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Sunday, December 31, 2006

12/31/06 Greenwich Newsmaker Of 2006 - Ned Lamont

Edward Miner "Ned" Lamont, Jr. (born January 3, 1954) was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for the United States Senate in the Connecticut United States Senate election held on on November 7, 2006. He faced incumbent Senator Joe Lieberman, who ran as the nominee of the Connecticut for Lieberman party, as well as Republican nominee Alan Schlesinger in a three-way general election in November, having defeated Lieberman 51.8%-48.2% among Democratic voters in a primary election on August 8, 2006. In the election, Lamont lost to Lieberman - Lieberman won 50% of the vote while Lamont won 40%, with 10% voting for Schlesinger and 0.5% voting for Green Party candidate Ralph Ferrucci.


Lamont was born in Washington, D.C. to Camille Helene Buzby and Edward Miner Lamont. He grew up in Syosset, New York, and is an heir to the fortune of his great-grandfather Thomas W. Lamont, who was a partner of the banking and finance firm J. P. Morgan & Co. After graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy (home of the Lamont Infirmary and Lamont Hall named for his great-grandfather) in 1972, Ned Lamont earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University (home of the Lamont Library, named for his great-grandfather) in 1976, and a master's degree in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management in 1980. While at Phillips Exeter, Lamont was the president of the student newspaper, The Exonian, which was published twice a week during the school year. He began his career working for The Black River Tribune, a small newspaper in Ludlow, Vermont. He was an early producer for Vermont Public Radio.

Lamont then entered the cable television industry, managing the startup of Cablevision's operation in Fairfield County, Connecticut. In 1984, he founded, and is currently president and chairman of, Lamont Digital Systems, a builder and operator of advanced telecommunications networks for college campuses and residential gated communities, with over 150,000 subscribers. The company's finances are private, though it currently has 35 employees, down from 100 in 2001. His most recent salary was reported as $546,000 per year.

Before running for the U.S. Senate, Lamont was elected and served as selectman in the town of Greenwich, Connecticut, for eight years (two terms), chaired the state investment advisory council, and served on many civic boards. Lamont unsuccessfully ran for a state Senate seat in 1990, finishing in third place.


Lamont and his wife, the former Ann "Annie" Greenlee Huntress, a venture capitalist, have three teenaged children.Ann Lamont seconded her husband's nomination at the Connecticut Democratic Convention in May 2006.

Lamont is the great-grandson of former J.P. Morgan & Co. Chairman Thomas W. Lamont and the grandnephew (not the grandson, as has been widely reported) of Corliss Lamont (a director of the American Civil Liberties Union from 1932 to 1954). His self-reported net worth lies somewhere between $90 million and $300 million.

His father, Ted (Edward M. Sr.), was an economist who worked with the Marshall Plan which helped reconstruct Europe after World War II. He later served in the Nixon administration in Housing and Urban Development. Ted Lamont is now an unaffiliated voter, having last voted for a Republican in 1988. Since then he has voted Democratic. He told The Hartford Courant that "Eastern Moderates no longer have a place in the GOP." Ned Lamont contributed to one Republican as late as 1998, when he contributed $500 to the re-election effort of Congressman Chris Shays, but since 1999 has contributed over $57,000 to Democrats, including $1,500 to Joe Lieberman.

His mother, Camille Buzby "Buz" Lamont, was born in Puerto Rico, the daughter of an American salesman (a Quaker veteran of World War I) and a Catholic missionary. She is of French and U.S. descent and she studied at the George School in Pennsylvania, Middlebury College in Vermont, and at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. She speaks fluent Spanish but never taught Ned.

2006 U.S. Senate campaign

Lamont began showing signs of considering a run against Lieberman around February 2005. In March 2006, Lamont officially announced his campaign for the United States Senate against Lieberman. As of July 19, 2006, Lamont had spent over $2.5 million of his own personal fortune on his campaign.

It was reported that as of September 11 Lamont had spent another $1.5 million of his own money on the campaign, with two months yet to go.

Lamont continued to pour personal funds into the campaign during September, with reports indicating his total contributions now exceed $12.7 million.

Also, Lamont pledged not to take money from lobbyists.

