Valentine’s creative retelling of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” is as vibrant and colorful as the era — so evocative, well drawn, well cast and well played that readers will be enthralled. This is a story of sisterhood, a passion for freedom and love that will resonate with many women. The novel calls readers to cheer on these girls as they strive for independence, and Valentine’s ability to make them each distinct and appealing sets this tale apart. Simply a delight to read!

The Hamilton sisters are kept hidden away by their overbearing father who’s embarrassed at having 12 girls and no sons to inherit his business. The eldest, Jo, becomes a surrogate mother to her sisters. She teaches them to dance and to sneak out of their house, grab a taxi and rush off to speakeasies like the Swan and the Kingfisher Club. They follow Jo’s rules: give no one your name, your address or a promise. One night, they are caught in a raid and Jo comes face to face with a man from her past: the bootlegger she fell in love with a decade ago. Jo makes sacrifices for her sisters and, in the end, must find her own road to freedom. (ATRIA, Jun., 288 pp., $24.00)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin