Didn't want it to end!

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juliecracchiolo Avatar


I knew from the minute I saw the cover of the book that I wanted to read it. I find the 1920s period fascinating. I was hooked from the first page and didn’t want to put it down.

The books starts in 2015. Sawyer Hayes goes to visit 110-year-old Honoree Dalcour in her Chicago nursing home. She is the last living link to famed African-American movie director Oscar Micheaux. The fact that Oscar is a real forgotten Hollywood legend endeared me more to this story, and I spent an afternoon researching him (thank heavens for the internet!).

Sawyer thinks he has found a bit of lost film history---a snippet of a film from the 1920s that stars Honoree---in his grandmother’s long-ago box. Mostly, Sawyer is working in Paris with his dad, waiting for the film snippet to be restored and trying to finish his doctrate in media studies.
Honoree is guarded by one of the nurses, Lula. He smooth talks his way into see Honoree, and it doesn’t hurt that his grandmother has been paying the bills at Chicago’s Bronzeville Senior Living Facility since 1985. Honoree is a rather ornery old woman. She may be ancient, but she is still mentally alert and feisty. She loves to give Sawyer a hard time, questioning and accusing him at every opportunity.

The novels moves back and forth between 2015 and 1925, also in Chicago, and shifts from Sawyer’s point of view to Honoree’s. There readers are immersed in Honoree’s life and her ambitions, along with seedy bars, dancing girls and yes, gangsters. To start, she is a dancer at Miss Hattie’s…a seedy joint with its share of fascinating characters. Her dream, though, is to dance at the Dreamland Café…and that dream may be in reach.

But a lot happens to try to stop Honoree. The man she has always loved and disappeared from her life three years ago, Ezekiel, reappears. She has also become the quasi-guardian to the most innocent young woman she has ever met, Bessie Palmer.

Things really heat up when Honoree witnesses a murder at Miss Hattie’s. Now she not only has all those other things to worry about, but she has to keep a low profile to stay a step ahead of the Capone gang.

Author Bryce’s debut novel is a quick read. I look forward to more novels by her. I wish there had been more about Oscar Micheaux...something at the end. That would have deepened the story a lot...for me. Therefore, “Wild Women and the Blues” receives 4 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world.