The Gilded Years

Karin Tanabe

The Gilded Years

The Gilded Years

  • Title: The Gilded Years
  • Author: Karin Tanabe
  • ISBN: 9781501110467
  • Page: 377
  • Format: ebook

SOON TO BE ADAPTED FOR FILM in A White Lie, a major motion picture, starring and produced by Zendaya in collaboration with Reese Witherspoon s Hello Sunshine Tanabe immerses the reader in a world of romance and manners, but also leaves you gripping the edge of your seat An elegant and extremely gratifying imagining of one remarkable woman s life USA TODAY Think GatSOON TO BE ADAPTED FOR FILM in A White Lie, a major motion picture, starring and produced by Zendaya in collaboration with Reese Witherspoon s Hello Sunshine Tanabe immerses the reader in a world of romance and manners, but also leaves you gripping the edge of your seat An elegant and extremely gratifying imagining of one remarkable woman s life USA TODAY Think Gatsby meets college meets an impressive beach read theSkimmAn Us Weekly Sizzling Summer Read A Time Magazine Summer ReadSince childhood, Anita Hemmings has longed to attend the country s most exclusive school for women, Vassar College Now, a bright, beautiful senior in the class of 1897, she is hiding a secret that would have banned her from admission Anita is the only African American student ever to attend Vassar With her olive complexion and dark hair, this daughter of a janitor and descendant of slaves has successfully passed as white, but now finds herself rooming with Louise Lottie Taylor, the scion of one of New York s most prominent families Though Anita has kept herself at a distance from her classmates, Lottie s sphere of influence is inescapable, her energy irresistible, and the two become fast friends Pulled into her elite world, Anita learns what it s like to be treated as a wealthy, educated white woman the person everyone believes her to be and even finds herself in a heady romance with a moneyed Harvard student It s only when Lottie becomes infatuated with Anita s brother, Frederick, whose skin is almost as light as his sister s, that the situation becomes particularly perilous And as Anita s college graduation looms, those closest to her will be the ones to dangerously threaten her secret Set against the vibrant backdrop of the Gilded Age, an era when old money traditions collided with modern ideas, Tanabe has written an unputdownable and emotionally compelling story of hope, sacrifice, and betrayal and a gripping account of how one woman dared to risk everything for the chance at a better life.

Recent Comments "The Gilded Years"

I'm having a difficult time formulating my thoughts on "The Gilded Years." The novel is based on the true story of the first black woman to graduate from Vasser by "passing" as white. The story of Anita Hemings is fascinating and I love this time period: the gas lamps, the tremendous wealth of families like the Vanderbilt's, the customs and manners of the day juxtaposed against severe poverty, racial and gender inequality, lack of modern medicine, etc. there is just something lacking in this nov [...]

This charming, thoughtful, and affecting book tells the story of the first black woman to attend Vassar. That she attended as a white woman, passing and always at risk of exposure, drives the plot and allows Tanabe to tell a rich, complicated story about race, gender, education, love, and belonging in the Gilded Age. Give The Gilded Years a try if you’re drawn to any of the following: historical fiction, Edith Wharton, the history of women’s colleges, Nella Larsen, passing as a literary devi [...]

Having received an early copy of this book, I can say without reservation that if you like historical fiction, The Gilded Years is a must read. Anita Hemmings, the first African-American to graduate from Vassar College, has a story that should be widely known, yet until now she has passed through the annals of US History with little fanfare. Thankfully, author Karin Tanabe has made a giant step in rectifying this error of omission with an insightful, poignant novel about one woman straddling two [...]

Great topic. Disappointing book.The Gilded Years brings us a fascinating subject: Anita Hemmings, daughter of a mulatto janitor in Boston, graduated from the exclusive female-only Vassar college in 1897, while passing as white. Cum laude student, proficient in seven languages, a coveted soprano, popular and class beauty, she successfully hid her secret until her roommate broke her story near graduation. She was allowed to graduate, but her story and her beautiful photo kept the interest of news [...]

I've never heard of Anita Hemmings, which is a shame because I grew up an African African woman living so close to Vassar College. I wished for this to have more historical and biographical fiction but the author Tanabe writes so beautifully, I was still very enthralled in the book.I love her style of writing, outside of more personal history of Ms. Hemmings this book was a fantastic read

Like other readers, I never knew that Anita Hemmings was the first African American woman to graduate from Vassar college making this a fascinating read. While this was mostly fictional, the story gave you a sense of the harsh reality of Anita's life as she struggled to keep her race a secret in order just to achieve her goal to graduate. What a world we lived in when an African American was not allowed to attend a college just because of the color of her skin which deemed her inferior despite h [...]

