The Show Girl, a review by Amy

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The Show Girl
Nicola Harrison
400 pages
St. Martin’s Press

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If you love reminiscing over by-gone eras, if you adore strong female protagonists that are flawed yet bold, and if you are in awe of how far society has come from old antiquated thinking, this book is for you.

I love a good jaunt back into history. And the Roaring 20s with all of its charm and mystique always appeals to me. The jazz age atmosphere that Harrison creates throughout this book drew me in….The costumes, dresses, fur coats, red lipstick, and high heels! The bath tub gin! The music and the dancing! It painted a vivid picture of the era, and I loved being immersed in each part. Harrison also adeptly executes the dichotomy of the time period…from the working class family to the exorbitantly wealthy businessmen, from the kitchen table to the risqué nightclubs, from properness and manners to liberated morals and cosmopolitan ways.

Olive is filled with ambition. She is not cut out to be an idle housewife. She longs for adventure and creativity. Olive portrays the modern, independent woman longing to forge her own path and make her own money. She might commence this journey in great naivete, but she is bold in doing so, even when turned out by her own family. Ziegfeld was known to pick out the most perfect specimens for his follies, and Olive was no exception. Her journey to stardom is both charmed and a bit torturous. But it’s not all about how much the crowd loves her (Oh but they do!). It’s also about overcoming past mistakes, learning who you are, and allowing yourself to be loved.

Put on some jazz music, grab you a highball, and enjoy this trip down memory lane.

Happy reading friends!

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