Lindas Book Obsession Reviews “Etiquette for Runaways” by Liza Nash Taylor, Blackstone Publishing, August 2020, for Suzy Approved Book Tours
About the Book
A sweeping Jazz Age tale of regret, ambition, and redemption inspired by true events, including the Great Moonshine Conspiracy Trial of 1935 and Josephine Baker’s 1925 Paris debut in Le Revue Nègre
- May Marshall is determined to spend the dog days of summer in self-imposed exile at her father’s farm in Keswick, Virginia. Following a naive dalliance that led to heartbreak and her expulsion from Mary Baldwin College, May returns home with a shameful secret only to find her father’s orchard is now the site of a lucrative moonshining enterprise. Despite warnings from the one man she trusts—her childhood friend Byrd—she joins her father’s illegal business. When authorities close in and her father, Henry, is arrested, May goes on the run.
May arrives in New York City, determined to reinvent herself as May Valentine and succeed on her own terms, following her mother’s footsteps as a costume designer. The Jazz Age city glitters with both opportunity and the darker temptations of cocaine and nightlife. From a start mending sheets at the famed Biltmore Hotel, May falls into a position designing costumes for a newly formed troupe of African American entertainers bound for Paris. Reveling in her good fortune, May will do anything for the chance to go abroad, and the lines between right and wrong begin to blur. When Byrd shows up in New York, intent upon taking May back home, she pushes him, and her past, away.
In Paris, May’s run of luck comes to a screeching halt, spiraling her into darkness as she unravels a painful secret about her past. May must make a choice: surrender to failure and addiction, or face the truth and make amends to those she has wronged. But first, she must find self-forgiveness before she can try to reclaim what her heart craves most.
About The Author
Liza Nash Taylor was a 2018 Hawthornden International Fellow and received an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts the same year. She was the 2016 winner of the San Miguel Writer’s Conference Fiction Prize. Her work has appeared in Gargoyle Magazine; Deep South, and others. ETIQUETTE FOR RUNAWAYS is her first novel. A second will follow in 2021. A native Virginian, she lives in Keswick with her husband and dogs, in an old farmhouse which serves as a setting for her novels.
Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “Etiquette for Runaways” by Liza Nash Taylor, Blackstone Publishing, August 2020, for Suzy Approved Book Tours
Liza Nash Taylor, the author of “Etiquette for Runaways” has written an enthralling, intriguing, intense, captivating, and thought-provoking novel. The genres for this novel are Fiction and Historical Fiction. The timeline for this story is approximately 1924. The story goes to the past and future when it pertains to the characters and events. The story takes place in Keswick Virginia and New York City and Paris. The author describes her dramatic cast of characters as complex and complicated. Moonshining and the jazz age are discussed in this story. There are secrets, betrayals.crime, and lies.
May Marshall, the protagonist in this novel, makes wrong choices and mistakes in life. Some of her mistakes are the cause of her insecurity, embarrassment, and shame. May’s father has an illegal thriving moonshine business that she becomes involved with. May is also obsessed with finding the mother who abandoned her, leaving her not only with a broken heart, but a broken piece of a porcelain doll that she keeps with her. May does have some good friends that look out for her, and some that betray and hurt her.
May wants to find a way to be an independent woman and wants to explore and have adventures. Some of her adventures take her to interesting and dangerous places. I appreciate that the author vividly describes the characters, events, scenery, and plots. Many of the descriptions of foods, hotels, homes, costumes, clothing, and jewelry are intriguing.
I love how Liza Nash Taylor discusses problems such as alcoholism, drug use, illegal liquor, discrimination of races, and classes. The author also mentions the importance of self -worth, communication, honesty, love, and hope. I would highly recommend this memorable and thought-provoking novel to other readers. Happy Reading!!!