Glimmer As You Can by Danielle Martin
Hardcover, $26.99, 320 pages
If you read Fiona Davis' Chelsea Girls or Jennifer Weiner's Mrs. Everything, Danielle Martin's debut novel Glimmer As You Can is a book to put on your TBR pile. Set in 1962 Brooklyn, it tells the story of three young woman trying to make their way in world that tells them men should make the decisions for them.
Madeline is trying to a make a living owning a dress shop. She is stuck in a horrible marriage with Fred, an awful man who is a powerful councilman in Brooklyn. Fred is a serial cheater, and has embarrassed Madeline more than once. He lives with other women, and only comes home to Madeline when he needs a respectable wife on his arm to squire to social events.
Madeline has poured her heart and soul into the Starlite, her dress boutique, but one bad word from her now ex-husband Fred and she could lose her clientele. At night, she turns the Starlite into a salon/dance club, where women come to read poetry, discuss literature and current events, and dance the night away.
Elaine is a British young woman who has lived through WWII and dreams of working for the Chronicle newspaper. She is living with her boyfriend Tommy, an alcoholic, and her sister Catherine is crashing with them and hopes to make a living as a singer. Tommy is an unemployed wreck who wants Elaine with him day and night. When Elaine gets an interview with the Chronicle, she has to decide if her dreams are worth upsetting Tommy.
She hangs out at the Starlite, reading the poetry she has written. One day she has a chance encounter with Lisa, a stewardess, whose boyfriend Billy was supposed to pick her up at airport and never showed up. Lisa loves traveling to Italy and Beirut and all the exciting places she gets to go, but when she marries Billy, she will have to leave her job. Is that what she wants for her future?
We learn a lot about how women were forced to rely on men in 1962. They had to choose between being married or having a satisfying career- you couldn't have it both ways. The women in this novel were free to be themselves only at their nightly sojourns to the Starlite, where Madeline created an atmosphere of acceptance, creativity, and joy.
When Madeline's ex-husband threatens the existence of the Starlight, the women band together to keep the one place that brings them joy. As a fan of the Brenda Starr comics growing up, I would have liked to have learned more about Elaine's job as a fact checker, I found that part of the story so interesting. Lisa's job as a stewardess in 1962 was intriguing as well.
The world was changing, and Glimmer As You Can shows us a time when women decided they wanted more and were willing to defy society's expectations to get it.
Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on Danielle Martin's tour. The rest of her stops are here:
Tuesday, November 10th: @welovebigbooksandwecannotlie
Wednesday, November 11th: @mynovelmenagerie
Thursday, November 12th: @baytownbookie
Friday, November 13th: Amy’s Book-et List and @amysbooketlist
Monday, November 16th: Nurse Bookie and @nurse_bookie
Tuesday, November 17th: Hallie Reads
Wednesday, November 18th: Leighellen Landskov and @mommaleighellensbooknook
Thursday, November 19th: Run Wright and @karen_runwright
Friday, November 20th: @mrsboomreads
Friday, November 20th: @readwithmason
Friday, November 27th: Bookchickdi
Monday, November 30th: @vicireads
Monday, November 30th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Tuesday, December 1st: 100 Pages a Day… Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Thursday, December 3rd: @irishgirliereads
Friday, December 4th: @lyon.brit.andthebookshelf
Monday, December 7th: Girl Who Reads
Tuesday, December 8th: @katieneedsabiggerbookshelf
Wednesday, December 9th: Books Cooks Looks
Thursday, December 10th: Eliot’s Eats
Thursday, December 10th: @suethebookie
Friday, December 11th: What is That Book About
Friday, November 27th: @booksloveandunderstanding
Saturday, November 28th: @lifeinlit
Sunday, November 29th: @babygotbooks13
Sunday, November 29th: @shobizreads
Monday, November 30th: @sweethoneyandbrei
Tuesday, December 1st: @shesalwayswithabook
Wednesday, December 2nd: @the_unwined
Thursday, December 3rd: @megsbookclub
Friday, December 4th: @suzysbookshelf
Saturday, December 5th: @liferhi_inspired
Sunday, December 6th: @giuliland
Monday, December 7th: @bluntscissorsbookreviews
Monday, December 7th: @books_with_bethany
Wednesday, December 9th: @thephdivabooks
Thursday, December 10th: @thebookend.diner
Thursday, December 10th: @readinggirlreviews
Thursday, December 10th: @the.caffeinated.reader
Friday, December 11th: @somekindofalibrary
What a time period, I'm always so fascinated at everything in these years. People were braver and made of sterner stuff, weren't they? Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book ToursReplyDelete