Plot: While the premise was extremely promising, I found the novel to be a little dry. I didn’t mind reading it while I was reading it, but once I put it down, I didn’t bend over backwards to pick it back up. The story is interesting, but I didn’t feel that every scene was necessary and some chapters were a bit frivolous, and I’d find myself skimming as I grew to recognize what wouldn’t be important. That, and there was always a heightened sense of expectation, many times of danger, th [...]

Brilliant in its possibilities, unfortunately "The Gilded Years" did not fulfill its potential, aside from bringing attention to the notable story of the Afro-American woman and Vassar graduate Anita Hemmings, beginning in 1897 Although a few post-secondary institutions accepted African-American applicants, Vassar was not among them. With her parents' full blessing, Anita "passed" as white until her last year when her roommate divulged a private detective's findings to the college, just prior to [...]

"The Gilded Years" is the story of college senior, Anita. The year is 1915 and it is still quite rare for women to go to college in the first place. Anita is incredibly unique though. She is a black woman passing for a white woman so that she can attend the prestigious Vassar. For the first three years of college, Anita has been incredibly careful not to reveal her true background in order to be allowed to stay at school. Things are threatened by a new roommate and a new love.I was drawn to this [...]

The research on this book is outstanding. As a reader, I really appreciate when you can tell how hard the author's worked on a book, and how much thought and effort has gone into something, and that's evident here on every single page. The author's attention to detail really adds to the overall story-- references to Anita's childhood, details about clothing, the gas lamps, descriptions of a campus I've never seen-- all this stuff is so subtly placed but so important in general, and she just did [...]

I was completely unfamiliar with the story of Anita Hemmings and am so glad that I was able to get my hands on an early copy of this book. I can't imagine how hard it was for Anita to even get to the point in her education where she passed the Vassar entrance exams, because education for African-Americans was abysmal at the turn of the 20th century, but she did, and managed to stay sane when she passed as white for her four years there. She has definitely been overlooked as an important figure o [...]

FABULOUS!!!! I don't read the foreword or the synopsis on the back of books, so I did not realize that this book is based on a true story! Literary license used of course when the author needed to "fill in the blanks". To set the stage "The circle in front of Main was crowded with carriages, tired horses, & girls bidding their families goodbye while vying for help with their boxes & suitcase. Before Anita & Caroline had arrived at Vassar as freshmen in 1893." This was a joy to read, [...]

"I did not want to attend Vassar just for myself; I wanted to attend Vassar to show that a Negro woman is just as intelligent as a white woman. That we deserve to be at Vassar, that we deserve to be in every school that admits white women. In my own way, I did that. But William, if I could have attended the school as Negro, I would have."The Gilded Years was a fascinating and eye-opening fictional account of the life of Anita Hemmings. I could tell the author completed extensive research to writ [...]

I love historical fiction especially when there are truths to the story. I loved Anita's story so much 'The Gilded Years' propelled me to do outside research on the characters. I will admit that this cover doesn't do this book justice. I don't want to give anything away. This is definitely a book that you won't forget and bonus it's a page turner for sure. I'm anticipating Ms. Tanabe's next book.I'd like to thank Netgalley and Washington Square Press for the opportunity to read and review 'The G [...]

Just read this for book club and it broke my heart. In the best of ways. College students today could really take a lesson from Anita Hemmings and how hard she had to fight to get an education. Also the roommate, that roommate. I don't want to add spoilers, but THAT ROOMMATE!!

RATING: ★★★☆☆ / 3 interesting starsVIEW: I received this book as part of the Once Upon a Book Club Box (if you haven't heard of it, it's an incredibly fun and interesting take on a monthly subscription box, I highly recommend you check it out onceuponabookclub). It's based on the true story of Anita Hemmings, a young woman who passed as white to attend Vassar. Of course the story told here is fictionalized, but the facts are incredibly interesting and I'm so glad that I was introduced [...]

I read the ARC of this book, and I'm surprised that no one here has yet made a comparison to the book Passing by Nella Larsen. Like Passing, The Gilded Years tells the story of two women, Anita Hemmings and Bessie Baker, one who chose to pass for her higher education, and one who did not, attending Wellesley as a black women. The book centers mostly on Anita, but I loved the relationship between these two women, who reminded me quite a bit of Clare and Irene, though during The Gilded Age. I also [...]

