“One Woman Show” by Christine Coulson

Christine Coulson’s new novel, “One Woman Show,” is a remarkable, unexpected, and poignant read.

Told through the lens of museum wall labels, the book follows the life of Caroline Margaret Brooks Whitaker, better known as Kitty, as she navigates the 20th century from her privileged perch in New York society.

Coulson uses the museum label format to create a unique and engaging narrative style. Each chapter is a concise and evocative snapshot of Kitty’s life, capturing her triumphs and tribulations, her relationships, and her evolving sense of self. The labels are also interspersed with Kitty’s own voice, in the form of letters and diary entries, which add depth and dimension to her character.

Kitty is a complex and fascinating protagonist. She is both privileged and trapped, independent and dependent. She is a product of her time, shaped by societal expectations and her own personal demons. Yet, she is also a woman of strength and resilience, determined to live her life on her own terms.

Coulson’s writing is sharp, witty, and insightful. She has a keen eye for detail and a knack for capturing the essence of a moment or a character in just a few words. The novel is also full of humor, both light and dark, which helps to balance the heavier themes.

“One Woman Show” is a thought-provoking and engrossing read. It is a story about a woman’s life, but it is also a story about the 20th century, about society, about art, and about the power of words.


“One Woman Show” is a remarkable novel that tells the story of a woman’s life through the lens of museum wall labels. It is a unique, engaging, and thought-provoking read that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.

Here are some of the things I loved about the book:

  • The unique and creative format. The museum wall label format is a refreshing and original way to tell a story. It is also a fitting format for a story about a woman who is herself a work of art.
  • The sharp and witty writing. Coulson’s writing is a joy to read. She has a knack for capturing the essence of a moment or a character in just a few words.
  • The complex and fascinating protagonist. Kitty is a woman of contradictions, and Coulson does a masterful job of exploring her strengths and weaknesses.
  • The thought-provoking themes. The novel is about more than just one woman’s life. It is also about society, about art, and about the power of words.

Overall, I highly recommend “One Woman Show” to anyone looking for a unique, engaging, and thought-provoking read.

In addition to the above, I would also like to add the following:

  • The novel is incredibly well-researched. Coulson clearly has a deep understanding of the 20th century and the art world.
  • The novel is a love letter to New York City. Coulson captures the city’s beauty, its energy, and its contradictions.
  • The novel is a celebration of women’s lives. Kitty’s story is a reminder of the resilience and strength of women.

I hope this review has been helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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