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Wild Women and the Blues

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A Fascinating and Innovative Novel of Historical Fiction Goodreads Debut Novel to Discover & Biggest Upcoming Historical Fiction Books Oprah Magazine, Parade, Ms. Magazine, SheReads, Bustle, BookBub, Frolic, & BiblioLifestyle Most Anticipated Books Marie Claire & Black Business Guide’s Books By Black Writers to Read TODAY & Buzzfeed Books for Bridgerton Fans SheReads Most Ant A Fascinating and Innovative Novel of Historical Fiction Goodreads Debut Novel to Discover & Biggest Upcoming Historical Fiction Books Oprah Magazine, Parade, Ms. Magazine, SheReads, Bustle, BookBub, Frolic, & BiblioLifestyle Most Anticipated Books Marie Claire & Black Business Guide’s Books By Black Writers to Read TODAY & Buzzfeed Books for Bridgerton Fans SheReads Most Anticipated BIPOC Winter Releases 2021 Palm Beach Post Books for Your 2021 Reading List In a stirring and impeccably researched novel of Jazz-age Chicago in all its vibrant life, two stories intertwine nearly a hundred years apart, as a chorus girl and a film student deal with loss, forgiveness, and love…in all its joy, sadness, and imperfections. “Why would I talk to you about my life? I don't know you, and even if I did, I don't tell my story to just any boy with long hair, who probably smokes weed.You wanna hear about me. You gotta tell me something about you. To make this worth my while.” In a stirring and impeccably researched novel of Jazz-age Chicago in all its vibrant life, two stories intertwine nearly a hundred years apart, as a chorus girl and a film student deal with loss, forgiveness, and love…in all its joy, sadness, and imperfections. “Why would I talk to you about my life? I don't know you, and even if I did, I don't tell my story to just any boy with long hair, who probably smokes weed.You wanna hear about me. You gotta tell me something about you. To make this worth my while.” 1925: Chicago is the jazz capital of the world, and the Dreamland Café is the ritziest black-and-tan club in town. Honoree Dalcour is a sharecropper’s daughter, willing to work hard and dance every night on her way to the top. Dreamland offers a path to the good life, socializing with celebrities like Louis Armstrong and filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. But Chicago is also awash in bootleg whiskey, gambling, and gangsters. And a young woman driven by ambition might risk more than she can stand to lose. 2015: Film student Sawyer Hayes arrives at the bedside of 110-year-old Honoree Dalcour, still reeling from a devastating loss that has taken him right to the brink. Sawyer has rested all his hope on this frail but formidable woman, the only living link to the legendary Oscar Micheaux. If he’s right—if she can fill in the blanks in his research, perhaps he can complete his thesis and begin a new chapter in his life. But the links Honoree makes are not ones he’s expecting . . . Piece by piece, Honoree reveals her past and her secrets, while Sawyer fights tooth and nail to keep his. It’s a story of courage and ambition, hot jazz and illicit passions. And as past meets present, for Honoree, it’s a final chance to be truly heard and seen before it’s too late. No matter the cost . . .


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A Fascinating and Innovative Novel of Historical Fiction Goodreads Debut Novel to Discover & Biggest Upcoming Historical Fiction Books Oprah Magazine, Parade, Ms. Magazine, SheReads, Bustle, BookBub, Frolic, & BiblioLifestyle Most Anticipated Books Marie Claire & Black Business Guide’s Books By Black Writers to Read TODAY & Buzzfeed Books for Bridgerton Fans SheReads Most Ant A Fascinating and Innovative Novel of Historical Fiction Goodreads Debut Novel to Discover & Biggest Upcoming Historical Fiction Books Oprah Magazine, Parade, Ms. Magazine, SheReads, Bustle, BookBub, Frolic, & BiblioLifestyle Most Anticipated Books Marie Claire & Black Business Guide’s Books By Black Writers to Read TODAY & Buzzfeed Books for Bridgerton Fans SheReads Most Anticipated BIPOC Winter Releases 2021 Palm Beach Post Books for Your 2021 Reading List In a stirring and impeccably researched novel of Jazz-age Chicago in all its vibrant life, two stories intertwine nearly a hundred years apart, as a chorus girl and a film student deal with loss, forgiveness, and love…in all its joy, sadness, and imperfections. “Why would I talk to you about my life? I don't know you, and even if I did, I don't tell my story to just any boy with long hair, who probably smokes weed.You wanna hear about me. You gotta tell me something about you. To make this worth my while.” In a stirring and impeccably researched novel of Jazz-age Chicago in all its vibrant life, two stories intertwine nearly a hundred years apart, as a chorus girl and a film student deal with loss, forgiveness, and love…in all its joy, sadness, and imperfections. “Why would I talk to you about my life? I don't know you, and even if I did, I don't tell my story to just any boy with long hair, who probably smokes weed.You wanna hear about me. You gotta tell me something about you. To make this worth my while.” 1925: Chicago is the jazz capital of the world, and the Dreamland Café is the ritziest black-and-tan club in town. Honoree Dalcour is a sharecropper’s daughter, willing to work hard and dance every night on her way to the top. Dreamland offers a path to the good life, socializing with celebrities like Louis Armstrong and filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. But Chicago is also awash in bootleg whiskey, gambling, and gangsters. And a young woman driven by ambition might risk more than she can stand to lose. 2015: Film student Sawyer Hayes arrives at the bedside of 110-year-old Honoree Dalcour, still reeling from a devastating loss that has taken him right to the brink. Sawyer has rested all his hope on this frail but formidable woman, the only living link to the legendary Oscar Micheaux. If he’s right—if she can fill in the blanks in his research, perhaps he can complete his thesis and begin a new chapter in his life. But the links Honoree makes are not ones he’s expecting . . . Piece by piece, Honoree reveals her past and her secrets, while Sawyer fights tooth and nail to keep his. It’s a story of courage and ambition, hot jazz and illicit passions. And as past meets present, for Honoree, it’s a final chance to be truly heard and seen before it’s too late. No matter the cost . . .