Though stories about passing can be fascinating topics, I really wish the author had done the subject of this book, Anita Hemmings, more justice. At a time when there's a cry for more diverse books, it seems as if a lot of authors are just writing anything as a way of tossing their hats in the ring. In the hands of a more caring author, this book would really shine, but Tanabe approaches it from a very vanilla point of view and makes light of the anguish and anxiety one would feel if they were t [...]

Beautiful book; totally devastated me.

When I heard that Karin Tanabe was writing a book based on the life of Anita Hemmings, I was curious. I knew of the story through my research in women's colleges in the 19th century. Thanks to Edelweiss, I was able to read a galley of the novel which comes out in June of this year. In order to attend Vassar in the 19th century, Anita Hemmings has made the painful decision to pass as white. One of the 1st colleges for women (founded in 1865), Vassar has an unwritten policy of not accepting studen [...]

I received an early copy of this book and am very glad that I had the chance to read it now for though it takes place over a hundred years ago, the subject matter - the discrimination of women of color in higher education - feels sadly relevant. I was familiar with Anita Hemmings' story, but not to so much detail. She passed as white at the then very prestigious Vassar College, giving up her identity to do so. At the time, there was an exam to enter college - particular ones for each school - an [...]

More like a 2.5, but I rounded up because I found the idea so interesting. Anita Hemmings was the first black graduate of Vassar. She passed as white for her time there, as black women weren't allowed to attend at the time. Not much is known about her, and this book attempts to understand what her life might have been like.It's clear the author did a lot of research, and I thought the general idea was really interesting, but I also found the story a bit slow, and didn't feel like a lot of the ch [...]

This book was interesting historically, but I really felt like it lacked depth. At times it seemed like I was reading a Sweet Valley High novel of my youth with a whole bunch of historical facts thrown in. The part about Anita falling in love with Porter Hamilton was a bit far fetched. Who would ask someone to marry them knowing nothing of their history or family? Especially in that day and age. I have also read a lot of books that were actually written in that time period and people just did no [...]

This story had great potential but, ultimately, I was disappointed. I expected more insight into Anita Hemming's life and what it was like to be a black person passing as white. I felt like I got a detailed accounting of college life at Vassar in the 1890's and the shenanigans of Lottie Taylor, "the roommate" instead. The story is not poorly written, but the author's writing style did nothing to captivate my imagination. I am nitpicking, but I found the use of the terminology "the roommate" to b [...]

I don’t remember how I discovered this book in the first place, but I knew I had to read it as soon as possible. The Gilded Years’ cover is probably one of my favorites ever and the blurb had me intrigued. This is the story of Anita Hemmings, Vassar’s first African-American student… but the truth is that no one else knew. Anita had to pass as a white student in order to attend the university and lived there for a couple of years as a white woman thanks to her light skin tone. Of course, [...]

Fans of Carney's House Party will be fascinated by the story of another real-life Vassar student: Boston's Anita Hemmings longs to attend prestigious Vassar College but 1890s Vassar does not admit Negro women. Anita checks the "white" box on her application and passes as white. She is considered beautiful and talented, and is admired by her classmates but what will they think of her if her secret is revealed? Here is a link to my review:perfectretort/201

One of the best historical fiction books I've read. Well written and based on a true story, it was a pleasure and an educational one as well.

Anita Hemmings has wanted to attend Vassar since she was a little girl. She dreams of scholarship and travel beyond the confines of her Boston neighborhood. Now, with only one more year at Vassar left, Anita has accomplished her dream. She looks forward to the new school year with excitement and some trepidation. Her future is uncertain. She is always gotten good grades and kept her head down but Anita has a new roommate - Miss Louise "Lottie" Taylor, whirlwind, socialite and self-professed "mod [...]

Karin Tanabe tells the tale of Anita Hemmings, the first African American girl to attend Vassar, in this historical fiction novel. Although it is a shameful time in American history for colleges unwilling to accept African American students, the book felt light and easy as Tanabe captured the atmosphere of university life in 1894. Anita Hemmings was courageous to pretend to be white to receive an education, and I loved how Tanabe gave us a glimpse into the inner turmoil and fear that Anita wrest [...]

Karin Tanabe has written an enthralling and stunning account of one woman's struggle with identity, race, and betrayal while excelling beyond limits. If you've never been a fan of historical novels, as I wasn't until last year except for a select few novels, don't let that deter you from reading this book.  The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe is so beautifully executed with subject matter that is very relevant to today's world that I had to remind myself of the setting being the late nineteenth ce [...]

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    Posted by:Karin Tanabe
    Published :2019-02-10T11:24:50+00:00