It's 1922 in the Manhattan of gin, jazz and prosperity. Women wear makeup and hitched hemlines - and enjoy a new freedom to vote and work. Not so for Evelyn Lockhart, who is forbidden from pursuing her passion to become one of the first female doctors. Chasing her dream will mean turning her back on her family: her competitive sister, Viola; her conservative parents; and the childhood best friend she is expected to marry, Charlie.
In a desperate attempt to support herself through Columbia University's medical school, Evie auditions for the infamous late-night Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway. But if she gets the part, what will it mean for her fledgling relationship with Upper East Side banker Thomas Whitman - a man Evie thinks she could fall in love with, if only she lived a life less scandalous?
©2016 Natasha Lester (P)2016 Audible, Ltd
I review books and audiobooks, mostly mystery, police procedurals, That's about it!
The first thing to attract me to this book was the beautiful cover, it just screams "Roaring Twenties". I don't normally read anything romantic but the blurb mentions the Ziegfield Follies and medicine so, with that enticing cover also in my mind, I thought I'd give it a go.
The first part of the book describes Evies' life being lived in the way expected of her, by her parents and by society, but something happens, something which completely changes her world view. Evie makes a life changing decision; she will become a doctor, an obstetrician. Her family refuse to help her in her outrageous ambition. Finally accepted into medical school Evie must find a way to support herself and she does so with style by working at the Ziegfield Follies.
Nothing could have prepared Evie for the struggles to come, both in her work and in her personal life, but this is interspersed with a few joyful moments. There are some wonderful descriptions of the fashions of those times (visit the authors website to read more) and of the fantastic Follies costumes. The reader can't help but get swept up into it all, the glamour of the good times and also the somewhat gruesome bad times.
I wondered what it was about this particular tale that I found so engrossing, as to be honest, there are plenty of stories out there where the protagonist has similar qualities to Evie. You know the sort of girl, rich and beautiful, multi talented, brave, clever and having the ability to overcome all odds with grace. You just know that all will be well in the end. What then makes this one so different?
This book has a quality that endears, it provides escapism, and is wonderful, satisfying entertainment. Only one reason for that .......
It's the writing, it is beautiful, flowing and it is thoughtful
Narrated by Kelly Burke who is new to me. What a wonderful narration, this could not have been an easy task, what with the diverse cast of characters and length of the recording. Kelly gives a distinct and consistent voice to each and every character, male and female the old and the young. Kelly has a pleasant voice and she speaks with a lovely rhythmn and cadence. I love the way she conveys emotion, the sadness, anger, happiness and pain, all without overdoing anything. A thoroughly enjoyable, realistic and consistent performance
This audiobook is my own copy.
Fantastic story that illustrates the resilience of women and true love in an era of societal conformity.
Evie, a true heroine fight alongside her instinct and intuition to reach her life long ambitions. As a reader- I couldn't help but get involved in her story and root for her success!
The author succeeds in painting the picture of the 1920's social scenes with captivating grace, ensuring a great read.
The narrators accents are appropriate and enhance the characters personality and style excellently.
It took me a little while to get in the groove with this book as I did not like the narrator's voice. But soon the story and detailed imagery carried me along and I didn't want the story to end. I loved the main character and really felt for her and what she was going through. I could see this book becoming a terrific movie.
I love audio books and since joining Audio I've discovered not all good or well read. This one has not disappointed me and is now on my favourite list. Great story, and very well read. I loved it.
It's been weeks since I finished this and I still can't find all the words.
I'd been waiting for this book to come out since the middle of last year, since I discovered the inspirational Natasha Lester's blog and maybe, perhaps, began to slightly stalk her online ... Natasha has heaps of writing advice to share and I couldn't wait to see how she applied it all in her historical fiction novel.
Natasha's writing is a bridge between literary and commercial fiction. There is romance, mystery, medical drama, historical fiction, costumes, dancing, parties, study, life and death. Natasha paints such a vivid picture of life in New York during the 1920's. I felt like I was there, walking alongside Evie, sipping champagne during the prohibition and occasionally breaking into the charleston. I loved Evie's spunk and determination. Even though Evie has blond hair, the girl on the cover captures her essence perfectly (and the cover is so pretty).
This book is the bee's knees, the cat's pyjamas and the bandicoot's bellybutton! It's a book I found myself live tweeting as I was reading (that's the polite way to say twitter stalking).
I listened to the audiobook edition. The narrator was fabulous. Kelly Burke spoke clearly and at a good pace, bringing each character to life.
I don't know quite what I was expecting, but this wasn't it, and I loved it! I wanted to listen (and did listen) to it again straight away to pick up on the finer points I missed the first time around. This is not something I would normally do.