30 review for Wild Women and the Blues

  1. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    In 1920s, the Stroll, section of State St in Chicago, is the place for Black Chicagoans to socialize, filled with jazz clubs, brimming with life and blazing with lights. Jazz-age Chicago comes alive in this story. Chicago, 2015. Sawyer “is a graduate student chasing a doctorate in media studies.” His documentary thesis focuses on the legendary Black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. His research takes him to Chicago and to an over one-hundred year old woman named Honoree Dalcour. His research brings unex In 1920s, the Stroll, section of State St in Chicago, is the place for Black Chicagoans to socialize, filled with jazz clubs, brimming with life and blazing with lights. Jazz-age Chicago comes alive in this story. Chicago, 2015. Sawyer “is a graduate student chasing a doctorate in media studies.” His documentary thesis focuses on the legendary Black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. His research takes him to Chicago and to an over one-hundred year old woman named Honoree Dalcour. His research brings unexpected twist. 1925. Honoree auditions as a dancer at the Dreamland Café. The most famous place on the Stroll. She is climbing the ladder to success. But that comes with some unexpected events. One evening something happens. Something she shouldn’t have witnessed. The Stroll is a place filled with the best entertainment: the best piano player, the best trumpet player, and the best band in all Chicago including the best chorus girls. But it is also a time of Prohibition when bootlegging whiskey and illegal gambling take place inside the clubs. It is also a thriving hub for gangsters who control the streets. Honoree is “a sharecropper’s daughter, accustomed to hard work and hard times.” She is of strong will. She makes no apologies for her independent mind. She is ambitious. She wants to be one of those proud Black people, “not just getting by but living their lives.” I was riveted by this strong heroine, a sharply painted character. Her climb up and her implications kept me engaged. I loved the prose, the word choice, and all the beef and beeswax (not in literally meaning) that humored me. The story is atmospheric and authentic in its depiction of the time period, place and people. Strong heroine. Engrossing story. Superbly written. Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    cossette

    Trigger warnings: Car crash, abuse, death of a parent, death of a sibling, emetophobia ( ch 13), cancer mention (brief; ch 15), brief mention of suicide attempt (ch 15), assault (ch 33), rape (ch 43) hi, this "review" seems to be getting a lot of traction and i just want to let y'all know that trigger warnings are NOT a spoiler, and i would much rather "spoil" something for people than have it trigger them. anyways please read this post if you're curious/confused about trigger warnings. Trigger warnings: Car crash, abuse, death of a parent, death of a sibling, emetophobia ( ch 13), cancer mention (brief; ch 15), brief mention of suicide attempt (ch 15), assault (ch 33), rape (ch 43) hi, this "review" seems to be getting a lot of traction and i just want to let y'all know that trigger warnings are NOT a spoiler, and i would much rather "spoil" something for people than have it trigger them. anyways please read this post if you're curious/confused about trigger warnings.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sam (AMNReader)

    I'm feeling stupid over this cover. 😍😍 I'm feeling stupid over this cover. 😍😍

  4. 5 out of 5

    Eva K (journeyofthepages)

    Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce is an outstanding historical fiction novel that captures the Chicago jazz scene of the 1920s perfectly! Per-fect-ly. Oh my goodness I love this whole story - Everything about it is totally captivating. I felt like reading this dual timeline narrative (1920s and 2015) was an immersive experience. The incredible writing invokes all your senses - you hear the jazz, see the flappers dancing, feel the rhythm of the music, taste the bootleg hooch and smell the Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce is an outstanding historical fiction novel that captures the Chicago jazz scene of the 1920s perfectly! Per-fect-ly. Oh my goodness I love this whole story - Everything about it is totally captivating. I felt like reading this dual timeline narrative (1920s and 2015) was an immersive experience. The incredible writing invokes all your senses - you hear the jazz, see the flappers dancing, feel the rhythm of the music, taste the bootleg hooch and smell the cigarette smoke wafting through the crowded bars and clubs. The sights and sounds draw the reader in and the mystery and drama keeps them hooked until the very end. Seriously, if you’re interested in a phenomenal read set in this period, pick this one up! You won’t regret it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Janet Rundquist

    Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this to review because I loved it! Vivid characters and though Honoree had a bit of a prickly exterior, it was well-earned and worn. Simultaneously she wore the armor to help with her fierce loyalty towards those she cared about while also taking care of herself and not only surviving, but thriving. I loved reading her story. Added bonus, the time period! Bryce's language for both time periods was fantastic. I especially loved the lexicon for the 20 Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this to review because I loved it! Vivid characters and though Honoree had a bit of a prickly exterior, it was well-earned and worn. Simultaneously she wore the armor to help with her fierce loyalty towards those she cared about while also taking care of herself and not only surviving, but thriving. I loved reading her story. Added bonus, the time period! Bryce's language for both time periods was fantastic. I especially loved the lexicon for the 20s. Can we please bring back the word "zozzled" for drunk?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Klepper

    Gripping historical fiction that takes the reader into Chicago's Black Belt and the speakeasies of 1925. "Wild Women and the Blues" weaves two stories—one of a grieving film student in 2015, the other of a 1920s showgirl the student is researching. While I went into the book expecting to see thorough research and a peek into a time and place I was unfamiliar with (my expectations were met, and then some!), I hadn't anticipated that it would be mystery and suspense that kept me turning the pages Gripping historical fiction that takes the reader into Chicago's Black Belt and the speakeasies of 1925. "Wild Women and the Blues" weaves two stories—one of a grieving film student in 2015, the other of a 1920s showgirl the student is researching. While I went into the book expecting to see thorough research and a peek into a time and place I was unfamiliar with (my expectations were met, and then some!), I hadn't anticipated that it would be mystery and suspense that kept me turning the pages faster and faster. It's Chicago in the 1920s, after all! On top of spinning a riveting tale of ambition, murder, and love, Bryce does a brilliant job of balancing the inventiveness and optimism of the era with the criminal and racial realities that created barriers and challenges for the people who lived in that time. I would recommend this book to fans of Fiona Davis and anyone who loves historical fiction, especially novels with a dual timeline format. Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Publishing for providing an advance copy of this book for review purposes.

  7. 4 out of 5

    T. Rosado

    3 Stars My ultimate desire before starting this book was that the story would equal the STUNNING book cover! In a few ways, yes, but with some caveats. Wild Women and the Blues was a split-time novel set in both 1925 and 2015. While I enjoy dual timelines and discovering the connections between the two, I also like them to work together seamlessly. For the first 30% of this story, I wasn't thrilled with the first person/present tense narrative of the 2015 setting and these chapters often slowed do 3 Stars My ultimate desire before starting this book was that the story would equal the STUNNING book cover! In a few ways, yes, but with some caveats. Wild Women and the Blues was a split-time novel set in both 1925 and 2015. While I enjoy dual timelines and discovering the connections between the two, I also like them to work together seamlessly. For the first 30% of this story, I wasn't thrilled with the first person/present tense narrative of the 2015 setting and these chapters often slowed down the story's progression. I liked Sawyer and that he was a male protagonist, but his POV would sometimes irk me in it's casualness and familiarity. For example, when Sawyer talks directly to the reader, "By the way, I'm like this, because I don't like flying." Ugh. It takes me right out of the story. Honoree's historical setting was written in 3rd person/past tense and the shift between the two narratives could be distracting. It probably didn't help that 1st person/present is my least favorite narrative style and 3rd person/past is my favorite. Honoree's chapters in the past were stronger and more interesting than present day. There was a sense of urgency to her story that kept it moving at a swift pace. Overall, this author had a much stronger voice in 3rd. While I struggled to empathize with Sawyer, I was much more invested in Honoree's outcome. There were a couple time-frame issues and I wasn't fully invested in the romance, but I did really like the historical setting and story arc. This book could have scrapped Sawyer's chapters and further developed Honoree's in order to create an even more compelling historical fiction novel focused on a time and place not often read about. I also would have loved to have felt more emotionally attached to the romance between Honoree and Ezekiel. I felt both narratives could have been better developed in order to create a more immersive overall story, but it had surprised me a couple of times and in the end, I was entertained.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    I loved WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES. This is a great novel about the '20s and the blues. It is about a sharecropper's daughter and her rise to the top, and the rough times in between. I believe this novel will be loved by many! I loved WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES. This is a great novel about the '20s and the blues. It is about a sharecropper's daughter and her rise to the top, and the rough times in between. I believe this novel will be loved by many!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Florence

    I felt breathless when I closed Wild women and the blues. i just went from one surprise to another. The craftmanship of the story appears in every page. the setting, the plot the characters, all is perfect. I learnt a lot too, the end of the 1920s in Chicago were real tough times, beyond the imagination. I will recommend ( I already did) this book and will bear in mind I think foerever all I learnt about the dfficult lives of people of that period. All opinions are mine, I received a copy from N I felt breathless when I closed Wild women and the blues. i just went from one surprise to another. The craftmanship of the story appears in every page. the setting, the plot the characters, all is perfect. I learnt a lot too, the end of the 1920s in Chicago were real tough times, beyond the imagination. I will recommend ( I already did) this book and will bear in mind I think foerever all I learnt about the dfficult lives of people of that period. All opinions are mine, I received a copy from NteGalley.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    An absorbing dual timeline hf novel set in 1925 and 2015. Film student Sawyer Hayes interviews 110-year-old Honoree Dalcour, a sharecropper's daughter who worked hard for fame as a dancer in the hot jazz world of 1925’s Chicago. Through Honoree, we keenly feel what it was like to be a black woman in an era awash in booze, mobs, murder, the jazz of Armstrong, and the films of Oscar Micheaux. A skillfully executed novel that makes one long for the music, if not for the traumatic times. 4 of 5 Star An absorbing dual timeline hf novel set in 1925 and 2015. Film student Sawyer Hayes interviews 110-year-old Honoree Dalcour, a sharecropper's daughter who worked hard for fame as a dancer in the hot jazz world of 1925’s Chicago. Through Honoree, we keenly feel what it was like to be a black woman in an era awash in booze, mobs, murder, the jazz of Armstrong, and the films of Oscar Micheaux. A skillfully executed novel that makes one long for the music, if not for the traumatic times. 4 of 5 Stars Pub Date 30 Mar 2021 #WildWomenandtheBlues #NetGalley Thanks to the author, Kensington Books, and NetGalley for the ARC, in exchange for my honest opinion.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce is an excellent dual timeline historical fiction novel that weaves together ther present day (2015) Sawyer Hayes, a film student dealing with his own turmoil and struggles, and 1925 Honoree Dalcour in her prime smack dab in the middle of the stunning Chicago Jazz scene. Sawyer goes to the feisty and elderly Honoree in hopes of completing research and to answer questions, both personal and professional, so that he can turn a point in his life. Through di Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce is an excellent dual timeline historical fiction novel that weaves together ther present day (2015) Sawyer Hayes, a film student dealing with his own turmoil and struggles, and 1925 Honoree Dalcour in her prime smack dab in the middle of the stunning Chicago Jazz scene. Sawyer goes to the feisty and elderly Honoree in hopes of completing research and to answer questions, both personal and professional, so that he can turn a point in his life. Through discussions and flashbacks to the past, Honoree takes us on a wild, glorious, evocative, and turbulent ride that was 1920s Chicago. Through these revelations, many answers, both to questions asked and those not even considered, are brought to the surface. I was beyond impressed with the author’s ability to weave together two fabulous tales into one sensational story. I loved being right in the middle of the nightclub scene: there was music, drama, love, grit, loss, and I was enthralled from the get-go. I also loved how the story wrapped up. I loved this novel, and highly recommend. 5/5 stars Thank you NetGalley and Kensington for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon and B&N accounts upon publication.

