by MacDonald Harris. New York: Atheneum Publishers, 1981. Also London: Jonathan Cape, 1983.

From the Jacket:

Here is a delight: MacDonald Harris's colorful, fanciful, and moving Herma, the story of a willful young woman who conquers the musical world of the Belle Epoque.

Herma is many things: a glamorous story of a singer who rises from the choir of a country church to stardom at the Paris Opera: the parallel advantures of her agent and friendly enemy Fred Hite, filled with the excitment of the early days of aviation; and a provocative sexual intrigue whose twinned her and heroine, not brother and sister, are yet forbidden to each other by the secret that lies at the center of their odd and intimate relationship. From its evocative beginnings in the pastoral Southern California of the turn of the centura, Herma moves on to larger worlds--first the brash, adolescent San Francisco of the period, then the international world of opera in Paris at the most luxurious, opulent, and decadent moment of its history. Erotic, bejeweled, crowded with incident and a big, vivid cast of characters, Herma is MacDonald Harris's richest and most complex novel and destined to be his most popular.

Critical Acclaim for Herma

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