Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “Red Letter Days” by Sarah=Jane Stratford, Berkley, February 25, 2020
Sarah-Jane Stratford, Author of “Red Letter Days” has written an intense, intriguing, captivating, compelling and thought-provoking novel. The Genre for this novel is Historical Fiction. The timeline for this story is set in the nineteen fifties, during the McCarthy trials. The author describes her characters as complex and complicated. There are betrayals, and some characters are desperate to survive at any cost.
Phoebe Adler, a young woman from New York is hoping to write for television. This is at a time when women are not supposed to get roles based on merit. It angers many men that a talented woman writer could possibly take a job away that belonged to him. It is also a time of prejudice and fear as writers, and other artistic people are being blacklisted for being Communists.
Phoebe has been successful in her writing attempts and is shocked when she is fired and blacklisted as a Communist sympathizer. Phoebe has been trying to also support her ailing sister, who is in a hospital. Feeling, she has no choice, Phoebe leaves America and heads for London.
Hannah Wolfson is a successful American producer in London. Helen does hire “blacklisted: Americans, although it is very dangerous. She has to take certain precautions. Some Londoners resent that the Americans get the jobs. In London, just like America, women are looked down upon, expected to marry, and have children, and not take jobs away from men.
Hannah does hire Phoebe, and they try to right what is wrong in society, but is it the correct timing? Little do they realize the danger, and the persistence of those who are seeking revenge.
I appreciate the amount of research that the author has done to provide the details in this story. The author vividly describes the witch hunts and prejudice in this story. I highly recommend this thought-provoking novel for those readers who appreciate Historical Fiction.