Monday, May 26, 2014

Dancing in the Dark: "The Girls at the Kingfisher Club" by Genevieve Valentine

It's midnight. All over 1920s New York the speakeasies are hopping and girls are letting themselves go wild with this new liberation of shorter hemlines and shorter hair. The wildest of the girls are the 12 beautiful Hamilton sisters. No one knows their real names or identities. They just call them "Princess" when they want a dance. They don't know they're sisters or that they have been kept virtual prisoners by their wealthy, tyrannical father who wanted a son and hid the girls away in the upper floors of the house, one at a time and occasionally in twos, as there are two pairs of twins in this long line of sisters.
Governesses have come and gone. No one has seen their mother in ages. Jo, the oldest sister, had the rare treat of going to the movies and came back with the idea to teach the girls, the older ones, anyway, how to dance like she saw in the film. This releases all the pent-up energy the girls have been holding back and they begin sneaking out at night and exploring the night life. Before long 12 girls wait for the magical words "Cabs leave at midnight" and they arrive at their true home, the Kingfisher Club.
This is a book that captures all the vibrancy of a night on the town. the author, Genevieve Valentine, takes the old fairytale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses and turns it into a new classic. She brings the 20's to life and captures all the desperate urgency of these girls to live and love at top speed during those magical midnight hours. Jo, in particular, is a marvel. Called the General by her sisters, she can keep a cool head and organize their escapes night after night, year after year. There are tense moments, heartbreak and bravado. If you're looking for something different to while away a summer afternoon with then grab a copy of the The Girls at the Kingfisher Club and keep your dancing shoes handy because you just might feel like climbing on the nearest table top and dancing the night away with Jo and the girls!
Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy!

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