I’m a recent devotee of Beatriz Williams after falling for the author thanks to Along the Infinite Sea. Since then, I’ve gobbled up her novels as quickly as my library can find them for me. You can read reviews of them here and here And as a funny coincidence, I received an email this morning alerting me that I was selected as a Goodreads Giveaway winner, so I’ll receive an advanced reader copy of her upcoming book The Summer Wives. Dreams do come true!

The Wicked City is a two-story narrative, like most of Williams’ works, guiding you through New York City during Prohibition and Friends era New York by using the same apartment building.

Geneva Kelly (Gin) is forging her own path while trying to put as much distance between her and her bootleggin’ stepfather and country past. While in the 1998 chapters, Ella just moved into a cozy apartment building after discovering some unsavory details about her husband.

The Wicked City caught my attention slowly. I had a hard time deciphering Geneva Kelly’s Appalachian accent, but I tried to remind myself that the story isn’t about me and my comfort level. That’s why we read after all, right?

Aside from that, I found myself not really caring about Ella’s story and rushing through her part to find out what was going on in Gin’s life. I understood how the stories were linked, and I’m hoping more will be revealed in a follow-up novel, but it felt rushed after all the excitement of Gin’s plotline.

Which by the way, can we talk about that for a moment? The plot twists, the danger, and the evil in her story had me devouring page after page and kept me up way past my bedtime. In fact, I was so hyped up after finishing the book, I couldn’t sleep. Now, if the whole book had been about Gin, Billy & Oliver Anson, we’d be in business.

Book Club Questions

  1. Where do you think the rest of the button’s in Gin’s mother’s enamel box came from? How did they end up in the floor of Ella’s apartment?
  2. How did you feel about the conclusion of Ella’s plotline? Was it realistic/unrealistic?
  3. Are there any parallels in Ella and Gin’s respective stories?

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