The Show Girl

Nicola Harrison. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-250-20015-0
Harrison’s stirring latest (after Montauk) follows the coming-of-age of a young Ziegfeld Follies star. Singer and dancer Olive McCormick, 20, moves from Minneapolis to New York City in 1927 after giving up her baby girl for adoption. Olive had become pregnant after being duped into sex by a man who falsely promised to get her a job with the Ziegfeld Follies, and the delivery resulted in a torn uterus. Facing poverty, Olive left for New York to chase her dream. After impressing Mr. Ziegfeld, she finds fame as flirty, negligee-clad Olive Shine of Ziegfeld’s new risqué supper club; her acts are fresh and innovative, and success follows, replete with a Fifth Avenue apartment and adoring men. Olive gets engaged to wealthy businessman Archie Carmichael, but she hasn’t told him she won’t be able to have more children and, fearing his reaction, breaks up with him. Archie and Mr. Ziegfeld lose everything in the 1929 crash, and Olive scrapes by, working in a nightclub. When Olive decides to tell Archie the truth, it marks a pivotal turning point in their lives. Vintage Follies glamour is made lush and evocative, and is complemented by meaty explorations of hardships faceed by women living in the era. Olive is a rebel worth rooting for and she’ll keep readers turning the pages. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/09/2021
Release date: 08/10/2021
Genre: Fiction
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