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Wild Women and the Blues

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4.04  ·  Rating details ·  515 ratings  ·  255 reviews
A Fascinating and Innovative Novel of Historical Fiction

Goodreads Debut Novel to Discover & Biggest Upcoming Historical Fiction Books
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Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 30th 2021 by Kensington
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  • Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S.  Bryce
    Wild Women and the Blues
    by

    Release date: Mar 30, 2021
    “Perfect…Denny S. Bryce is a superstar!” —Julia Quinn, New York Times bestselling author

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 50 copies available, 8587 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Apr 06 - May 05, 2021

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Average rating 4.04  · 
    Rating details
     ·  515 ratings  ·  255 reviews


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    Annette
    In 1920s, the Stroll, section of State St in Chicago, is the place for Black Chicagoans to socialize, filled with jazz clubs, brimming with life and blazing with lights. Jazz-age Chicago comes alive in this story.

    Chicago, 2015. Sawyer “is a graduate student chasing a doctorate in media studies.” His documentary thesis focuses on the legendary Black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. His research takes him to Chicago and to an over one-hundred year old woman named Honoree Dalcour. His research brings unex
    ...more
    cossette
    Trigger warnings: Car crash, abuse, death of a parent, death of a sibling, emetophobia ( ch 13), cancer mention (brief; ch 15), brief mention of suicide attempt (ch 15), assault (ch 33), rape (ch 43)

    hi, this "review" seems to be getting a lot of traction and i just want to let y'all know that trigger warnings are NOT a spoiler, and i would much rather "spoil" something for people than have it trigger them.

    anyways please read this post if you're curious/confused about trigger warnings.
    ...more
    Sam (AMNReader)
    Oct 19, 2020 marked it as to-read
    I'm feeling stupid over this cover. 😍😍 ...more
    Eva K (journeyofthepages)
    Mar 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: netgalley, ebook
    Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce is an outstanding historical fiction novel that captures the Chicago jazz scene of the 1920s perfectly! Per-fect-ly.

    Oh my goodness I love this whole story - Everything about it is totally captivating.

    I felt like reading this dual timeline narrative (1920s and 2015) was an immersive experience. The incredible writing invokes all your senses - you hear the jazz, see the flappers dancing, feel the rhythm of the music, taste the bootleg hooch and smell the
    ...more
    Janet Rundquist
    Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this to review because I loved it! Vivid characters and though Honoree had a bit of a prickly exterior, it was well-earned and worn. Simultaneously she wore the armor to help with her fierce loyalty towards those she cared about while also taking care of herself and not only surviving, but thriving. I loved reading her story. Added bonus, the time period! Bryce's language for both time periods was fantastic. I especially loved the lexicon for the 20 ...more
    Jennifer Klepper
    Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Gripping historical fiction that takes the reader into Chicago's Black Belt and the speakeasies of 1925. "Wild Women and the Blues" weaves two stories—one of a grieving film student in 2015, the other of a 1920s showgirl the student is researching. While I went into the book expecting to see thorough research and a peek into a time and place I was unfamiliar with (my expectations were met, and then some!), I hadn't anticipated that it would be mystery and suspense that kept me turning the pages ...more
    T. Rosado

    3 Stars

    My ultimate desire before starting this book was that the story would equal the STUNNING book cover! In a few ways, yes, but with some caveats.

    Wild Women and the Blues was a split-time novel set in both 1925 and 2015. While I enjoy dual timelines and discovering the connections between the two, I also like them to work together seamlessly. For the first 30% of this story, I wasn't thrilled with the first person/present tense narrative of the 2015 setting and these chapters often slowed do
    ...more
    Patricia
    I loved WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES. This is a great novel about the '20s and the blues. It is about a sharecropper's daughter and her rise to the top, and the rough times in between. I believe this novel will be loved by many! ...more
    Florence
    Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I felt breathless when I closed Wild women and the blues. i just went from one surprise to another. The craftmanship of the story appears in every page. the setting, the plot the characters, all is perfect. I learnt a lot too, the end of the 1920s in Chicago were real tough times, beyond the imagination. I will recommend ( I already did) this book and will bear in mind I think foerever all I learnt about the dfficult lives of people of that period.
    All opinions are mine, I received a copy from N
    ...more
    Literary Redhead
    An absorbing dual timeline hf novel set in 1925 and 2015. Film student Sawyer Hayes interviews 110-year-old Honoree Dalcour, a sharecropper's daughter who worked hard for fame as a dancer in the hot jazz world of 1925’s Chicago. Through Honoree, we keenly feel what it was like to be a black woman in an era awash in booze, mobs, murder, the jazz of Armstrong, and the films of Oscar Micheaux. A skillfully executed novel that makes one long for the music, if not for the traumatic times.

