Frog Music

Only 100 pages to go in “Frog Music.” Fans of Emma Donoghue’s, like me, have been waiting for her next novel after speeding through her debut bestseller “Room.”

Donoghue sets her newest against the backdrop of the Gold Rush in San Francisco, the summer of 1876. At the center of the action is Blanche Beunon, a French dance hall girl who befriends Jenny Bonnet, a gun-toting, boyish gal who’s shot dead on the first pages of the novel.

The grisly crime haunts Blanche. She’s in a going-nowhere relationship with a French dandy who puts her out to whore for him, gambling away the cash she brings in. Life gets complicated for them with the birth of a baby.

So returns a theme prevalent in “Room.” Mother love prevails above all else. Watch for an upcoming review of “Frog Music” in “Novel Ideas.”