the edge of the bed in the front room, Blanche stoops to rip at the laces of her gaiters. " 'Dors, min p'tit quinquin -- ' " Her husky voice frays to a thread on the second high note. She clears her throat, rasping away the heat.

A train hurtles north from San Jose. The light from the loco- motive's headlamp jabs through the long gap between the peeling window frame and the green blind, illuminating the room for Blanche: the shabby bureau, the bedstead, and Jenny, lolling against the scarred headboard. The Eight Mile House shakes like cardboard as the freight cars rattle by. Here at San Miguel Station, they're right at the southern boundary -- the last gasp -- of San Francisco.,/p>

From Frog Music by Emma Donoghue © 2014. Published by HarperCollins Canada. All rights reserved.

The CBC Books Spring 2014 reading list: