Published by Blackstone PublishingDate Published: 18 August, 2020
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: eBook ARC
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
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A sweeping Jazz Age tale of regret, ambition, and redemption inspired by true events, including the Great Moonshine Conspiracy Trial of 1935 and Josephine Baker’s 1925 Paris debut in Le Revue Nègre.
1924. May Marshall is determined to spend the dog days of summer in self-imposed exile at her father’s farm in Keswick, Virginia. Following a naive dalliance that led to heartbreak and her expulsion from Mary Baldwin College, May returns home with a shameful secret only to find her father’s orchard is now the site of a lucrative moonshining enterprise. Despite warnings from the one man she trusts—her childhood friend Byrd—she joins her father’s illegal business. When authorities close in and her father, Henry, is arrested, May goes on the run.
May arrives in New York City, determined to reinvent herself as May Valentine and succeed on her own terms, following her mother’s footsteps as a costume designer. The Jazz Age city glitters with both opportunity and the darker temptations of cocaine and nightlife. From a start mending sheets at the famed Biltmore Hotel, May falls into a position designing costumes for a newly formed troupe of African American entertainers bound for Paris. Reveling in her good fortune, May will do anything for the chance to go abroad, and the lines between right and wrong begin to blur. When Byrd shows up in New York, intent upon taking May back home, she pushes him, and her past, away.
In Paris, May’s run of luck comes to a screeching halt, spiraling her into darkness as she unravels a painful secret about her past. May must make a choice: surrender to failure and addiction, or face the truth and make amends to those she has wronged. But first, she must find self-forgiveness before she can try to reclaim what her heart craves most.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Author/NetGalley, Publisher and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.
Holy wow, y’all! I did not expect to love this one as much as I did! I mean, I knew I would like it, but it’s a debut novel. Sometimes, I only JUST like a debut novel. But, this one…….this one I fell in love with. From the start, Liza Nash Taylor hooked me, and kept me on a whirlwind ride throughout. I fell hard for her characters and the setting was beautifully depicted and came to life for me.
This historical story is set in the 1920’s, one of my favorites to read about. I mean, I love the jazz & flapper girl era. Something about that time period that just calls to me(I always tell folks I was born in the wrong era!). May’s character was beautifully, flawfully chiseled. She was real. She made huge mistakes in life, but following her story was a wonderful vacation. I loved following her on her runaway journey to New York & Paris, seeing the sites through her eyes.
This historical novel will leave you full of emotions. From sadness & heartache to anger & a few smiles, this book is wonderfully written, and captivating. Nash Taylor is an author who shows true talent and I look forward to reading more of her novels just like this one. If you want a story that will envelope you, take you on a twisting journey, and make you feel a true part of the story, grab this one up now!