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Wild Women and the Blues

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A Fascinating and Innovative Novel of Historical Fiction In a stirring and impeccably researched novel of Jazz-age Chicago in all its vibrant life, two stories intertwine nearly a hundred years apart, as a chorus girl and a film student deal with loss, forgiveness, and love…in all its joy, sadness, and imperfections. “Why would I talk to you about my life? I don't know you, A Fascinating and Innovative Novel of Historical Fiction In a stirring and impeccably researched novel of Jazz-age Chicago in all its vibrant life, two stories intertwine nearly a hundred years apart, as a chorus girl and a film student deal with loss, forgiveness, and love…in all its joy, sadness, and imperfections. “Why would I talk to you about my life? I don't know you, and even if I did, I don't tell my story to just any boy with long hair, who probably smokes weed. You wanna hear about me. You gotta tell me something about you. To make this worth my while.” 1925: Chicago is the jazz capital of the world, and the Dreamland Café is the ritziest black-and-tan club in town. Honoree Dalcour is a sharecropper’s daughter, willing to work hard and dance every night on her way to the top. Dreamland offers a path to the good life, socializing with celebrities like Louis Armstrong and filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. But Chicago is also awash in bootleg whiskey, gambling, and gangsters. And a young woman driven by ambition might risk more than she can stand to lose. 2015: Film student Sawyer Hayes arrives at the bedside of 110-year-old Honoree Dalcour, still reeling from a devastating loss that has taken him right to the brink. Sawyer has rested all his hope on this frail but formidable woman, the only living link to the legendary Oscar Micheaux. If he’s right—if she can fill in the blanks in his research, perhaps he can complete his thesis and begin a new chapter in his life. But the links Honoree makes are not ones he’s expecting... Piece by piece, Honoree reveals her past and her secrets, while Sawyer fights tooth and nail to keep his. It’s a story of courage and ambition, hot jazz and illicit passions. And as past meets present, for Honoree, it’s a final chance to be truly heard and seen before it’s too late. No matter the cost...


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A Fascinating and Innovative Novel of Historical Fiction In a stirring and impeccably researched novel of Jazz-age Chicago in all its vibrant life, two stories intertwine nearly a hundred years apart, as a chorus girl and a film student deal with loss, forgiveness, and love…in all its joy, sadness, and imperfections. “Why would I talk to you about my life? I don't know you, A Fascinating and Innovative Novel of Historical Fiction In a stirring and impeccably researched novel of Jazz-age Chicago in all its vibrant life, two stories intertwine nearly a hundred years apart, as a chorus girl and a film student deal with loss, forgiveness, and love…in all its joy, sadness, and imperfections. “Why would I talk to you about my life? I don't know you, and even if I did, I don't tell my story to just any boy with long hair, who probably smokes weed. You wanna hear about me. You gotta tell me something about you. To make this worth my while.” 1925: Chicago is the jazz capital of the world, and the Dreamland Café is the ritziest black-and-tan club in town. Honoree Dalcour is a sharecropper’s daughter, willing to work hard and dance every night on her way to the top. Dreamland offers a path to the good life, socializing with celebrities like Louis Armstrong and filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. But Chicago is also awash in bootleg whiskey, gambling, and gangsters. And a young woman driven by ambition might risk more than she can stand to lose. 2015: Film student Sawyer Hayes arrives at the bedside of 110-year-old Honoree Dalcour, still reeling from a devastating loss that has taken him right to the brink. Sawyer has rested all his hope on this frail but formidable woman, the only living link to the legendary Oscar Micheaux. If he’s right—if she can fill in the blanks in his research, perhaps he can complete his thesis and begin a new chapter in his life. But the links Honoree makes are not ones he’s expecting... Piece by piece, Honoree reveals her past and her secrets, while Sawyer fights tooth and nail to keep his. It’s a story of courage and ambition, hot jazz and illicit passions. And as past meets present, for Honoree, it’s a final chance to be truly heard and seen before it’s too late. No matter the cost...

30 review for Wild Women and the Blues

  1. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    In 1920s, the Stroll, section of State St in Chicago, is the place for Black Chicagoans to socialize, filled with jazz clubs, brimming with life and blazing with lights. Jazz-age Chicago comes alive in this story. Chicago, 2015. Sawyer “is a graduate student chasing a doctorate in media studies.” His documentary thesis focuses on the legendary Black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. His research takes him to Chicago and to an over one-hundred year old woman named Honoree Dalcour. His research brings unex In 1920s, the Stroll, section of State St in Chicago, is the place for Black Chicagoans to socialize, filled with jazz clubs, brimming with life and blazing with lights. Jazz-age Chicago comes alive in this story. Chicago, 2015. Sawyer “is a graduate student chasing a doctorate in media studies.” His documentary thesis focuses on the legendary Black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. His research takes him to Chicago and to an over one-hundred year old woman named Honoree Dalcour. His research brings unexpected twist. 1925. Honoree auditions as a dancer at the Dreamland Café. The most famous place on the Stroll. She is climbing the ladder to success. But that comes with some unexpected events. One evening something happens. Something she shouldn’t have witnessed. The Stroll is a place filled with the best entertainment: the best piano player, the best trumpet player, and the best band in all Chicago including the best chorus girls. But it is also a time of Prohibition when bootlegging whiskey and illegal gambling take place inside the clubs. It is also a thriving hub for gangsters who control the streets. Honoree is “a sharecropper’s daughter, accustomed to hard work and hard times.” She is of strong will. She makes no apologies for her independent mind. She is ambitious. She wants to be one of those proud Black people, “not just getting by but living their lives.” I was riveted by this strong heroine, a sharply painted character. Her climb up and her implications kept me engaged. I loved the prose, the word choice, and all the beef and beeswax (not in literally meaning) that humored me. The story is atmospheric and authentic in its depiction of the time period, place and people. Strong heroine. Engrossing story. Superbly written. Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    cossette

    Trigger warnings: Car crash, abuse, death of a parent, death of a sibling, emetophobia ( ch 13), cancer mention (brief; ch 15), brief mention of suicide attempt (ch 15), assault (ch 33), rape (ch 43) hi, this "review" seems to be getting a lot of traction and i just want to let y'all know that trigger warnings are NOT a spoiler, and i would much rather "spoil" something for people than have it trigger them. anyways please read this post if you're curious/confused about trigger warnings. Trigger warnings: Car crash, abuse, death of a parent, death of a sibling, emetophobia ( ch 13), cancer mention (brief; ch 15), brief mention of suicide attempt (ch 15), assault (ch 33), rape (ch 43) hi, this "review" seems to be getting a lot of traction and i just want to let y'all know that trigger warnings are NOT a spoiler, and i would much rather "spoil" something for people than have it trigger them. anyways please read this post if you're curious/confused about trigger warnings.

  3. 5 out of 5

    K.J. Charles

    Strong historical novel about the 1920s Chicago jazz scene and a young Black woman trying to make it as a dancer/performer. It's vividly written, and mostly doesn't wear the research too heavily, and the era comes across really well in the glamour, hardships, and dangers. Honoree is a great character--deeply flawed, fighting through an incredibly hard life and a lot of hard knocks, determined to get ahead and being held back by, what else, bloody men. It's a dual timeline book with a modern stra Strong historical novel about the 1920s Chicago jazz scene and a young Black woman trying to make it as a dancer/performer. It's vividly written, and mostly doesn't wear the research too heavily, and the era comes across really well in the glamour, hardships, and dangers. Honoree is a great character--deeply flawed, fighting through an incredibly hard life and a lot of hard knocks, determined to get ahead and being held back by, what else, bloody men. It's a dual timeline book with a modern strand of film student Sawyer asking the incredibly old Honoree about her life. The modern part didn't land for me as well, in part because I wasn't sure what it was really for--the mystery to be resolved isn't that big--but mostly because Honoree and her milieu were so compelling and interesting that I wanted the whole book to be about that. I suppose one can't blame the author for not writing her book precisely to my specification mumble mumble. Outstanding cover, too. Goodness that's nice.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I was so excited to read this book and expected to love every second of it. I thought this was going to be about chorus girls leading wild lives, but that's not really what we got. First, I had a hard time caring about Sawyer's storyline. I felt like his character was underdeveloped and we only had that storyline to see how it would intersect with Honoree's in the end. Every time we got taken out of the past, I didn't care about what Sawyer was doing, especially because nothing really happened e I was so excited to read this book and expected to love every second of it. I thought this was going to be about chorus girls leading wild lives, but that's not really what we got. First, I had a hard time caring about Sawyer's storyline. I felt like his character was underdeveloped and we only had that storyline to see how it would intersect with Honoree's in the end. Every time we got taken out of the past, I didn't care about what Sawyer was doing, especially because nothing really happened except for him asking to talk to Honoree more. I felt like it wasn't really necessary for this story. Going to the past, the beginning had me hooked. Honoree was trying out to be a chorus girl and witnesses a murder she shouldn't have. Unfortunately, this hook only lasted a moment until the book carried on and didn't really deal with that murder and mystery until 70% into the book. I was disappointed and not really intrigued by the story all throughout the middle. Honoree and her ex had the potential of having a fleshed out and interesting romance, but nothing was really developed and I still don't know how I was supposed to feel about them at the end. It felt like it should have been a romance in Honoree's storyline, but it just wasn't. But I feel like we were supposed to see it as a romance? I don't know. I also felt like the secret that was revealed at the end wasn't as shocking as it was intended and didn't really add anything to Honoree's story. This, in addition to the romance and the mystery plot, felt like it needed more and I felt unsatisfied with how everything played out. I was just left wanting more from this story.

  5. 4 out of 5

    WhiskeyintheJar

    3.5 stars I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Wild Women and the Blues is a historical fiction story that starts us in 2015 from the first person point-of-view of Sawyer Hayes as he tries to finish his thesis. He thinks he has discovered an Oscar Micheaux film in his grandmother's things and while the film is being restored, he travels to Chicago to interview Honoree Dalcour, a chorus girl he thin 3.5 stars I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Wild Women and the Blues is a historical fiction story that starts us in 2015 from the first person point-of-view of Sawyer Hayes as he tries to finish his thesis. He thinks he has discovered an Oscar Micheaux film in his grandmother's things and while the film is being restored, he travels to Chicago to interview Honoree Dalcour, a chorus girl he thinks is in the film going by other clues in his grandmother's box. When Sawyer meets the one hundred and ten year old Honoree, we then get chapters from her third person point-of-view during her life in 1925 Chicago. Honoree's chapters start off with some who's who of the people that lived at the time (Lil Hardin Armstrong, Josephine Baker, Capone) that felt a little name-dropping at first but ultimately evened off to create the atmosphere and shape a vibrant personality for the setting. Something happened in Chicago in 1925. Something she doesn't want me to know. Doesn't want anyone to know. Even though he starts us off, Sawyer's chapters are less than Honoree's and 1925 Chicago quickly becomes the star of the show. Honoree's first chapters set up the atmosphere but as they go on, they slowly meld with Sawyer's plot as relationships, friendships, and love bring together the story. Honoree is nineteen and alone in Chicago trying to move up in the dancing chorus line world, she gets a try-out at the Dreamland Cafe and from there good and bad plague her decisions and outcomes. Ezekiel, a childhood sweetheart, reappears in her life after disappearing three years ago, she witnesses a murder, and befriends a younger girl, Bessie Palmer, who eventually moves in with her. Every time she had a shot at the good, the bad was on its heels. Honestly, if Sawyer's point-of-views were left out and this was just told completely from Honoree's point-of-view and maybe just telling the story to her nurse Lula, I wouldn't have minded. Sawyer interrupted at times that I was getting into 1925 Chicago and I'm not sure I was ever fully immersed in his family issues. The death of his sister, him seeing her ghost felt out of place and unresolved, and his strained relationship with his dad eventually fit into the overall story but fairly minuscule as the star was clearly the events happening in Honoree's past. Love was better the third time around. This novel did have the ability to sweep you away and provided an atmosphere that brought Chicago in the 1920s alive. From the music, to Bronzeville, the Policy rackets, mobsters, and nightlife, Wild Women and the Blues brings it all to life through the people that lived it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    izzy

    not all historical fiction books need a ‘today’ section with the descendants exploring the past and i absolutely, positively stand by that. this novel would’ve been much stronger if purely focused on the intrigue of honoree’s life.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sam (AMNReader)

    I'm feeling stupid over this cover. 😍😍 I'm feeling stupid over this cover. 😍😍

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lisa of Troy

    Chicago. 1920's. Honoree Dalcour is a sharecropper's daughter who dreams of becoming the best dancer in the world. With no support, she is about to make all of her dreams come true. As luck would have it, Honoree finds herself in the midst of a criminal enterprise. What will happen to Honoree? Will she be able to finally make all of her dreams come true? The hallmarks of a great fictional book involve 2 elements: 1) imperfect, realistic, relatable characters and 2) good storytelling. This book h Chicago. 1920's. Honoree Dalcour is a sharecropper's daughter who dreams of becoming the best dancer in the world. With no support, she is about to make all of her dreams come true. As luck would have it, Honoree finds herself in the midst of a criminal enterprise. What will happen to Honoree? Will she be able to finally make all of her dreams come true? The hallmarks of a great fictional book involve 2 elements: 1) imperfect, realistic, relatable characters and 2) good storytelling. This book had both in spades. There were a couple of twists in this book which were pretty unexpected, and this book was probably the best historical fiction that I have read. It provided enough information to get you interested and onto Wikipedia to look up additional information. I also enjoyed that Honoree was a strong female character. The only downside to this book was that I thought that the ending was a bit abrupt and that I didn't read it as part of a book club because I would have loved to discuss it with my friends. This book would also be perfect for a movie adaptation!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eva K (journeyofthepages)

    Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce is an outstanding historical fiction novel that captures the Chicago jazz scene of the 1920s perfectly! Per-fect-ly. Oh my goodness I love this whole story - Everything about it is totally captivating. I felt like reading this dual timeline narrative (1920s and 2015) was an immersive experience. The incredible writing invokes all your senses - you hear the jazz, see the flappers dancing, feel the rhythm of the music, taste the bootleg hooch and smell the Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce is an outstanding historical fiction novel that captures the Chicago jazz scene of the 1920s perfectly! Per-fect-ly. Oh my goodness I love this whole story - Everything about it is totally captivating. I felt like reading this dual timeline narrative (1920s and 2015) was an immersive experience. The incredible writing invokes all your senses - you hear the jazz, see the flappers dancing, feel the rhythm of the music, taste the bootleg hooch and smell the cigarette smoke wafting through the crowded bars and clubs. The sights and sounds draw the reader in and the mystery and drama keeps them hooked until the very end. Seriously, if you’re interested in a phenomenal read set in this period, pick this one up! You won’t regret it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    ale ♡

    historical fiction in the early 1900's? count me in, of course historical fiction in the early 1900's? count me in, of course

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Woc Reader

    The story takes place in two timelines switching between 1925 and 2015 depending on the chapter. Sawyer is a young filmmaker who after suffering from the loss of his sister is trying to finish a film project. After finding an old film reel he believes to be a lost work by the legendary Oscar Micheaux, he decides to visit 110 year old Honoree Dalcour who he believes starred in the film. The story then dips back in Honoree's life in 1925 when she was a chorus girl with big dreams dancing at a run The story takes place in two timelines switching between 1925 and 2015 depending on the chapter. Sawyer is a young filmmaker who after suffering from the loss of his sister is trying to finish a film project. After finding an old film reel he believes to be a lost work by the legendary Oscar Micheaux, he decides to visit 110 year old Honoree Dalcour who he believes starred in the film. The story then dips back in Honoree's life in 1925 when she was a chorus girl with big dreams dancing at a run down speakeasy in Chicago. As Honoree often notes after something good happens the bad is soon to follow. And this woman experiences a lot of bad. Just when it seems she's able to escape the harsh club owner who thinks he has ownership over her and get a better dancing gig and a chance at glamor and luxury, she's sucked into the world of mobsters and violence. She witnesses a murder, gets caught up with an old lover, and is helping a new friend survive. There's a lot of twists and that moment when things started to make sense and the past and present intertwine was well plotted. It took a few chapters to get going but this ended up being a riveting tale. The bouncing between the past and the presence somewhat reminded me of The Girl with the Hazel Eyes by Callie Browning which I read last year. I like that Bryce includes references to her research in her author's note in case you want to do your own dive into history. There's also discussion questions in case you want to make this a book club or group read. I received an arc from Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review. Originally posted at https://womenofcolorreadtoo.blogspot....

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anna Avian

    Took too long to get to any point. Repetitive about Sawyer’s grief and Honoree’s heartbreak but without offering any kind of resolution or closure. The 1920s story had little to do with what the characters were discussing in the present part. Sawyer's story was underdeveloped, I wanted to read more about his relationship with his dad, his sister's ghost and more details regarding his relationship with Lula, which otherwise just felt out of place. All the twists and revelations were crammed up in Took too long to get to any point. Repetitive about Sawyer’s grief and Honoree’s heartbreak but without offering any kind of resolution or closure. The 1920s story had little to do with what the characters were discussing in the present part. Sawyer's story was underdeveloped, I wanted to read more about his relationship with his dad, his sister's ghost and more details regarding his relationship with Lula, which otherwise just felt out of place. All the twists and revelations were crammed up in the last few chapters which made the vast amount of the story feel slow and scattered.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    I loved WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES. This is a great novel about the '20s and the blues. It is about a sharecropper's daughter and her rise to the top, and the rough times in between. I believe this novel will be loved by many! I loved WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES. This is a great novel about the '20s and the blues. It is about a sharecropper's daughter and her rise to the top, and the rough times in between. I believe this novel will be loved by many!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Janet Rundquist

    Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this to review because I loved it! Vivid characters and though Honoree had a bit of a prickly exterior, it was well-earned and worn. Simultaneously she wore the armor to help with her fierce loyalty towards those she cared about while also taking care of herself and not only surviving, but thriving. I loved reading her story. Added bonus, the time period! Bryce's language for both time periods was fantastic. I especially loved the lexicon for the 20 Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this to review because I loved it! Vivid characters and though Honoree had a bit of a prickly exterior, it was well-earned and worn. Simultaneously she wore the armor to help with her fierce loyalty towards those she cared about while also taking care of herself and not only surviving, but thriving. I loved reading her story. Added bonus, the time period! Bryce's language for both time periods was fantastic. I especially loved the lexicon for the 20s. Can we please bring back the word "zozzled" for drunk?

  15. 5 out of 5

    T. Rosado

    3 Stars My ultimate desire before starting this book was that the story would equal the STUNNING book cover! In a few ways, yes, but with some caveats. Wild Women and the Blues was a split-time novel set in both 1925 and 2015. While I enjoy dual timelines and discovering the connections between the two, I also like them to work together seamlessly. For the first 30% of this story, I wasn't thrilled with the first person/present tense narrative of the 2015 setting and these chapters often slowed do 3 Stars My ultimate desire before starting this book was that the story would equal the STUNNING book cover! In a few ways, yes, but with some caveats. Wild Women and the Blues was a split-time novel set in both 1925 and 2015. While I enjoy dual timelines and discovering the connections between the two, I also like them to work together seamlessly. For the first 30% of this story, I wasn't thrilled with the first person/present tense narrative of the 2015 setting and these chapters often slowed down the story's progression. I liked Sawyer and that he was a male protagonist, but his POV would sometimes irk me in it's casualness and familiarity. For example, when Sawyer talks directly to the reader, "By the way, I'm like this, because I don't like flying." Ugh. It takes me right out of the story. Honoree's historical setting was written in 3rd person/past tense and the shift between the two narratives could be distracting. It probably didn't help that 1st person/present is my least favorite narrative style and 3rd person/past is my favorite. Honoree's chapters in the past were stronger and more interesting than present day. There was a sense of urgency to her story that kept it moving at a swift pace. Overall, this author had a much stronger voice in 3rd. While I struggled to empathize with Sawyer, I was much more invested in Honoree's outcome. There were a couple time-frame issues and I wasn't fully invested in the romance, but I did really like the historical setting and story arc. This book could have scrapped Sawyer's chapters and further developed Honoree's in order to create an even more compelling historical fiction novel focused on a time and place not often read about. I also would have loved to have felt more emotionally attached to the romance between Honoree and Ezekiel. I felt both narratives could have been better developed in order to create a more immersive overall story, but it had surprised me a couple of times and in the end, I was entertained.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Klepper

    Gripping historical fiction that takes the reader into Chicago's Black Belt and the speakeasies of 1925. "Wild Women and the Blues" weaves two stories—one of a grieving film student in 2015, the other of a 1920s showgirl the student is researching. While I went into the book expecting to see thorough research and a peek into a time and place I was unfamiliar with (my expectations were met, and then some!), I hadn't anticipated that it would be mystery and suspense that kept me turning the pages Gripping historical fiction that takes the reader into Chicago's Black Belt and the speakeasies of 1925. "Wild Women and the Blues" weaves two stories—one of a grieving film student in 2015, the other of a 1920s showgirl the student is researching. While I went into the book expecting to see thorough research and a peek into a time and place I was unfamiliar with (my expectations were met, and then some!), I hadn't anticipated that it would be mystery and suspense that kept me turning the pages faster and faster. It's Chicago in the 1920s, after all! On top of spinning a riveting tale of ambition, murder, and love, Bryce does a brilliant job of balancing the inventiveness and optimism of the era with the criminal and racial realities that created barriers and challenges for the people who lived in that time. I would recommend this book to fans of Fiona Davis and anyone who loves historical fiction, especially novels with a dual timeline format. Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Publishing for providing an advance copy of this book for review purposes.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Florence

