Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Review: Side by Side by Jenni L. Walsh

Title: Side by Side
Author: Jenni L. Walsh
Format: ARC
Publisher: Forge
Publish Date: June 5, 2018 (Today!)
Source: Publisher

What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "Texas: 1931. It’s the height of the Great Depression, and Bonnie is miles from Clyde. He’s locked up, and she’s left waiting, their dreams of a life together dwindling every day.

When Clyde returns from prison damaged and distant, unable to keep a job, and dogged by the cops, Bonnie knows the law will soon come for him. But there’s only one road forward for her.

If the world won't give them their American Dream, they'll just have to take it."

My Two Cents:

In "Side by Side," Jenni L. Walsh dives into the story that we are all probably more familiar with when it comes to "Bonnie and Clyde." Two young lovers who captivated the country with their crimes of robbing banks and shaking up towns all over the country. They kept law enforcement on their toes before dying in an ambush. As Walsh breathes life into the story, it gets a little more complex. This is a great historical fiction ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat, no matter if you know how it ends or not.

This is the second book in Walsh's duology and while you don't need to have read "Becoming Bonnie" in order to enjoy "Side by Side," it's so interesting to see how Bonnie got to where she is in "Side by Side" that I highly suggest reading the first book first. In this book, we see Bonnie as she is about to go down in infamy. She is still the same girl that dreams of a farm and a white picket fence and she sees the hijinks and crimes that she is involved in as a means to an end. She doesn't like what she and the Barrow Gang are doing but she loves Clyde and will follow him anywhere and do anything for him.

I loved the historical detail in the book. It is easy to see that while who Bonnie and Clyde were as people is largely lost to history, why there is still so much fascination about their crimes. The country was riveted as the crimes were happening and about the hide and seek game that followed. Even with so much else going on in the country at the time, Bonnie and Clyde made headlines over and over again.

The book is well-written. I especially liked how the dialogue was written. Walsh has a great hand for writing realistic sounding dialogue with so much of the fun slang from the era. It really helped bring me into the book. The book is nicely paced and very exciting as Bonnie and Clyde's cat and mouse game with the police transpires!



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