Bud Werner Library Book Club: Last Night at the Blue Angel
Join a Library Book Club discussion of Last Night at the Blue Angel before author Rebecca Rotert's Library Author Series talk at 6:30 p.m. in Library Hall. A special Library Book Club bonus...Rotert will join the conversation!
Rotert's astonishing debut novel opens with ten-year-old Sophia sitting behind the dusty velvet curtains at Chicago's Blue Angel Jazz Club. She peeks out at the audience, yearning to be noticed. But it's the singer, her mother, Naomi, who's center stage, the place that she was born to be. Naomi is single-mindedly focused on achieving fame, and therein lies the conflict for Sophia and everyone else caught up in Naomi's thrall. Her daughter, her lovers, and her best friend, Jim, though complex, nuanced characters, are just bit players in her entourage. Naomi may seem abusive, living as she does in a run-down hotel, keeping Sophia out half the night at the Blue Angel, entertaining various men and women until morning, and using the deeply smitten photographer Jim as dad, cook, and housekeeper. We begin to understand better when Rotert shows us Naomi's 1950s Kansas childhood, during which her siblings worked the farm and a dissident teacher, Sister Idalia, recognized Naomi's potential, encouraging her musical talent. This, too, is where Naomi fell in love with Laura, sparking a scandal that would reverberate over the next 20 years. VERDICT Rotert's musical background informs Naomi's passion for performance, but it is her heartbreaking portrait of Sophia, so wise yet so vulnerable, that readers will remember long after the final page. [See Prepub Alert, 1/10/14.]-Sally Bissell, formerly with Lee Cty. Lib. Syst., Fort Myers, FL (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
About the Adult Book Club
The Adult Book Club meets once a month and is facilitated by Bud Werner Library's Circulation Services Manager, Michelle Dover. The book club is designed to be inclusive, supportive and meet the needs and interests of the group. The club is open to anyone interested in participating and you need not attend all the discussions, just pick the ones that interest you! Group is limited to 15 participants per meeting. Sign up at the circulation desk, call 879-0240, or register online.