    I felt breathless when I closed Wild women and the blues. i just went from one surprise to another. The craftmanship of the story appears in every page. the setting, the plot the characters, all is perfect. I learnt a lot too, the end of the 1920s in Chicago were real tough times, beyond the imagination. I will recommend ( I already did) this book and will bear in mind I think foerever all I learnt about the dfficult lives of people of that period. All opinions are mine, I received a copy from N I felt breathless when I closed Wild women and the blues. i just went from one surprise to another. The craftmanship of the story appears in every page. the setting, the plot the characters, all is perfect. I learnt a lot too, the end of the 1920s in Chicago were real tough times, beyond the imagination. I will recommend ( I already did) this book and will bear in mind I think foerever all I learnt about the dfficult lives of people of that period. All opinions are mine, I received a copy from NteGalley.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    An absorbing dual timeline hf novel set in 1925 and 2015. Film student Sawyer Hayes interviews 110-year-old Honoree Dalcour, a sharecropper's daughter who worked hard for fame as a dancer in the hot jazz world of 1925’s Chicago. Through Honoree, we keenly feel what it was like to be a black woman in an era awash in booze, mobs, murder, the jazz of Armstrong, and the films of Oscar Micheaux. A skillfully executed novel that makes one long for the music, if not for the traumatic times. 4 of 5 Star An absorbing dual timeline hf novel set in 1925 and 2015. Film student Sawyer Hayes interviews 110-year-old Honoree Dalcour, a sharecropper's daughter who worked hard for fame as a dancer in the hot jazz world of 1925’s Chicago. Through Honoree, we keenly feel what it was like to be a black woman in an era awash in booze, mobs, murder, the jazz of Armstrong, and the films of Oscar Micheaux. A skillfully executed novel that makes one long for the music, if not for the traumatic times. 4 of 5 Stars Pub Date 30 Mar 2021 #WildWomenandtheBlues #NetGalley Thanks to the author, Kensington Books, and NetGalley for the ARC, in exchange for my honest opinion.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. You have dancing, juke joints, classy and not so classy dames, love, gangsters, and lies. I appreciated Bryce's desire to research everything to paint a picture of an era that existed with enough thrills and chills to make you gasp at every turn. At first, I wasn't sure about the dual perspective of the young Sawyer and the old Honoree. After a while, I understood why the author chose to tell her tale in this fashion. As I read, I saw myself as a bit of Honoree (a I thoroughly enjoyed this book. You have dancing, juke joints, classy and not so classy dames, love, gangsters, and lies. I appreciated Bryce's desire to research everything to paint a picture of an era that existed with enough thrills and chills to make you gasp at every turn. At first, I wasn't sure about the dual perspective of the young Sawyer and the old Honoree. After a while, I understood why the author chose to tell her tale in this fashion. As I read, I saw myself as a bit of Honoree (and Trudy) wanting to dance at the classy joints and stand as a peripheral to the lives of the musicians, socialites, actors, and other famous people of the time. Though some of her action's cause a roll or two of my eyes, by the story's end, you'll nod in understanding. Recommended! 4/5

  20. 4 out of 5

    ♥Milica♥

    First off, I love the era, I love blues, and I love this book. I'm so glad I requested it, it's a gem. So why four stars and not five? We'll get to that later. I knew the very second I saw Honoree and how she talked that this was it. The author managed to capture the expressions used in the 1920s with such accuracy. It never felt awkward or took me out of the story. I really appreciate the writing in general, it's a work of art. The characters, most notably Honoree, won my heart. How can a singl First off, I love the era, I love blues, and I love this book. I'm so glad I requested it, it's a gem. So why four stars and not five? We'll get to that later. I knew the very second I saw Honoree and how she talked that this was it. The author managed to capture the expressions used in the 1920s with such accuracy. It never felt awkward or took me out of the story. I really appreciate the writing in general, it's a work of art. The characters, most notably Honoree, won my heart. How can a single character be so amazing? I'm in awe. The whole atmosphere was magnificent as well, it's like I was really there. Certain moments reminded me of the times I sat in the living room with my dad, listening to his blues collection. I knew in my heart that Cab Calloway had to be in this. I knew it, and I was right. He means something special to me (and dad) so I'm absolutely giving bonus points for this. I enjoyed the author's portrayal of other historical figures and how well they tied into the story too. The plot is where it gets tricky. I was fully on board for most of it, but the murder mystery wasn't my favourite. It was a little messy and could've been handled better. And the romance...that's my second complaint. I won't say that it was unneeded, but I wasn't feeling it. The plot twist near the end I wasn't expecting at all. And the ending itself was nice and satisfying, for the most part. BUT!!! I have more questions. And I know poor Sawyer does too. The Sawyer angle was an interesting one and I wish he wasn't so reluctant to share his own story. I wish him a happy life. I would recommend this book to everyone. That's right, everyone. It deserves to be read. *Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review*

