Tampa, Florida, 1898: A hazy frontier where the Old World meets the New, where miracles of transformation are possible and the soil is so fertile that dry sticks take root and flower. Dominating the town is the magisterial new Tampa Bay Hotel and dominating the hotel is an exotic creature by the name of Monsieur Lucien Goulet III, wig maker to the wealthy and glamorous. As winter nears its end, Goulet is entranced by a head of hair belonging to the young widow Marion Unger. But this material, without which he absolutely cannot form his greatest masterpiece, is hard to come by, as it is still attached to its owner.
Praise for The Transformation
“A story out of Edgar Allan Poe, with the requisite revelations about human nature, obsession, and sexuality.” —The Miami Herald
“Dreamlike . . . The Transformation is meticulously researched; its hard physicality convinces as surely as its misty emotional landscape baffles and allures.” —St. Petersburg Times
“From its opening chapter, Chidgey's atmospheric resurrection of a bygone time embedded in a bizarre but entrancing story is as irresistible as the pull of a rip current.” —Orlando Sentinel
“Haunting . . . well researched and intriguing . . . suspenseful and surprising.” —The Roanoke Times
“Catherine Chidgey's The Transformation brings the last century bursting to life. Who knew Tampa was so fascinating? If you don't know Chidgey now, you soon will. The strength of this book ensures that.” —Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng
“Poignant . . . Incorporating her research with an organic touch, Chidgey constructs a tale as enchanting as the hotel rising from its Florida swamp.” —Publishers Weekly-