Lamont's campaign manager, Tom Swan, was, however, a registered lobbyist with the state of Connecticut. In early 2006, Lamont received the backing of former independent Connecticut Governor and Republican U.S. Senator Lowell Weicker, who was unseated by Lieberman in 1988.

Lamont eventually portrayed himself as an anti-war candidate calling for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, in contrast to Lieberman, who supports the continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq and advocated for a troop increase proposed by then-President George W. Bush.

His campaign was partially supported by anti-war activists who oppose the Iraq war and are calling for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, including MoveOn.org, which donated $251,156 from its contributors to the campaign.

On July 6, 2006, Lamont faced off against Lieberman in a 51-minute televised debate which covered issues ranging from the war in Iraq to energy policy to immigration.

Lieberman argued that he was being subjected to a "litmus test" on the war, insisted that he was a "bread and butter Democrat" and on a number of occasions asked, "Who is Ned Lamont?" Lieberman asked Lamont if he would disclose his income tax returns.

After the debate, Lamont did release his 2005 tax return and financial details about prior years. Lamont focused on Lieberman's supportive relationship with Republicans ("...if you won't challenge President Bush and his failed agenda, I will") and criticized his vote for the "Bush/Cheney/Lieberman energy bill."

Lieberman stated, in response to Lamont's assertion that he supported Republican policies, that he had voted with the Democratic caucus in the Senate 90% of the time. However, Lamont argued that the then three-term incumbent lacked the courage to challenge the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq War.

Lamont began as a "dark-horse" candidate, but was at a statistical dead heat with Lieberman in July, and went on to win the primary in August. Polls taken prior to the primary vote showed Lieberman, if running as an independent, polling better among Republicans and independents in a three-way race, including Republican candidate Alan Schlesinger, who greatly trailed both Lamont and Lieberman. Early August polls, however, showed Lamont increasing his lead significantly[35], and many speculate on the effect of the primary outcome (and expected high Democratic endorsement) on the general election. The initial post primary poll showed Lieberman holding a narrow lead in a general election, however.

On July 30, 2006, the London Sunday Times reported that former president Bill Clinton is believed to have warned Lieberman not to run as an independent if he lost the primary to Lamont. Many Democratic leaders pledged to support the winner of the Connecticut Democratic primary. Most Democratic leaders, however, supported Lieberman's campaign for the Democratic nomination, and some, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, allegedly asked Lamont not to run.

Lamont resigned his membership in a Greenwich country club shortly before his campaign began, as the club was "too white and too rich and he did not want it to become a campaign issue." It became an issue, however, following the release of a flier from the Lieberman campaign questioning Lamont's record on race.

Lamont criticized Wal-Mart during the campaign and lambasted Lieberman for previously receiving campaign contributions from Wal-Mart, which he later returned.

On August 4, 2006, The Washington Times reported that Ned "Lamont, his wife and a dependent child own as much as $31,000 in Wal-Mart stock. Mr. Lamont and his wife jointly own two accounts containing as much as $16,000 in Wal-Mart stock.

Their Wal-Mart holdings spin off as much as $3,500 in annual dividends. In addition, a trust fund he set up for one of his children contains as much as $15,000 in Wal-Mart stock and spins off as much as $1,000 in dividends." Time magazine reported on August 4, 2006, that Lamont's campaign manager,

Tom Swan, said the candidate was not actively controlling the investment. "He does not own any stock directly, it's not a direct holding," he said. Part of the Wal-Mart stock is held in a Goldman Sachs "Tax Advantaged Core Strategies managed account", according to a letter released by Swan. He said the account is designed to track the S+P 500 index, and that Goldman Sachs makes the investment decisions for the account."

On August 21, Lamont distanced himself from the demands of some supporters that Joe Lieberman be purged from the Democratic voter rolls.

Ned Lamont lost the general election and conceded to Lieberman at approximately 10:30 EST, November 7.

Links About Ned Lamont

NY Times: Lieberman Camp Blames Rivals for Web Site Crash. Patrick Healy and Jennifer Medina.

AP: Key races in Tuesday's primaries. 8 August 2006.

AP: Lieberman Race Tops Primaries. Robert Tanner. 8 August 2006.

Lieberman Prevails Against Lamont in Connecticut. New York Times. November 7 2006

History - Lamont Library: Harvard University Libraries - Lamont Library History.