  21. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    2.5 stars - I really wanted to like this one.. the 20s is one of my favorite time periods, the plot sounded great, and look at that gorgeous cover! However, I found it to be totally uninteresting. I didn't like any of the characters, I especially hated the modern day POV and Sawyer - I mostly just skim read those chapters. I know I'll probably be in the minority here, but I just couldn't make any kind of emotional connection with the story and it just came off as boring. Even the "twist" at the 2.5 stars - I really wanted to like this one.. the 20s is one of my favorite time periods, the plot sounded great, and look at that gorgeous cover! However, I found it to be totally uninteresting. I didn't like any of the characters, I especially hated the modern day POV and Sawyer - I mostly just skim read those chapters. I know I'll probably be in the minority here, but I just couldn't make any kind of emotional connection with the story and it just came off as boring. Even the "twist" at the end was just stupid and the explanation for it was pretty pointless.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce is an excellent dual timeline historical fiction novel that weaves together ther present day (2015) Sawyer Hayes, a film student dealing with his own turmoil and struggles, and 1925 Honoree Dalcour in her prime smack dab in the middle of the stunning Chicago Jazz scene. Sawyer goes to the feisty and elderly Honoree in hopes of completing research and to answer questions, both personal and professional, so that he can turn a point in his life. Through di Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce is an excellent dual timeline historical fiction novel that weaves together ther present day (2015) Sawyer Hayes, a film student dealing with his own turmoil and struggles, and 1925 Honoree Dalcour in her prime smack dab in the middle of the stunning Chicago Jazz scene. Sawyer goes to the feisty and elderly Honoree in hopes of completing research and to answer questions, both personal and professional, so that he can turn a point in his life. Through discussions and flashbacks to the past, Honoree takes us on a wild, glorious, evocative, and turbulent ride that was 1920s Chicago. Through these revelations, many answers, both to questions asked and those not even considered, are brought to the surface. I was beyond impressed with the author’s ability to weave together two fabulous tales into one sensational story. I loved being right in the middle of the nightclub scene: there was music, drama, love, grit, loss, and I was enthralled from the get-go. I also loved how the story wrapped up. I loved this novel, and highly recommend. 5/5 stars Thank you NetGalley and Kensington for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon and B&N accounts upon publication.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Zsa Zsa

    The cover lured me in. The title intrigued me. The summary fascinated me. It was bound to happen that I would like this book. I am usually on guard when it comes to third person POV, cause I am looking for the author or the narrator to make mistakes or take sides and then my mind will be made that this is probably not a good story. If the main character is an African American woman during 1920s and Jazz era, then I will be extra cautious with the story. Then a young boy comes into the picture wit The cover lured me in. The title intrigued me. The summary fascinated me. It was bound to happen that I would like this book. I am usually on guard when it comes to third person POV, cause I am looking for the author or the narrator to make mistakes or take sides and then my mind will be made that this is probably not a good story. If the main character is an African American woman during 1920s and Jazz era, then I will be extra cautious with the story. Then a young boy comes into the picture with his own baggage and I am wary that I would not like this book. But I read on, and the more I read, the more I want to read, all the while scared for everyone to lose their loved ones or lose themselves, cause as far as anyone knows anything that can go wrong, will for the people in this story and yet as Honoree would say, the good comes with the bad, always. Maybe, the ending was the author putting it right, maybe it was a dream, maybe it was too good to be true. Or Maybe, it was all in the way we look at it. I am just glad this story was told, even at times where it seemed it is cliche, it was not, because even though we only delved into a few months of her life where most of everything happened to her. I like to see the heroine in action, making decisions, no matter how wrong they are. It only makes her more relatable. It is better than standing around and watching things happen to her. A lot of issues were touched upon but didn’t have the time to be explored more. Maybe in the next books, but still it was quite an interesting read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Vera Kurian

