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Beatriz Williams is rapidly becoming one of my favorite authors. She's a master at telling two compelling stories at once. In her newest, she moves away from the upper society Schuyler family, and introduces us to Gin Kelly, a flapper recently moved to New York City. She's escaped Appalachia and terrible stepfather. Gin quickly finds that leaving her home town isn't as simple as just leaving town. Gin is a chameleon straddling three worlds, the world of NYC speakeasies, the world of her Appalachian routes, and her day job working in the typing pool. She's also one of Williams's most intriguing heroines.— John
Bestselling author Beatriz Williams brings together two generations of women inside a Greenwich Village apartment--a flapper hiding an extraordinary past, and a modern-day Manhattanite forced to start her life anew.
When she discovers her banker husband has been harboring a secret life, Ella Gilbert escapes their sleek SoHo loft for a studio in a quaint building in Greenwich Village. But her new refuge isn't quite what it seems. Her charismatic musician neighbor, Hector, warns her to stay out of the basement after midnight, when a symphony of mysterious noise strikes up--laughter, clinking glasses, jazz piano, the occasional bloodcurdling scream--even though it's stood empty for decades. Back in the Roaring Twenties, the building hosted one of the city's most notorious speakeasies.
In 1924, Geneva "Gin" Kelly, a quick-witted flapper from the hills of western Maryland, is a regular at this Village hideaway known as the Christopher Club. Caught up in a raid, Gin lands in the office of Prohibition enforcement agent Oliver Anson, who persuades her to help him catch her stepfather, Duke Kelly, one of Appalachia's most notorious bootleggers.
Sired by a wealthy New York scion who abandoned her showgirl mother, Gin is nobody's fool. She strikes a risky bargain with the taciturn, straight-arrow Revenue agent, even though her on-again, off-again Princeton beau, Billy Marshall, wants to make an honest woman of her and heal the legacy of her hardscrabble childhood. Gin's alliance with Anson rattles Manhattan society, exposing sins that shock even this free-spirited redhead--sins that echo from the canyons of Wall Street to the mountain hollers of her hometown.
As Ella unravels the strange history of the building--and the family thread that connects her to Geneva Kelly--she senses the Jazz Age spirit of her incandescent predecessor invading her own shy nature, in ways that will transform her life in the wicked city. . .