DFA Link: Ned Lamont for US Senate.

My Left Nutmeg: Lamont Grants MyLeftNutmeg First Blogger Interview.

NY Times: Ann Huntress to Wed E.M. Lamont Jr.

NedLamont.com: Family photo

Historic Humanist Series: Corliss Lamont. .

Hartford Courant: Wealth: Touchy Political Issue; Lieberman Plays Up Lamont's Millions, But Will Voters Care? Mark Pazniokas.. Original URL dead, reprint at NedLamont.com.

The Nation: A Fight for the Party's Soul. John Nichols,

Hartford Courant: Out of the Political Shadows. Mark Pazniokas.

"Camille H. Buzby Becomes Fiancee". New York Times. 1950-11-03. p. 22.

"This campaign has not solicited, and will not accept, Washington lobbyist money" – Lamont campaign email

Congressional Quarterly: The CQ Politics Interview: Ned Lamont.

BBC: Lieberman fights for political life. Matt Wells.

PoliticalMoneyLine: MoveOn.org Political Action Raises $2.6 Million.

NBC30: Lieberman, Lamont Face Off In NBC 30 Debate.

Quinnipiac University: Polling results.

Bloomberg: Lieberman Trails Lamont by 13 Points in Connecticut, Poll Says.

Hartford Courant: Post-Primary Poll Gives Lieberman Narrow Lead

The Sunday Times: The anti-war tycoon splits Democrats. Tony Allen-Mills.

Wall Street Journal: Kos Celeb. Joe Taranto.

New York Times: Lieberman Rival Seeks Support Beyond Iraq Issue. Patrick Healy,

Talking Points Memo: Scan of flier.

The Washington Times: Lieberman rival owns stock in Wal-Mart. Charles Hurt. URL accessed

TIME: An Embarrassment of Riches for Lieberman's Challenger. Massimo Calabresi.


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Thursday, December 28, 2006

December 28, 2006: Town hikes park fees

Golf course, other spots to charge more in 2007

It's going to cost a little more next year to get a round of golf in at the Griffith E. Harris Golf Course after the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved next year's fee schedule for the town's parks and recreation activities. Membership fees at the municipal course will increase from $125 to $140 for adults, from $75 to $85 for seniors and $85 to $95 for juniors. Greens fees will also be going up either one or two dollars, depending on the time of day.

Source: http://www.greenwich-post.com/

Please send your comments to greenwichRoundup@gmail.com

December 28, 2006: Concern grows over potential changes at senior center

As the possibility of losing their building continues to loom, members of the Greenwich Senior Center are also speaking out against a proposed plan that would change the structure of management at the center.

First Selectman James Lash has suggested that management of the senior center would shift from the Department of Parks and Recreation to the Commission on Aging. This would mean expanded powers and responsibility for the seven-member commission, but according to Sam Deibler

Source: http://www.greenwich-post.com/

Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

Thursday, December 21, 2006

December 21, 2006: School board approves $119M

After a few final nips and tucks, the Board of Education gave its unanimous approval Dec. 14 to the $119 million 2007- 08 schools budget. The board-approved budget was cut from the originally proposed level of $120 million, with reductions in maintenance and from Hamilton Avenue School's preschool and proposed magnet program. Despite the cuts, Superintendent of Schools Betty Sternberg pledged the district is still committed to preschool and the magnet program

Source: http://www.greenwich-post.com/

Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

December 21, 2006: First Selectman proposes school board move to senior center

The Board of Education's journey to a new office space took another turn last week when First Selectman James Lash suggested that the board not build a new office but rather move across the street into the old Greenwich Avenue Town Hall building. Doing this would pave the way for a proposed arts center to move into the Havemeyer Building, where the board is currently located. The building switch would mean displacing the Greenwich Arts Council and the Greenwich Senior Center.

Source: http://www.greenwich-post.com/

Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

December 21, 2006:With 'no current plans' to close schools, board considers options

In response to questions over whether any of Greenwich's 11 public elementary schools will be closed because of declining student enrollment, the Board of Education will hold a special meeting next month. The meeting will be held Jan. 18 at a time and location still to be determined. Superintendent of Schools Betty Sternberg said the board would take a long look at declining enrollment, racial imbalances in district schools and the best use of district buildings.

Source: http://www.greenwich-post.com/

Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

Thursday, December 14, 2006

December 14, 2006:Administrator stays optional

Charter change voted down by town representatives

For those hoping that having the town administrator in the charter would provide "continuity" between selectmen's terms, the future is uncertain following Monday's 91-97 Representative Town Meeting (RTM) vote against the idea. While most said the current town administrator, Ed Gomeau, who came on the job in early 2004, is doing his job well, those opposed said they thought mandating the position creates a second first selectman

Source: http://www.greenwich-post.com/

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Friday, December 8, 2006

12/08/06 - Archive - News Reports

Agents Try New Tricks to Entice Home Buyers

Source: Natl. Relocation & Real Estate

...... the people surrounding the marketing of them to become focused," said Linda Hodge of Preferred Properties' Greenwich, Connecticut office. The slowdown is a particular conundrum within the new-construction and higher-end markets, said Melanie Healey, ......

Bristol-Myers, Sanofi Win a U.S. Court Block on Apotex's Generic Plavix

Source: Bloomberg.com

Sanofi-Aventis SA and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. won an appeals court ruling that prevents Apotex Inc. from selling a generic version of the blood-thinner Plavix until a trial can be held.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington today upheld a lower court ruling that blocks sales of the generic drug until a judge can rule on the validity of a Plavix patent. The trial is set for January.

Prescriptions of brand-name Plavix plunged 32 percent in the third quarter of 2006 after Apotex flooded the market with a six-month supply of the generic drug during three weeks in August. Plavix, which is used to prevent heart attacks and strokes, had global sales of $6.3 billion in 2005, with $3.8 billion in the U.S. last year........

....... never, so it's nice to have the appeal upheld,'' Barbara Ryan, an analyst with Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in Greenwich, Connecticut, said in a telephone interview. Apotex ``didn't have to remove the supplies that were shipped. Until those are all ......

Global Gold Names Ambassador Harry Gilmore (Ret) to Board

Source: Market Wire

... with mining properties in Chile and Armenia. Global Gold Corporation is located at 45 East Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830. The main phone number is 203-422-2300. More information can be found at www.globalgoldcorp.com . Contact: Van Z. Krikorian ........

WWII Vet Recalls Drop Behind Enemy Lines

Source: Greenwich Citizen

The 65th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, marked Thursday, presented an opportunity for the Greenwich Citizen to interview Chandler Bates, a veteran of Uncle Sam's super-secret Office of .......


Please search for this article in the: archive search.

Hedge funds: Secretive, lucrative and part of pop culture

Source: International Herald Tribune

Marshall Wace raised €1.5 billion on Friday in the largest initial public offering of a hedge fund, permitting individual investors to buy into a market normally limited to millionaires.

The London-based company sold shares of MW Tops, a closed-end investment company, for €10, or $13.27, each, Marshall Wace said late Thursday. The stock, which began trading Friday on Euronext Amsterdam, rose to a penny to finish at €10.01.

... huge sums of money on fast cars and fancy art, as well as magazine photo spreads of top managers' estates in Greenwich, Connecticut, and on New York's Long Island. Some might point to the fascination with hedge funds as a sign that the business has ...

George W.S. Trow, 63; Writer, cultural critic spent 30 years on New Yorker staff

Source: Los Angeles Times
By: Elaine Woo

George W.S. Trow, a writer and social critic whose dry humor and coruscating intelligence defined a 30-year career at the New Yorker, where he was a favorite of legendary editor William Shawn, died Nov. 24 in Naples, Italy, where he lived for the last five years. He was 63 and died of natural causes.

Trow, who joined the magazine in 1966, was best-known as the author of 'Within the Context of No Context,' a scathing analysis of contemporary American culture.

Originally published in the New Yorker in 1980 and later issued as a book, it was a collage of riffs, each identified with a subhead such as 'History,' 'Gossip' or 'Celebrities,' that wryly displayed Trow's mortification at the ignorance of a generation reared on television.

'Television is the force of no-history, and it holds the archives of the history of no-history,' he wrote. 'No good,' he concluded, 'has come of it.' 'Within the Context of No Context' quickly attained a cult following for its originality and prophetic insights.

