Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko
The year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment—they’re a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House.
But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the friendly postman shows a little too much interest in Annie—and in her father’s unpublished stories. In fact, he suspects these tales may hold a grand secret.
Though the postman’s intentions seem pure, Annie wants to share her father’s stories on her own terms. Determined to prove herself, Annie must forge her own path to aid her friend and create the future she’s always envisioned . . . where dreams really do come true.
This book was just a wonder to me as I saw the thirst for books and the written word portrayed in such a unique way. It made me wish people were as hungry for good literature now. I often see a lot of hunger for fantasy and cheap literature instead. Int his book, you see how people longed for well written books, and it was this time period many of the classics we love and cherish still today were written.
There were several hard topics covered in this sweet story with a very light romantic bent to it. It addresses some of the abuse that young women suffered at the hands of people that believed they were following the Lord. Women were blamed for rape, forced kisses and other indignities, and locked away like they committed a crime. One young woman was locked away for marrying a man of the wrong religion.
Annie is somewhat damaged, she lost her father, her uncle had her locked away and stole from her and when she is making a new life in America, she is mistrustful and wary. The mystery that is skillfully woven throughout, involving immigrants, the Pinkerton’s, and the US Postal Service, I found especially fascinating.
While this book covers some hard topics, it is an easy read. It is not something that will depress you or be too much info for a mature teen. It will for sure give you some topics for discussion, that would be for sure!
This book was provided for me for review by NetGalley. The opinions contained herein are my own.