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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Review: Windy City Blues by Renee Rosen

Title: Windy City Blues
Author: Renee Rosen
Format: ARC
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: February 28, 2017 (Yesterday!)
Source: Publisher






What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "The bestselling author of "White Collar Girl" and "What the Lady Wants" explores one woman's journey of self-discovery set against the backdrop of a musical and social revolution. 

In the middle of the twentieth century, the music of the Mississippi Delta arrived in Chicago, drawing the attention of entrepreneurs like the Chess brothers. Their label, Chess Records, helped shape that music into the Chicago Blues, the soundtrack for a transformative era in American History.
But, for Leeba Groski, Chess Records was just where she worked... 


Leeba doesn't exactly fit in, but her passion for music and her talented piano playing captures the attention of her neighbor, Leonard Chess, who offers her a job at his new record company. What begins as answering phones and filing becomes much more as Leeba comes into her own as a songwriter and befriends performers like Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Chuck Berry, and Etta James. But she also finds love with a black blues guitarist named Red Dupree. 


With their relationship unwelcome in segregated Chicago and shunned by Leeba's Orthodox Jewish family, she and Red soon find themselves in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement and they discover that, in times of struggle, music can bring people together."


My Two Cents:

In "Windy City Blues," Renee Rosen takes us back to Chicago albeit in a different era than her other books. It is the middle of the 20th century and Leeba, the daughter of orthodox Jewish immigrants, feels out of place. She's taller than most and coming from an immigrant family, she always feels like she has to work to make herself fit in. When she lucks out in getting a job in a record store, it opens a brand new world of music to her. The blues are coming to Chicago and will change the landscape of American music forever.

Having read some of Rosen's other books, I knew that I would be in good hands with this book and I was. Again, she gives us a great heroine. Leeba finds herself and her place in this world through her involvement with the blues movement. She falls in love with Red, a musician. He is black. She is white. Interracial relationships brought a lot of scrutiny during that time period and much of the book is involved with how they deal with a relationship that is not easily accepted and helps them realize that they need to do something in order to protect both their relationship and relationships like theirs.

Music is often political and has a role in history. This is especially true for the blues. The blues come around at a critical time in American history where the world is rapidly changing. The Civil Rights Movement is beginning to take hold during the events of the book and I loved how the author was able to pull in not only the musical history of the time but able to tie it to some of the big events of the time. This serves to create a really immersive experience for the reader!

This is a good book set in a fascinating time! I really enjoyed it.


 

3 comments:

  1. This one sounds really good! I'm adding it to my list now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kim--I hope you'll enjoy Windy City Blues. Get ready to google the artists and listen to their music along the way!

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  2. Thanks for this wonderful review of Windy City Blues--I really put my heart and soul into this one and truly appreciate your support!

    ReplyDelete

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