'People passed that copy of the New Yorker from hand to hand,' recalled Martin H. Kaplan, a media expert and director of the Norman Lear Center at USC's Annenberg School for Communication, who knew Trow. 'It was one of those early and prescient works of cultural criticism which conveyed how troubling it was to live in the brave new media world.' It was also intensely personal and heavy with yearning for a bygone social order, when adults were adults and trivia were actually viewed as trivial.

His lamentations focused on an idiosyncratic array of what he called 'Mainstream American Cultural Artifacts,' such as People magazine, the 1964 New York World's Fair and the 1970s game show 'Family Feud.'

Civilization had declined to the point where, Trow wrote, 'a man named Richard Dawson, the 'host' of a program called Family Feud, asked contestants to guess what a poll of a hundred people had guessed would be the height of the average American woman.' To Trow, that millions of viewers could be engaged by such puerile entertainment - guessing what others had guessed, with nary a fact in sight - was alarming evidence of cultural anemia. With some disdain, he described this 'important moment in the history of television' under the heading 'No Authority.'

Authority was one quality Trow (pronounced like grow ) possessed in spades. His pronouncements were godlike, as well as abstract, bordering on mystical.
In reference to an America that had gotten too big and impersonal, for instance, he wrote: 'The middle distance fell away .

Two grids remained. The grid of two hundred million and the grid of intimacy.' But, as Trow saw it, the intimacy was a television-induced illusion. Loneliness loomed. 'What made George's piece great was the deadpan minimalism of the style, a freaky-deaky,

I Ching-like idiom that made it seem like a text carved on some future, unearthed Rosetta stone . It was a gag, but a gag about how everything you've ever cared about was just destroyed in a flashfire,' Donald Fagen, the musician and songwriter who met Trow in the 1980s after co-founding the band Steely Dan, wrote on his website this week.

'He was a kind of genius in the way he saw the world,' said author Jamaica Kincaid, who joined the New Yorker staff in the 1970s through Trow's ardent sponsorship.

Born in Greenwich, Conn., Trow was well-grounded in the rituals of the upper class, even though his old New York family was not rich........

'Day of Infamy' remembered

Source: Norwalk Advocate (home page)

... to him died. 'It's a big deal in our family,' said Breen, 52, a commercial insurance broker who lives in Old Greenwich. 'It inspired our son to go into the Naval Academy.' Along with the Breen and his wife, Jane, close to 40 people turned ...

Festive facades vie for prizes

Source: Stamford Advocate
By: Martin B. Cassidy

While more minimalist than competing displays, Sea Cloth on Greenwich Avenue wowed contest judges with its striking concept: green pillows stacked to look like a Christmas tree.

For the second year in a row, the downtown home furnishings business took top prize in the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce's Winter Wonderland holiday window display contest.

'We're very excited and it's a flattering award to get,' said Ann FitzGerald, the manager of Sea Cloth, which designs and manufactures fabrics for upholstery and other household furnishings.
In addition to naming the top three most original displays at local stores, the contest also includes separate awards in recognition of other displays which are the most traditional, festive, or show community spirit.

Greenwich Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mary Ann Morrison said that elaborate and creative holiday window displays are an important part of bringing in foot traffic and wooing shoppers away from malls.

'It's part of the community spirit we have here in Greenwich that keeps people from going to the mall,' Morrison said. 'This type of spirit is what people are longing for.'
While primarily a fabric company, FitzGerald said that during the holidays Sea Cloth stocks up on Christmas tree ornaments and other holiday decorations.

'It's one of the most fun times of year to decorate,' FitzGerald said.

Hoagland's of Greenwich took the best traditional display award with a three-dimensional Advent Calendar, among a diorama of elaborately carved wood figurines of Santa Claus and children, and a glittering set of Nativity figurines that rotate inside a gold box.

Lynn Muscari, a sales associate, said the design and construction of the display was done on nights and weekends over several weeks.......

Puppy -- and kitty -- love

Source: Statesman Journal

... According to a 2005-06 pet owners' survey conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association in Greenwich, Conn., Americans planned to spend $2.6 billion (yes, the 'b' is correct) this holiday season. Katie Beckner, general manager of ...

E-mail: online@statesmanjournal.com

Mortgage lender sparks bid battle


Compass Partners, a New York-based investment company, made the apparent highest and best bid of $67 million Thursday for the assets of a mortgage loan fund managed by USA Capital and a contract to service loans for the bankrupt private lender.

Bankruptcy Judge Linda Riegle conducted a slow-paced auction in her courtroom taking bids from three companies, Desert Capital Real Estate Investment Trust of Henderson, hedge fund Silver Point Capital of Greenwich, Conn., and Compass.

USA Capital solicited investments from about 6,000 individual investors around the country and used the money to make short-term loans to developers, including USA Capital majority owners Tom Hantges and Joe Milanowski.

USA Capital controlled $962 million in assets for investors when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection in April. While USA Capital was making monthly payments to investors, many of its loans were not being repaid.

Some investors bought fractional interests in the loans. Others invested through USA First Trust Deed Fund and USA Diversified Trust Deed Fund, which served like mutual funds for these real estate-backed loans.

An interim management team led by Tom Allison has run USA Capital since the bankruptcy filing.

Silver Point Capital was approved as a "stalking horse," or first bidder, with an offer of $46.5 million to buy out investors in the First Trust Deed Fund. In addition, Silver Point agreed to take over loan servicing from USA Capital for other loans.

The auction started Thursday with that $46.5 million bid.

Compass came next with an offer of $57.5 million. The three bidders took turns usually raising their bid often in $100,000 increments over the previous bid, but sometimes by $1 million or more. Bidders often made higher bids on the spot, but they were allowed to privately confer for 20 minutes before deciding in several instances.

At the end, both Silver Point and Desert Capital passed, leaving Compass as the apparent high bidder at $67 million..........

A new pecking order

Source: Rocky Mountain News
By: Patti Thorn

Weary of reading the same old authors and their formulaic plots?

Today, we welcome some fresh faces.

This year, while big-name authors were busy stealing the spotlight, scores of titles by unknowns were hatched. Many were superb reads. How do we know? Our critics spent 2006 screening nearly 60 debut novels that weren’t reviewed on the regular books pages. They read books of all stripes: futuristic tales, family sagas, suspense stories and more. And when it was all said and done, they had uncovered a wealth of fresh talent — in every genre. Today, we offer 10 of the best, books of all types of plot and style. If you missed these titles when they were first released, here’s a hint: Don’t make the same mistake twice.

And a special thanks... To those who have dedicated countless hours to this annual project. We owe a debt of gratitude to Joan Hinkemeyer, Christine Jacques, Justin Matott, Verna Noel Jones and Vicky Uhland.

.......The Dressmaker

By Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck (Henry Holt, 306 pages, $23).

Author’s background: Oberbeck has written for numerous publications, including Cosmopolitan, Travel and Leisure, Glamour and Working Woman. She lives with her husband and four sons in Greenwich, Conn., and was introduced to the world of haute couture through her mother, who worked with Diana Vreeland at Harper’s Bazaar.

Plot in a nutshell: Claude Reynaud is a shy yet skilled dressmaker working in the small town of Senlis outside of Paris. He and his chatty pet parrot Pédan live a contented life, where Claude diligently designs and stitches eye-catching gowns while humoring his nephews with puppet shows. The dressmaker’s life is turned upside down, however, when he becomes smitten at first glance with the lovely Valentine de Verlay, who has come to him to have her wedding dress made. Claude then sets out on a Don Quixote-like quest to lure Valentine away from her fiancé and into his own arms. Along the way, the author composes poetic visual pictures of dresses designed expressly to reflect an individual’s outer and inner beauty.

Sample of prose: "His greatest talent — and what he was becoming renowned for beyond the small town of Senlis — was his ability to match a client’s natural colors with enhancing hues and textures. He obsessed over color classifications and names. Inadequate descriptions frustrated him to the point of fury. He would yell across his studio to Pédant, ‘That is not the color pink! Non! That is the color of dawn reflected on the yellowing marble steps of the Trevi Fountain.’"

Author reminds me of: No one in particular; Oberbeck has a unique voice.

Best reason to read: This is the kind of story that sneaks up on you. It seems simple enough in the first 20 pages or so, but as you continue reading, it quickly develops into a rich fabric of sharply drawn characters with real complications in their lives that aren’t tied up so neatly at novel’s end. You’ll relish the complexity. Verna Noel Jones

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