By Ann Howard Creel
Wow. A female rumrunner (she had me at female rumrunner) during Prohibition makes hard choices with permanent consequences.
This story swept me up, so different from everything else out there. Creel shows us the other side of the roaring 20s. People who scraped by for a living they were happy to make…until a few of their neighbors began to suddenly make a ton of money. More than any of them had ever imagined possible in a lifetime.
As an added bonus, Creel gives us a peek into the posh life of the wealthy at the time. An across-the-tracks relationship, danger on the water, unrequited love, and a sister’s desperation to provide all collide on the Jersey shore circa 1920s.
I can see the harbor and the piers still in my mind. I can hear the rumble of small boats motoring in and out toward the big boats, anchored out just over the line into international waters. I can feel the internal struggle of our main character who is so eminently unlovable to most of the world around her, but for whom I am still deeply sympathetic. I wish I could just give the poor girl a hug. She needs one.
I’ll admit, when I read the climax of this story, my heart was pumping like crazy and I couldn’t fall asleep after it. Could not sleep. Only excellent writing keeps me awake like that. This is excellent writing. 5 stars.