LAST NIGHT AT THE BLUE ANGEL
A solid debut that throws a curve ball at the end, Rotert’s novel sprinkles passion, determination and struggle into its chapters. Caution, loving mothers: Naomi’s behavior will send your blood pressure through the roof. Overall, the story shifts nicely from Naomi and her daughter Sophia’s point of view, allowing all details to fall into place. But, at times, certain passages seem incongruent with the book’s time frame and the emphasis on love and sexuality comes on a bit strong.
Naomi’s relationship misadventures and bold move to pursue her dreams leads her to Chicago in the ‘50s. A decade later, she puts her singing career first and takes a lackadaisical approach to motherhood, all while her past attempts to catch up with her present. (WILLIAM MORROW, Jul., 336 pp., $25.99)