BEAUTIFUL LIES, by Clare Clark
London, 1887, a turbulent time when workers' rights are being fought over, when the grim struggle of impoverished workers comes head-to-head with entrenched wealth unwilling to give an inch (sound familiar?). Beautiful Maribel Campbell Lowe, self-described as a Chilean heiress, hides a secret that could ruin not only her but her beloved husband Edward, a fiery socialist politician. But Edward seems to be doing a pretty good job of ruining his own prospects, particularly once the conniving, self-promoting newspaper editor Alfred Webster zeros in on them. Follow Maribel, a photographer and Bohemian, as she treads a very fine line to assure that her life doesn't crumble to dust. A book group might find this interesting, as there's great political detail, a clear-eyed look at women's positions and the plight of the poor in industrialized England; plus, the story is based on a true person who managed to pull of for decades what Maribel's trying to do. A 4, great for a long weekend on the porch (with bonbons, of course).