    This historical novel flips between two timelines, the Roaring Twenties, and 2015. In the 2015 timeline a young man, Sawyer, is working on a film project for graduate school, trying to piece together what happened to Honoree Dalcour, a scrappy dancer who is trying to work her way up from one speakeasy to another more glamorous speakeasy. (Most of the story focuses on the 1925 storyline, although the mystery being uncovered is also about how the 2015 mystery gets tied together). As someone who is This historical novel flips between two timelines, the Roaring Twenties, and 2015. In the 2015 timeline a young man, Sawyer, is working on a film project for graduate school, trying to piece together what happened to Honoree Dalcour, a scrappy dancer who is trying to work her way up from one speakeasy to another more glamorous speakeasy. (Most of the story focuses on the 1925 storyline, although the mystery being uncovered is also about how the 2015 mystery gets tied together). As someone who is tired of how much historical fiction is set in WWI or WWII, I was happy to read a novel set in the 20s, in particular seeing a different side of the era (Black characters, to be frank). Honoree and her friends (and frenemies) deal with a variety of dangerous situations--being Black in a white-dominated society, crooked cops, creepy bosses, men who lie, and the organized crime shady characters who were involved in the business of hooch. The story focuses on Honoree stumbling into a crime by being in the wrong place at the wrong time and how her is-he-trustworthy-or-not Ex may or may not be involved. A must read for anyone who likes historical fiction, speakeasies, or jazz.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Wild Women and the Blues was pretty interesting to dive into. Even if things got a tad bit confusing towards the end for me. In it, you will meet Sawyer (who will be the Present POV) and Honoree (who will be the Past POV). These two were pretty interesting on their own but once they got together and he was interviewing her for a thesis.. things kind of got crazy. From switching through the years, 2015 back to 1920, Chicago s I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Wild Women and the Blues was pretty interesting to dive into. Even if things got a tad bit confusing towards the end for me. In it, you will meet Sawyer (who will be the Present POV) and Honoree (who will be the Past POV). These two were pretty interesting on their own but once they got together and he was interviewing her for a thesis.. things kind of got crazy. From switching through the years, 2015 back to 1920, Chicago seemed entertaining, soulful, and crazy back then. Now I've always wanted to go to this city and try all the amazing food there but due to Covid, I guess I will be okay with diving into this book instead. Honoree was a fun character to read about. Doesn't mean she had a nice and easy life back then because she really didn't. I love the winter but I'm not sure how I would feel with no heat in zero degree weather. Might not be happy and might freeze to death (but details). Then the whole buildings on fire? Yeah, no - count me out of that please. Other than that, she was the bees knees and I really enjoyed how they said certain phrases back then. Then there's Sawyer, who was getting to what happened back in her good ole days and some of the secrets that came out towards the end blew my mind. It was hard for my brain to comprehend one of them.. which I wont dive into. Great book and easy to devour.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia Artayet Shepherd

    This novel was an amazing stroll through Chicago’s history of jazz music and a beautiful blend of past, present, and how they intertwine.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    this is giving me "the next evelyn hugo" vibes this is giving me "the next evelyn hugo" vibes

  28. 5 out of 5

    Martie Nees Record

    Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Kensington Pub. Date: April 2, 2021 I disagree with the title. The women were not wild, but rather they were living in wild times working as showgirls. It seems to me that the title is to attract certain readers. Bryce transports us to the1920s with vibrant scenes of the Chicago Jazz Age. She gives the reader a vivid feel of the real-life infamous black neighborhood known as the “Stroll,” which was peppered with nightclubs, pool halls, tattoo parlors, speakeasie Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Kensington Pub. Date: April 2, 2021 I disagree with the title. The women were not wild, but rather they were living in wild times working as showgirls. It seems to me that the title is to attract certain readers. Bryce transports us to the1920s with vibrant scenes of the Chicago Jazz Age. She gives the reader a vivid feel of the real-life infamous black neighborhood known as the “Stroll,” which was peppered with nightclubs, pool halls, tattoo parlors, speakeasies, and vaudeville houses. She brings you directly inside the middle of it all. She does a stellar job of filling us in on the early days in the career of the great ‘Satchmo,’ Louis Armstrong. You will feel like a fly on the wall observing how he just loved people. There is a dual timeline, the roaring twenties and in the recent past. Language and slang for both periods are spot on. In 2015, a male film student is researching Oscar Devereaux Micheaux. In the early 20th century, he was a real-life pioneering, African-American author and film director/producer. The student visits a nursing home to interview a 110-year-old (hard to swallow) woman who was a chorus girl in 1925 and danced in one of Micheaux’s films. The novel began to lose my interest when the chorus girl witnesses a murder. This is easy to believe considering that the mob ran the club that she worked in. Right here the story morphs into a sort of crime thriller that is heavy on the sappy side. The feel goes from historical fiction to women’s fiction. It is clear from the novel that Bryce is a gifted writer. She has written reviews and articles for NPR. As much as I enjoyed the historical aspects, I do not enjoy romance novels, which “Wild Girls” borders on. If you do and you enjoy reading about the Jazz Age, you should enjoy the entire book. I received this Advance Review Copy (ARC) novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review Find all my book reviews at: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list… https://books6259.wordpress.com/ https://www.barnesandnoble.com/review… https://www.facebook.com/martie.neesr… https://www.instagram.com/martie6947/ https://www.pinterest.com/martienreco…\ https://www.amazon.com/ https://twitter.com/NeesRecord

  29. 5 out of 5

    isha

    im getting seven husbands of evelyn hugo vibes for some reason. maybe it's the green dress and era. im getting seven husbands of evelyn hugo vibes for some reason. maybe it's the green dress and era.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    This is a book that I think is probably very good but that it turned out I was not in the mood for. Will try to come back at a better time, because I'd like to see what happens. This is a book that I think is probably very good but that it turned out I was not in the mood for. Will try to come back at a better time, because I'd like to see what happens.

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