AUTHOR: Jillian Larkin
LENGTH: 448 pages
SUMMARY: Gloria Carmody has had everything handed to her for her entire life. As she stares down her destiny of marriage to a respectable businessman and a continuing life as a Chicago socialite. But the world around her has changed. Prohibition has created an underground world of booze and crime. Gloria and her privileged friends dip their toes into the world of speakeasies and gangsters, tempted by the excitement and danger it presents. Gloria’s cousin Clara, who has come to live with Gloria, has firsthand knowledge of the consequences of the flapper life. As Gloria delves deeper into Chicago’s speakeasy scene, she begins to wonder if her planned future is what she really wants. Her true love, jazz, begins to call to her and Gloria makes a choice that will change her life forever. Through Gloria’s, Clara’s, and others’ stories in The Flapper series, readers get a glimpse of the Jazz Age in its heyday and a taste of what it was like for young women as they began to test the boundaries of society’s expectations and explore their independence.
BRIDGE: These books would be the perfect bridge for The Great Gatsby. Male and female readers alike will enjoy the taste of the jazz, speakeasies, and mobsters. The story is interesting and fast-paced will well-developed characters. Once immersed in Larkin’s 1920s Chicago, they will slip easily into Gatsby’s world. Larkin has created a superb environment in which to explore this glittering historical period complete with the unspoken social caste system. The distinct diction of the 1920s Larkin has used is a great jumping off point for a discussion of diction and its uses in writing realistic historical fiction. And her attention to detail really helps cement the realism of her 1920s setting. This could also be a source for independent study on different aspects of this historical period: fashion, politics, and social development.
READERS: Any reader who enjoys historical fiction will like these books. There’s enough action and betrayal to entertain action-adventure fans as well as some requited and unrequited love to appease the romance fans. And, as a series, it can help improve fluency and stamina by keeping readers turning pages.
OTHER TITLES: Readers who enjoyed this book will also enjoy The Luxe series by Godbersen, Dave at Night by Levine, or The Storyteller’s Daughter by Thesman.