I am naturally drawn to this genre, as it is something that always sparked curiosity; what would it have been like to be a woman of that decade, where it was risqué to be a lady who defies the cultural standards of proper conservation. Minus the whoring around, I would love to have witnessed such a turn in history for women. To be a part of the underground activities of jazz, dancing, booze and adventure! I know it sounds silly, because such outlandish behavior from a girl who braved the bob and dresses, were often frowned upon by their family. But as a history nut, the turn of events of the worldly tradition, is just too appealing for a wish to observe in the present of that act.
I enjoy the historical accuracy of this book, and how the story takes place in multiple girl’s point of views. You have the girl, Gloria, who is what everyone in school wishes to be; beautiful, intelligent, president of the class, and even has the most handsome guy to herself. She is to wed him at the end of the school year in order of an arranged wedding in attempts to save the family money on both sides. But she yearns to break free of the pressure from peers and family, which is so hard on her, she breaks. She’s desperate to release the fearless flapper within her, to live once in the name of adventure before she marries the, oh-so boring traditional young man.
Then you have Gloria’s 18 year old cousin, Clara, who is just out of a New York prison for her time as a fearless flapper exploits, who is forced by her parents to live with her cousin to relearn the values of being a conservative and bright young lady. She dreads moving there, as she is forced to set an example for young Gloria, feeding her lies how she wishes to be a nun, or a school teacher. Gloria finds this cousin repulsively boring, but has no idea the truth behind Clara’s racy, revolting ways.
Then you have Gloria’s best friend, who is the rebel of the book, and not ashamed of her flapper ways. She is the poster child for the modern-day flapper of the 20’s. Though her love for her best friend is strong, she grows jealous as Gloria makes her transformation to a flapper girl, how easy she makes it look, how beautiful she is, and the guys who drool over her.
This book comes to life with a well painted picture of the dynamic 1920’s; full of risqué escapades, bold interracial relationships, law-breaking exploits, love, music, jealousy, and a first-hand experience of what it is like to release the chains of a customary and old-fashioned world, to becoming an independent young woman on fire.