The Crimson Petal and the White

by Michel Faber.

Massive Victorian-era novel with plenty of rude bits.

The Crimson Petal and the White

I must admit, the original appeal of this book was the quality of its paper—something scandalously rare in a paperback in Britain. I read it on holiday. At 894 pages, it accounted for most of my baggage allowance.

Set in Victorian London, this is a story about a prostitute's attempt to escape the slums by becoming a rich man's mistress. It's a real page-turner, and a great holiday read.

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