Review: The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams

Title: The Wicked City
Author: Beatriz Williams
Pages: 384
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Free ARC from William Morrow

Rating: B

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from William Morrow via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review (and trust me, honest is always what you’ll get).

Summary: Love doesn’t care about convenience, propriety or good timing. If you want it, sometimes you must throw caution to the wind, and jump in feet first, consequences be damned. In New York City, where life moves fast, this is especially true.

Gin and Ella are women from two different eras – the 20’s and the 90’s – who are connected by a building wrought with history (and perhaps even more). Gin moved to the city from rural Maryland to escape her stepfather, and Ella moved into Gin’s old building to escape a marriage that wasn’t what it seemed. Gin spends her nights at the speakeasy next door, drinking and dancing the night away in the days of Prohibition. 70+ years later, Ella swears she hears jazz music through the laundry room wall, but can find no way to get inside. Both women find love unexpectedly in the same place, decades apart.

Review: Beatriz Williams never disappoints. Stories of complicated (if not impossible) love with a side of historical fiction, served up in her lovely writing style? Just my cup of tea. This recent endeavor, the third of her books that I’ve read so far, takes 2nd place, just after Along the Infinite Sea.

It was a bit mysterious, very character-driven (as always), and I especially liked Gin. She had gumption and smarts and a strong will to make the best of things. Even in the worst of situations, she tried to do the right thing, at great cost to herself. But she was no doormat.

The relationships that develop are not a surprise, but I enjoyed watching them play out. The ending left a little too much to the imagination for me, given this isn’t a series so far as I know. Perhaps the door was being left open for a related story where those questions will be answered. I suppose it’s also possible there were some connections I didn’t make along the way.

One thing that took some getting used to was the shift in style. It was reminiscent of a detective novel/or movie from the 20’s. Completely appropriate given the story, but I wasn’t expecting it, and I don’t have a lot of experience with detective novels, especially from that period. After awhile, I didn’t notice it anymore. But it’s something to be aware of.

As I said, Beatriz Williams did not disappoint. She will continue to be at the top of my reading list, and I look forward to whatever she comes up with next.



2 Replies to “Review: The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams”

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