I cannot give this book enough praise. I believe Mr. Weeks hit the mark perfectly when he described the era and the culture in the poor, dilapidated sections of the southern cities. He lets you into the grungier part of town where vice is expected and the cost of getting what you want or need can be very high. This is not society of The Great Gatsby though the motives and desires may have been the same. Gatsby gave you the cleaned up version.
He introduces us to Baby Teegarten, a -would -be -jazz singer just trying to break into the places where that type of music is allowed. The girl is very young and very small but, with a big voice, enough to make those church women cry. All she wants is to sing jazz and eventually get to New York to perform where she expects to find fame and fortune. But, she must start somewhere so here in rural Mississippi and New Orleans she tries to get her break. The problem isn’t talent but she is too white for those speakeasies.
Emily Ann, in many ways more child than woman, is experiencing her coming of age and the realistic emotions and desires many of us experience go much further when her curiosity leads her into many dangerous and unsavory situations. However, this girl never gives up.
This is a must read book but, be warned of the realistic portrayal of sex and violence if such things would offend you. The book is worth the read in spite of these things. I highly recommend it.