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Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction, America
Moving from her coming-of-age memoir to another kind of coming- of-age novel, Rosen blows open the speakeasy doors of Prohibition-era Chicago. The music, the dancing, the bobbed-hair flappers, the guns, the raids, the bootlegging and the danger set the vivid backdrop for a story “Boardwalk Empire” fans won’t want to miss. In simple first-person prose, Rosen sweeps readers into her story of a nice girl caught in the Beer Wars who grows up to be a formidable woman.
At 18, spunky Vera Abram-owitz leaves her comfortable home to set out on her own. By day she’s a typist, but when the sun sets she drinks and dances the night away in speakeasies. Vera is unaware that there is a war brewing between Al Capone’s South Side gang and Dion O’Banion’s North Side mobsters over the city’s booze trade.
After Shep Green rescues Vera during a raid, he shows her a life beyond her dreams. Vera soon becomes friends with two gangsters’ molls. But when she encounters Tony Liolli, one of Capone’s boys, Vera is hopelessly drawn to him. Vera knows Tony isn’t the kind of guy to settle down, and when their affair leads to pregnancy she quickly marries Shep. Vera is trapped in the world of the mob, drawn into covering a murder and risking her life when everything comes crashing down on St. Valentine’s Day. (NAL, Nov., 416 pp., $15.00)
Reviewed By: Kathe Robin
Published: November 2013