  12. 5 out of 5

    ♥Milica♥

    First off, I love the era, I love blues, and I love this book. I'm so glad I requested it, it's a gem. So why four stars and not five? We'll get to that later. I knew the very second I saw Honoree and how she talked that this was it. The author managed to capture the expressions used in the 1920s with such accuracy. It never felt awkward or took me out of the story. I really appreciate the writing in general, it's a work of art. The characters, most notably Honoree, won my heart. How can a singl First off, I love the era, I love blues, and I love this book. I'm so glad I requested it, it's a gem. So why four stars and not five? We'll get to that later. I knew the very second I saw Honoree and how she talked that this was it. The author managed to capture the expressions used in the 1920s with such accuracy. It never felt awkward or took me out of the story. I really appreciate the writing in general, it's a work of art. The characters, most notably Honoree, won my heart. How can a single character be so amazing? I'm in awe. The whole atmosphere was magnificent as well, it's like I was really there. Certain moments reminded me of the times I sat in the living room with my dad, listening to his blues collection. I knew in my heart that Cab Calloway had to be in this. I knew it, and I was right. He means something special to me (and dad) so I'm absolutely giving bonus points for this. I enjoyed the author's portrayal of other historical figures and how well they tied into the story too. The plot is where it gets tricky. I was fully on board for most of it, but the murder mystery wasn't my favourite. It was a little messy and could've been handled better. And the romance...that's my second complaint. I won't say that it was unneeded, but I wasn't feeling it. The plot twist near the end I wasn't expecting at all. And the ending itself was nice and satisfying, for the most part. BUT!!! I have more questions. And I know poor Sawyer does too. The Sawyer angle was an interesting one and I wish he wasn't so reluctant to share his own story. I wish him a happy life. I would recommend this book to everyone. That's right, everyone. It deserves to be read. *Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review*

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anna Avian

    Took too long to get to any point. Repetitive about Sawyer’s grief and Honoree’s heartbreak but without offering any kind of resolution or closure. The 1920s story had little to do with what the characters were discussing in the present part. Sawyer's story was underdeveloped, I wanted to read more about his relationship with his dad, his sister's ghost and more details regarding his relationship with Lula, which otherwise just felt out of place. All the twists and revelations were crammed up in Took too long to get to any point. Repetitive about Sawyer’s grief and Honoree’s heartbreak but without offering any kind of resolution or closure. The 1920s story had little to do with what the characters were discussing in the present part. Sawyer's story was underdeveloped, I wanted to read more about his relationship with his dad, his sister's ghost and more details regarding his relationship with Lula, which otherwise just felt out of place. All the twists and revelations were crammed up in the last few chapters which made the vast amount of the story feel slow and scattered.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Vera Kurian

    This historical novel flips between two timelines, the Roaring Twenties, and 2015. In the 2015 timeline a young man, Sawyer, is working on a film project for graduate school, trying to piece together what happened to Honoree Dalcour, a scrappy dancer who is trying to work her way up from one speakeasy to another more glamorous speakeasy. (Most of the story focuses on the 1925 storyline, although the mystery being uncovered is also about how the 2015 mystery gets tied together). As someone who is This historical novel flips between two timelines, the Roaring Twenties, and 2015. In the 2015 timeline a young man, Sawyer, is working on a film project for graduate school, trying to piece together what happened to Honoree Dalcour, a scrappy dancer who is trying to work her way up from one speakeasy to another more glamorous speakeasy. (Most of the story focuses on the 1925 storyline, although the mystery being uncovered is also about how the 2015 mystery gets tied together). As someone who is tired of how much historical fiction is set in WWI or WWII, I was happy to read a novel set in the 20s, in particular seeing a different side of the era (Black characters, to be frank). Honoree and her friends (and frenemies) deal with a variety of dangerous situations--being Black in a white-dominated society, crooked cops, creepy bosses, men who lie, and the organized crime shady characters who were involved in the business of hooch. The story focuses on Honoree stumbling into a crime by being in the wrong place at the wrong time and how her is-he-trustworthy-or-not Ex may or may not be involved. A must read for anyone who likes historical fiction, speakeasies, or jazz.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Wild Women and the Blues was pretty interesting to dive into. Even if things got a tad bit confusing towards the end for me. In it, you will meet Sawyer (who will be the Present POV) and Honoree (who will be the Past POV). These two were pretty interesting on their own but once they got together and he was interviewing her for a thesis.. things kind of got crazy. From switching through the years, 2015 back to 1920, Chicago s I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Wild Women and the Blues was pretty interesting to dive into. Even if things got a tad bit confusing towards the end for me. In it, you will meet Sawyer (who will be the Present POV) and Honoree (who will be the Past POV). These two were pretty interesting on their own but once they got together and he was interviewing her for a thesis.. things kind of got crazy. From switching through the years, 2015 back to 1920, Chicago seemed entertaining, soulful, and crazy back then. Now I've always wanted to go to this city and try all the amazing food there but due to Covid, I guess I will be okay with diving into this book instead. Honoree was a fun character to read about. Doesn't mean she had a nice and easy life back then because she really didn't. I love the winter but I'm not sure how I would feel with no heat in zero degree weather. Might not be happy and might freeze to death (but details). Then the whole buildings on fire? Yeah, no - count me out of that please. Other than that, she was the bees knees and I really enjoyed how they said certain phrases back then. Then there's Sawyer, who was getting to what happened back in her good ole days and some of the secrets that came out towards the end blew my mind. It was hard for my brain to comprehend one of them.. which I wont dive into. Great book and easy to devour.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia Artayet Shepherd

    This novel was an amazing stroll through Chicago’s history of jazz music and a beautiful blend of past, present, and how they intertwine.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    this is giving me "the next evelyn hugo" vibes this is giving me "the next evelyn hugo" vibes

  18. 5 out of 5

    Martie Nees Record

    Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Kensington Pub. Date: April 2, 2021 I disagree with the title. The women were not wild, but rather they were living in wild times working as showgirls. It seems to me that the title is to attract certain readers. Bryce transports us to the1920s with vibrant scenes of the Chicago Jazz Age. She gives the reader a vivid feel of the real-life infamous black neighborhood known as the “Stroll,” which was peppered with nightclubs, pool halls, tattoo parlors, speakeasie Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Kensington Pub. Date: April 2, 2021 I disagree with the title. The women were not wild, but rather they were living in wild times working as showgirls. It seems to me that the title is to attract certain readers. Bryce transports us to the1920s with vibrant scenes of the Chicago Jazz Age. She gives the reader a vivid feel of the real-life infamous black neighborhood known as the “Stroll,” which was peppered with nightclubs, pool halls, tattoo parlors, speakeasies, and vaudeville houses. She brings you directly inside the middle of it all. She does a stellar job of filling us in on the early days in the career of the great ‘Satchmo,’ Louis Armstrong. You will feel like a fly on the wall observing how he just loved people. There is a dual timeline, the roaring twenties and in the recent past. Language and slang for both periods are spot on. In 2015, a male film student is researching Oscar Devereaux Micheaux. In the early 20th century, he was a real-life pioneering, African-American author and film director/producer. The student visits a nursing home to interview a 110-year-old (hard to swallow) woman who was a chorus girl in 1925 and danced in one of Micheaux’s films. The novel began to lose my interest when the chorus girl witnesses a murder. This is easy to believe considering that the mob ran the club that she worked in. Right here the story morphs into a sort of crime thriller that is heavy on the sappy side. The feel goes from historical fiction to women’s fiction. It is clear from the novel that Bryce is a gifted writer. She has written reviews and articles for NPR. As much as I enjoyed the historical aspects, I do not enjoy romance novels, which “Wild Girls” borders on. If you do and you enjoy reading about the Jazz Age, you should enjoy the entire book. I received this Advance Review Copy (ARC) novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review Find all my book reviews at: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list… https://books6259.wordpress.com/ https://www.barnesandnoble.com/review… https://www.facebook.com/martie.neesr… https://www.instagram.com/martie6947/ https://www.pinterest.com/martienreco…\ https://www.amazon.com/ https://twitter.com/NeesRecord

  19. 4 out of 5

    isha mitski

    im getting seven husbands of evelyn hugo vibes for some reason. maybe it's the green dress and era. im getting seven husbands of evelyn hugo vibes for some reason. maybe it's the green dress and era.

  20. 4 out of 5

    moh ♡

    this book was wildly captivating and i’m so grateful to have gotten an arc from netgalley! i had a lot of ideas and theories about where sawyer and honoree’s journeys would go and none of them were right - the sign of good af writing! the glimpses this book gave me into 1920s chicago - a period normally so idolized and romanticized - have changed my perception of that era completely both in terms of politics and society. i can’t wait to see this book on the shelves!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Hi yes. so excited that NetGalley approved me for this ARC. that is all... oh how the mighty have fallen.... Set in Chicago in a dual timeline we follow Honoree Delacour in the 1920's jazz age, and Sawyer Hayes in 2015 working on his thesis on the 20's jazz age after suffering the loss of his sister. Sawyer finds a connection to Honoree and his thesis and through his grandma's connections to her is able to meet with her to discuss her time with a notable filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. On paper this had Hi yes. so excited that NetGalley approved me for this ARC. that is all... oh how the mighty have fallen.... Set in Chicago in a dual timeline we follow Honoree Delacour in the 1920's jazz age, and Sawyer Hayes in 2015 working on his thesis on the 20's jazz age after suffering the loss of his sister. Sawyer finds a connection to Honoree and his thesis and through his grandma's connections to her is able to meet with her to discuss her time with a notable filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. On paper this had everything I wanted in a novel, Speakeasies, mystery, 1920's.... but something about it never clicked for me. The voices in each narrative were distinct and different which is good in theory. I never got lost in whose voice I was reading, but the dramatically different tone of them made me frequently feel like I was reading two different stories. The Mystery also sounded promising but I felt it lost steam fairly quickly. It gets set up well and very dramatically and then it is mostly a non-issue for most of the novel. yes the characters think about it but there is not real pressure on the plot from it. The 'big reveal' wasn't shocking (though.... to its credit I dont know that it was meant to be. This wasn't sold as a thriller with big surprises so its entirely possible that it being so easily guessed was intentional) and largely made me wonder what the point of the story actually was. What I think were independently two great stories of Honoree's life in the 1920's, and Sawyer overcoming his grief and moving forward with this life, were bogged died by trying to tell one cohesive story. I wanted a lot more of Sawyer's grief and trauma and never got it because we were only got his story as it related to Honoree's.... he was largely a vessel to hear her story which made it feel mostly unimportant. Overall I do think Bryce is a talented writer, and has amazing ideas but this story didn't work for me Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    4.5/5 I won this ARC in a raffle from Bookish First. I've read and reviewed it in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 1925: It's the Jazz Age in Chicago and Honoree Dalcour has the ambition and the will to make it as far as her heart desires. She has a chance to become a dancer at the Dreamland Cafe, the hottest black and tan club in the city. If she nails her audition, she could open doors to better careers almost anywhere. But things get completed when Ezekiel Bailey, the lo 4.5/5 I won this ARC in a raffle from Bookish First. I've read and reviewed it in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 1925: It's the Jazz Age in Chicago and Honoree Dalcour has the ambition and the will to make it as far as her heart desires. She has a chance to become a dancer at the Dreamland Cafe, the hottest black and tan club in the city. If she nails her audition, she could open doors to better careers almost anywhere. But things get completed when Ezekiel Bailey, the love of her life who disappeared three years ago, suddenly shows up and involved in a scheme with her old boss. 2015: Sawyer Hayes is a film student on his last hope. Honoree Dalcour, the 110 year old resident of a senior center has ties to the legendary filmmaker Oscar Micheaux and is Sawyer's last hope. Still processing the death of his sister a year ago, Sawyer is counting on this project and Honoree to fill in some gaps, but what he uncovers is something altogether different and more than his wildest dreams. This book was amazing. I thought I'd love this and I wasn't wrong. I really love historical fiction, especially when it's not about WWII. Honoree was such a star and I loved her character so much. I wanted only the best things for her and for her and Ezekiel to have another chance. Plus then there was Honoree's and Bessie's friendship which just made me so happy. I love strong female friendships and this delivered. Sawyer was a bit harder to get to know at first. He's very closed off since he's still grieving the death of his sister from a car accident where he was driving. It's impacted his relationship with his father and his grandmother. But seeing him get to know Honoree and Lula (a nurse at the senior center), and seeing him make new connections and go through his grief was so emotional. I am a softie. Chicago in the 1920's wasn't a "nice" place. Filled with gang violence (mainly Capone), prohibition laws, and racism. Bryce didn't back down from any of these graphic/violent details. I loved getting to see this, I feel like there's so much of Chicago's history I have yet to learn and this was an incredible and realistic picture of it. This story is one of family, love and second chances. Highly recommend this one.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca McGee

    This was a fun, twisty turny, engaging tale of the gin soaked jazz age in Chicago. The story, split between 1925 and 2015, follows Sawyer, a film student, as he seeks answers from Honoree, a one time choirs girl, now 110 year lady. She tells her story, her version of it, in 2015, while we get to see it play out in 1925. From the very first page I was hooked. The lavish descriptions of the speakeasies made me feel like I was there. I instantly liked Honoree, Sawyer was meh. His search for answers This was a fun, twisty turny, engaging tale of the gin soaked jazz age in Chicago. The story, split between 1925 and 2015, follows Sawyer, a film student, as he seeks answers from Honoree, a one time choirs girl, now 110 year lady. She tells her story, her version of it, in 2015, while we get to see it play out in 1925. From the very first page I was hooked. The lavish descriptions of the speakeasies made me feel like I was there. I instantly liked Honoree, Sawyer was meh. His search for answers was an interesting one. Though I didn’t like the character I was hooked on his storyline. I officially give this book 4.5 stars. I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Barbara White

    WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES is a stunning debut that weaves together two stories divided by one hundred years. Part mystery, part love story, part historical fiction, it’s an unforgettable tale of passion, courage, survival, redemption, and strong women. And since Al Capone’s henchmen make a few appearances, there’s a murder. Or two. In 2015, we meet Sawyer, a film student struggling to save his thesis amidst crippling grief. When he discovers a box of memorabilia in his semi-estranged grandmother’s WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES is a stunning debut that weaves together two stories divided by one hundred years. Part mystery, part love story, part historical fiction, it’s an unforgettable tale of passion, courage, survival, redemption, and strong women. And since Al Capone’s henchmen make a few appearances, there’s a murder. Or two. In 2015, we meet Sawyer, a film student struggling to save his thesis amidst crippling grief. When he discovers a box of memorabilia in his semi-estranged grandmother’s attic, he thinks he’s found a lost movie from the famous Black film-maker: Oscar Micheaux. Old photos of Micheaux with Louis Armstrong, famous singers and chorus girls, support this idea. On the back of one of the photos, some of the girls are named, including Honoree Dalcour. Still alive at 110, she’s in a Chicago assisted living facility, funded by Sawyer’s grandmother. With no idea of how the two women are connected, he flies across the country eager to interview Honoree, convinced she holds the key to completing his thesis. Nothing goes as expected. Honoree is feisty and opinionated. Before talking about the past, she demands personal information Sawyer doesn’t want to divulge, and then the fun really begins, because we meet Honoree in 1925. And Ms. Bryce’s rich, evocative writing brings the world of speakeasies, gansters, and jazz to life. I loved experiencing Chicago’s Black Renaissance through the opportunities—and danger—it afforded Honoree, an ambitious sharecropper’s daughter with a talent for fashion design and the determination to become a famous dancer. In the present, with her health declining, she and Sawyer become friends. They reveal each other’s stories, and eventually he discovers a family secret with the power to bring them both peace. I tore through this one, despite stopping to re-read every beautifully-crafted sentence. And I can still hear the music and visualize the beaded dresses with plunging necklines. Fantastic.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Holley Perry

    Honestly, I wish I could have witnessed the Jazz Age in Chicago. Denny S. Bryce’s Wild Women and the Blues is set in Chicago circa 1925. Film student, Sawyer Hayes, is trying to discover the history of Honoree Dalcour and how she relates to the filmmaker, Oscar Micheaux. Sawyer has found a film in his grandmother’s attic that may have been made by Michaeux. He is hoping that Honoree can fill in the gaps. Honoree was a chorus girl in 1925. She landed a gig dancing at the Dreamland Cafe. It was a s Honestly, I wish I could have witnessed the Jazz Age in Chicago. Denny S. Bryce’s Wild Women and the Blues is set in Chicago circa 1925. Film student, Sawyer Hayes, is trying to discover the history of Honoree Dalcour and how she relates to the filmmaker, Oscar Micheaux. Sawyer has found a film in his grandmother’s attic that may have been made by Michaeux. He is hoping that Honoree can fill in the gaps. Honoree was a chorus girl in 1925. She landed a gig dancing at the Dreamland Cafe. It was a step or two above the club that she had been working at before with many more opportunities. Honoree became friends with Lil Hardin Armstrong, who was married to Louis Armstrong. If you get a chance, look up the story of Lil Hardin Armstrong. She was a very talented musician and songwriter. One night, Honoree witnessed a homicide at the Dreamland Cafe. She wasn’t sure if anyone saw her hiding. She tried to hide the truth about witnessing the crime for as long as possible. Her ex-boyfriend reappeared in her life around the same time. She still loves him because . . . she just does. Honoree just wants to know what happened to him? Why did he disappear? Can she trust him to help her out of this mess with witnessing a crime? You guys, I loved this book. I never saw the twist at the end. The end was such a surprise. If this book becomes a movie or a Netflix series, I am going to be wherever I have to be to watch it. Wild Women and the Blues could be such a beautiful movie if it’s anything like the book. I always imagine that everyone is beautiful, except a few of the bad guys and one lady. Plus, the music and the dancing would be heavenly and maybe a little sinful. This is Bryce's debut novel. I look forward to reading everything that she writes in the future. Bryce also enjoys the show Outlander and recaps episodes on Frolic Media. (Sorry Ms. Bryce. I'm just so excited that someone loves so many of the same things that I do.) If you are interested in African-American historical fiction during the jazz age - including love, family, gangsters, mystery and so much more- then this book will be ready for you in March 2021. Well, I suppose if you are closed-minded or intolerant of other people living their lives, then maybe you aren't ready to read about love yet. FYI: Here is a list of books about anti-racism: The Good Trade. Read a few and come back to this book because it is wonderful. I received this ebook from NetGalley. All opinions are my own. Obviously. There is an Amazon affiliate link included in this post.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Wild Women and the Blues is definitely my favorite book so far this year. I mean what's not to love? The cover is absolutely stunning. The writing is beautiful. The story - spanning almost a century - is enthralling and gripping from the beginning. The characters were fabulous and vibrant and dazzling. 1920's Jazz era Chicago, a beautiful love story spanning decades, unforgettable characters...give it to me!! The story goes back and forth between Honoree, a 1920's era chorus line dancer and Sawye Wild Women and the Blues is definitely my favorite book so far this year. I mean what's not to love? The cover is absolutely stunning. The writing is beautiful. The story - spanning almost a century - is enthralling and gripping from the beginning. The characters were fabulous and vibrant and dazzling. 1920's Jazz era Chicago, a beautiful love story spanning decades, unforgettable characters...give it to me!! The story goes back and forth between Honoree, a 1920's era chorus line dancer and Sawyer, 2015 film student. Honoree's were my favorite chapters (I prefer third person/past tense). I felt like I was right there on The Stroll, at Ms. Hattie's, in Dreamland Cafe, sitting inside the cold and small kitchenette. The way Honoree told her story, her truth, was so authentic, even the painful and tragic parts. I loved the love between she and Ezekial. Tortured, hurting, and yet somehow still clinging to the love they shared years before. I enjoyed seeing the friendship between Bessie and Honoree develop, their support and devotion to each other was sacred. I love this golden age of the Jazz-era in Chicago - the speakeasies and juke joints, the music, the beautiful costumes, the glitz and the glamour. Sawyer was definitely an integral part of Honoree's story. A film student researching legendary Black filmmaker Oscar Michaeaux, he ran across photos of Honoree Dalcour in his 89 year old grandmother's "long-ago box", along with some other potentially rare and important items that can help him with his pursuit of his doctorate. He forms a bond with 110-year old Honoree through interviewing her at her assisted living facility. During this time, we get to see into his past secrets and how he makes peace with his them. He also unravels the Honoree's past and some shocking secrets are revealed. Wild Women and the Blues is the book I didn't know I needed, but I am so glad I found (thanks, Instagrammers). It gave me all the feels and I definitely got Bernice McFadden vibes. I can tell it was well-researched, I loved the era-appropriate saying and words throughout (ie - beeswax, whangdoodle, hooch). The way the story came together was great. I cannot sing Denny S. Bryces' praises enough. This was an outstanding debut novel. And I cannot wait to see what else she delivers to us readers.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Woc Reader

    The story takes place in two timelines switching between 1925 and 2015 depending on the chapter. Sawyer is a young filmmaker who after suffering from the loss of his sister is trying to finish a film project. After finding an old film reel he believes to be a lost work by the legendary Oscar Micheaux, he decides to visit 110 year old Honoree Dalcour who he believes starred in the film. The story then dips back in Honoree's life in 1925 when she was a chorus girl with big dreams dancing at a run The story takes place in two timelines switching between 1925 and 2015 depending on the chapter. Sawyer is a young filmmaker who after suffering from the loss of his sister is trying to finish a film project. After finding an old film reel he believes to be a lost work by the legendary Oscar Micheaux, he decides to visit 110 year old Honoree Dalcour who he believes starred in the film. The story then dips back in Honoree's life in 1925 when she was a chorus girl with big dreams dancing at a run down speakeasy in Chicago. As Honoree often notes after something good happens the bad is soon to follow. And this woman experiences a lot of bad. Just when it seems she's able to escape the harsh club owner who thinks he has ownership over her and get a better dancing gig and a chance at glamor and luxury, she's sucked into the world of mobsters and violence. She witnesses a murder, gets caught up with an old lover, and is helping a new friend survive. There's a lot of twists and that moment when things started to make sense and the past and present intertwine was well plotted. It took a few chapters to get going but this ended up being a riveting tale. The bouncing between the past and the presence somewhat reminded me of The Girl with the Hazel Eyes by Callie Browning which I read last year. I like that Bryce includes references to her research in her author's note in case you want to do your own dive into history. There's also discussion questions in case you want to make this a book club or group read. I received an arc from Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review. Originally posted at https://womenofcolorreadtoo.blogspot....

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cookie

    Wild Women and the Blues is a historical fiction novel set in the jazz-age of 1920s Chicago. This was the age of speakeasys, crime, bootlegging, and gangsters like Al Capone. Honoree Dalcour is a chorus girl dancer trying to make her way to bigger and better stages. Just when she thinks she is getting the big break that she has been looking for, she gets swept up into some drama involving some dangerous people. In 2015, Sawyer Hayes discovers some photos and film that seems to feature Honoree an Wild Women and the Blues is a historical fiction novel set in the jazz-age of 1920s Chicago. This was the age of speakeasys, crime, bootlegging, and gangsters like Al Capone. Honoree Dalcour is a chorus girl dancer trying to make her way to bigger and better stages. Just when she thinks she is getting the big break that she has been looking for, she gets swept up into some drama involving some dangerous people. In 2015, Sawyer Hayes discovers some photos and film that seems to feature Honoree and he has to find answers for his doctoral project. He interviews Honoree, now 110 years old, to see if she can give him anything he can use for his project. This story has a dual timeline, jumping between Honoree's perspective in 1925 and Sawyer's perspective in 2015. This was an entertaining read with lots of dramatic turns. There is romance, heartbreak, and family drama in this book. I haven't read many books set in this era and it was interesting to see that backdrop from the perspective of black woman. Denny S. Bryce's characters are vivid and full of life in this book. It's a slow-paced story for the first half of the book and the pace picks up in the second half. Thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    HOLY GUACAMOLE, I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING!! While being an absolute QUEEN at foreshadowing throughout this book, Bryce delivers some devastating twists that squeezed my heart and boggled my mind! Seriously though, the foreshadowing… kept me on the edge of my seat wondering “what is gonna happen THIS time?!” Honoree Dalcour is a chorus girl, dancing in the jazz scene of 1925 Chicago’s Black Belt. She’s determined to make her own opportunities in life and achieve the fame which the world seems buil HOLY GUACAMOLE, I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING!! While being an absolute QUEEN at foreshadowing throughout this book, Bryce delivers some devastating twists that squeezed my heart and boggled my mind! Seriously though, the foreshadowing… kept me on the edge of my seat wondering “what is gonna happen THIS time?!” Honoree Dalcour is a chorus girl, dancing in the jazz scene of 1925 Chicago’s Black Belt. She’s determined to make her own opportunities in life and achieve the fame which the world seems built to keep her from. In the era of Louis Armstrong and Al Capone, Honoree is finally thrust into the life she’s worked so hard for, full of jazz celebrities and opportunity, but also gangsters and gamblers, as dangerous as it is alluring. And then everything changes when her past shows up, tall and handsome, and she really has to decide who she can trust or she might lose everything. I simply loved getting to unravel Honoree’s mystery partially through her own eyes in 1925 and partially through Sawyer’s in 2015. Without a doubt, the 1925 POV was my favorite, and not just because I love historical fiction. I adore Honoree as a character, and I love that we can see her strong will and her refusal to accept the role she’s been handed by life, right from her first conversation with Bessie. The romance was unrolled exquisitely. The whole story was full of heartache, fury, and suspense, but also touching moments and wonderful redemption. I was in awe when the two storylines finally pieced together. These characters are gonna hang around in my head for awhile, that’s for sure! Thank you to Kensington Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jeannine Perez

    There are books that just touch your heart and this is one of them.. for various reasons. I cannot wait to read more by Denny. New favorite author.

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