I loved the main character, she was a strong female character, but not without the human insecurities we all feel, and not without empathy for those around her. I could see this being a very successful tv mini-series, or even complete series with a few extra plot lines. I don't think a movie could do it justice.
The narrating was difficult to get in to at first, but I think that had more to do with listening to a strong American accent, and once I was used to it I was transported in to the story, I wish I could give the performance 4.5 stars.
I didn't think the author developed the characters well, they lacked depth.
The topic was handled very superficially as well . All in all this book was pedestrian. The narrator made the characters sound even more lame. All in all a kind of limp effort.
"Such a great story!"
I picked this up on a whim and couldn't put it down! It is such a great story with dynamic characters that I was hoping someone will turn it into a mini series or film!
Totally recommend the book if you love stories from the roaring 20's
"Spoiled by the narrator"
How to review this novel? The story is interesting with many unusual elements. The period is generally well evoked. But the author's voice sounds like a soap opera, with overly dramatic language and a leading lady who often behaves so stupidly as to be frustrating. Instead of the strong woman she is meant to be, she sounds like she will take to her fainting couch in the next scene. Add to all that the childish, overly dramatic reading by the narrator and you have a story with good bones totally spoiled by turning it into a cheap romance.
What a lovely story. Beautifully written. I picked this book on a whim and I could not put it down. This book made me laugh and cry and I didn't want it to be over. The narrator did a fine job too. I definitely recommend this book.
I read so many reviews on this novel before choosing it for my ever-precious monthly credit. Man was I BUMMED when I finished this book! I just kept thinking throughout the story, "Why did everyone rate this so high? I feel like a thirteen year old girl would love this book."
Fair warning: there is no real history in this, other than it's time frame. The heroine is constantly under siege by the world around her, and hits almost no real obstacles to overcome it all!
Narration was not terrible, but clearly....underdeveloped. The only character that has a real voice is the heroine, and everyone else in the story is given this clipped, almost newsboy type of style of speech and tone.
Not impressed in the least bit.
I would have developed more of the parents, given them more depth, and therefore given Evie more depth, and of all the things that Evie could have "won" I would have expected it to be her parents love and the author doesn't even give them a chance.
Additionally, the entire existence of Lucille seems to be excessive.
"From Excellent to Totally Disappointing"
Main character was an admirable woman until half way through the book she became a pitifully weak character. The strong, promising story morphed into a weak and disappointing tale.
Performance is excellent.
"Nostalgic look at the life of an strong woman seeking it all in 1920's"
I enjoyed the bits and pieces of Evie's persistence to be an obstetrician. I would recommend this book for daughters, especially mother daughter reading groups. It sparks questions regarding female suffrage,family relationships, maintaining moral standards in the face of adversity and creating one's own rules and boundaries. I would enjoy a sequel.
"A soap opera"
This is truly a soap opera. It doesn't miss a turn or a twist. The heroine remains good and kind no matter how deeply she must suffer. A dysfunctional mother, a distant father & a jealous sister, but she is not damaged by this background. She wants to become a doctor. She must endure all types of abuse from her family, the other male students and doctors who do not think a woman (in 1925) should become a doctor.
She dances at the Ziegfeld Follies to earn her tuition and to support herself, but remains a virgin until the man she loves comes along. The tale goes on & on this way with ups and "terrible" downs for our heroine who remains steadfast & strong through out all her trials & tribulations...and there are so many for this brave young woman.
There is almost nothing historical in this 'historical novel' except the period in which it takes place.
I managed to get through it, but it was hard swallow. Yes, this is a soap opera!!!!
The description of this book does not do it justice. there is more depth to the story then it would lead you to believe. I was pleasantly surprised by the story and the narrator. overall it was a very pleasant experience.
This book would be well-chronicled in Seventeen Magazine. The characters are one-dimensional and the plot is predictable. None of the real struggle of women in the 1920's is depicted. The class and gender struggle is lost in hints so as not to shake the reader too far from the illusory fairytale of the virtuous spinster being swept into the arms of her rich and handsome dreamlover. There is not a subplot in sight to enrich our understanding of the difficulties women endured during this era. I think this book belongs in adolescent fiction so that 10 year old girls can catch an albeit shallow glimpse of our history.
"Fiction but real issues and fun read"
love stories of women's changing roles in society. shout out to Alice Paul early in the book gave me high expectations. really enjoyed this book.
"More than your average chick lit"
I liked the historical and feminist aspects of this novel, about a bright young woman who wants to be an obstetrician, back in 1920s New York when it was virtually unheard of for a woman to attend medical school. I don't know how historically accurate the novel is, but I found it quite gripping. The parts about the Follies were a bit ridiculous, but otherwise the book was very enjoyable, and I wanted to keep listening to past my train stop.
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