Circe by Madeline Miller (♦♦♦♦)

Image
Granddaughter of Oceanus, daughter of Titan Helios and sea nymph Perseid, Circe was different from the start. While her siblings discovered their unique gifts very early on and gained their independence—either by claiming their inheritance, like Perses and Aëstes, or by marriage to a wealthy demigod, like Pasiphäe—, Circe remained among her family in the halls of the gods. Her love for young fisherman Glaucus changed everything. Circe used a potion to transform Glaucus into a worthy suitor. Glaucus, seeing his station changed, fell in love with one Circe’s cousins, a sea nymph named Scylla. Out of jealousy, Circe put a potion on Scylla’s bath and, unintendedly, transformed her into a monster. Circe’s confession forced Helios to go to see Zeus, for witchcraft is something that gods fear can tip the balance of power. Zeus declared an eternal banishment for Circe from the halls of the gods to the island of Aiaia.

Exile was not easy but, as Circe learned, it had its advantages; being away f…

The Jazz Palace by Mary Morris (♦♦♦♦)

Tragedy seems to follow Benny Lehrman since he was a young boy. Now at fifteen, he faces tragedy again on Chicago’s wharf as the SS Eastman has sunk before his very eyes taking with it three siblings of the Chimbrova family who is bidding farewell to the boys who were riding the boat. In this way the destinies of Benny and Pearl intersect, though they won’t meet again until several years later with Benny as a freelancing Jazz musician and Pearl as one of the owners of Chimbrova’s saloon, which has been dubbed The Jazz Palace.

The reader goes on a ride, spanning fifteen years, which starts with a public tragedy on Chicago's shore, follows with the apogee of the Jazz movement, and finally the Great Depression and how it impacted the city and its people. The Jazz Palace is an ode to Chicago, to its blue collar heritage, to the glamour and decadence of the Jazz Age and Prohibition era, to the music that defined the early part of the 20th century which had its roots in New Orleans, and the famous and sometimes shady figures that inhabited the city.

Through The Jazz Palace, the reader gets a glimpse of Chicago under the reigns of mafia bosses, the most prominent of who was Al Capone, who resorted to brutal intimidation tactics, intent on controlling the entertainment establishments.

Prepare to be thoroughly entertained.
                                                                                                  
DISCLAIMER: I received from the publisher a free Galley of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Comments

  1. This is the kind of historical fiction that I enjoy and it covers what is certainly one of the more interesting chapters in the history of Chicago. Sounds like a must read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a quick and bubbly read, Dorothy, but it's more music than history; just a dash of mobsters and madness.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Kindly leave your comments and suggestions.