Author: Sherry D. Ficklin
Publisher: Crimson Tree Publishing
Published: 19 October 2017
Rating: 5 stars
‘When life makes you a criminal, only love can set you free.’
I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.
I didn’t read any of the novellas before reading Canary Club, but I don’t think you need to. Canary Club is set in the late 1920s New York and follows the lives of two characters, Benny and Masie in alternating POV chapters.
This book was everything I love about YA and Historical Fiction — life-like setting and swoon worthy romance. The 20s is one of my favourite eras to read about and Ficklin nailed it. I felt like I had been sucked into the era from the first page. She weaves in slang with ease; it never felt off-putting or unnatural for any of the characters. The romance was a slow burn, which I adored. I also enjoyed seeing their relationship unfold from both Benny and Masie’s POVs.
Benny and Masie have definitely become two of my favourite characters. I feel like I know them, that I could head down to a club and have dinner with them. In fact, all of the Canary Club gang feel real. Their speech, action and motivations are believable and a reality for this era.
Masie is a strong character throughout the book when see her fight for independence. She’s constantly rebelling against her father and society. She’s the daughter to one the city’s rising crime bosses. Her father keeps her and her brother, JD, under his control as he builds his empire. But Masie doesn’t want to live life on her father’s terms. She has dreams of Ivy League Colleges, faraway places and security. But can she find the strength to leave her family and do what she wants?
I adore Benny. We meet him as he’s let out of jail and on his way to his family, Mum and younger siblings. He is sweet and will do whatever it takes to keep his family fed and healthy. But he has a habit of always winding up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Quickly his luck lands him in the ranks of Dutch Shultz’s gang. This would’ve been a reality for many people at the time. You see the struggle they would’ve gone through. The only work they can find is running liquor to the speakeasies. It’s dangerous but it also pays better than anything else. Luck, drama, love and setbacks are thrown at Benny but never gives up.
I will be pre-ordering a physical copy. This is one of my favourite books of the year. Please grab a copy! Canary Club it’s stunning. It will suck you in, play with your heart and spit you out the other end. I highly recommend!