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.
When she discovers her husband cheating, Ella Hawthorne impulsively moves out of their SoHo loft and into a small apartment in an old Greenwich Village building. Her surprisingly attractive new neighbor, Hector, warns her to stay out of the basement at night. Tenants have reported strange noises after midnight--laughter, clinking glasses, jazz piano--even though the space has been empty for decades. Back in the Roaring Twenties, the place hid a speakeasy.In 1924, Geneva "Gin" Kelly, a smart-mouthed 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 becomes entangled with Prohibition enforcement agent Oliver Anson, who persuades her to help him catch her stepfather Duke Kelly, one of Appalachia's most notorious bootleggers.Headstrong and independent, Gin is no weak-kneed fool. So how can she be falling in love with the taciturn, straight-arrow Revenue agent when she's got Princeton boy Billy Marshall, the dashing son of society doyenne Theresa Marshall, begging to make an honest woman of her? While anything goes in the Roaring Twenties, Gin's adventures will shake proper Manhattan society to its foundations, exposing secrets that shock even this free-spirited redhead--secrets that will echo from Park Avenue to the hollers of her Southern hometown.As Ella discovers more about the basement speakeasy, she becomes inspired by the spirit of her exuberant predecessor, and decides to live with abandon in the wicked city too.