    4 of 5 Star
    ...more
    Rachel
    Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce is an excellent dual timeline historical fiction novel that weaves together ther present day (2015) Sawyer Hayes, a film student dealing with his own turmoil and struggles, and 1925 Honoree Dalcour in her prime smack dab in the middle of the stunning Chicago Jazz scene. Sawyer goes to the feisty and elderly Honoree in hopes of completing research and to answer questions, both personal and professional, so that he can turn a point in his life. Through di ...more
    ♥Milica♥
    Mar 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
    First off, I love the era, I love blues, and I love this book. I'm so glad I requested it, it's a gem. So why four stars and not five? We'll get to that later.

    I knew the very second I saw Honoree and how she talked that this was it. The author managed to capture the expressions used in the 1920s with such accuracy. It never felt awkward or took me out of the story. I really appreciate the writing in general, it's a work of art.

    The characters, most notably Honoree, won my heart. How can a singl
    ...more
    Anna Avian
    Apr 14, 2021 rated it it was ok
    Took too long to get to any point. Repetitive about Sawyer’s grief and Honoree’s heartbreak but without offering any kind of resolution or closure. The 1920s story had little to do with what the characters were discussing in the present part. Sawyer's story was underdeveloped, I wanted to read more about his relationship with his dad, his sister's ghost and more details regarding his relationship with Lula, which otherwise just felt out of place. All the twists and revelations were crammed up in ...more
    Vera Kurian
    Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: fiction, debut, historical
    This historical novel flips between two timelines, the Roaring Twenties, and 2015. In the 2015 timeline a young man, Sawyer, is working on a film project for graduate school, trying to piece together what happened to Honoree Dalcour, a scrappy dancer who is trying to work her way up from one speakeasy to another more glamorous speakeasy. (Most of the story focuses on the 1925 storyline, although the mystery being uncovered is also about how the 2015 mystery gets tied together).

    As someone who is
    ...more
    Alaina
    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    Wild Women and the Blues was pretty interesting to dive into. Even if things got a tad bit confusing towards the end for me. In it, you will meet Sawyer (who will be the Present POV) and Honoree (who will be the Past POV). These two were pretty interesting on their own but once they got together and he was interviewing her for a thesis.. things kind of got crazy.

    From switching through the years, 2015 back to 1920, Chicago s
    ...more
    Anastasia Artayet Shepherd
    Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    This novel was an amazing stroll through Chicago’s history of jazz music and a beautiful blend of past, present, and how they intertwine.
    Kayla
    Dec 21, 2020 marked it as owned-to-read
    this is giving me "the next evelyn hugo" vibes ...more
    Martie Nees Record
    Jan 16, 2021 rated it liked it
    Genre: Historical Fiction
    Publisher: Kensington
    Pub. Date: April 2, 2021

    I disagree with the title. The women were not wild, but rather they were living in wild times working as showgirls. It seems to me that the title is to attract certain readers. Bryce transports us to the1920s with vibrant scenes of the Chicago Jazz Age. She gives the reader a vivid feel of the real-life infamous black neighborhood known as the “Stroll,” which was peppered with nightclubs, pool halls, tattoo parlors, speakeasie
    ...more
    isha mitski
    im getting seven husbands of evelyn hugo vibes for some reason. maybe it's the green dress and era. ...more
    moh ♡
    Jan 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    this book was wildly captivating and i’m so grateful to have gotten an arc from netgalley!

    i had a lot of ideas and theories about where sawyer and honoree’s journeys would go and none of them were right - the sign of good af writing! the glimpses this book gave me into 1920s chicago - a period normally so idolized and romanticized - have changed my perception of that era completely both in terms of politics and society.

    i can’t wait to see this book on the shelves!
    Laura
    Jan 21, 2021 rated it it was ok
    Shelves: netgalley-reads
    Hi yes. so excited that NetGalley approved me for this ARC.
    that is all...


    oh how the mighty have fallen....

    Set in Chicago in a dual timeline we follow Honoree Delacour in the 1920's jazz age, and Sawyer Hayes in 2015 working on his thesis on the 20's jazz age after suffering the loss of his sister. Sawyer finds a connection to Honoree and his thesis and through his grandma's connections to her is able to meet with her to discuss her time with a notable filmmaker Oscar Micheaux.

    On paper this had
    ...more
    Rebecca McGee
    Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
    This was a fun, twisty turny, engaging tale of the gin soaked jazz age in Chicago. The story, split between 1925 and 2015, follows Sawyer, a film student, as he seeks answers from Honoree, a one time choirs girl, now 110 year lady. She tells her story, her version of it, in 2015, while we get to see it play out in 1925.

    From the very first page I was hooked. The lavish descriptions of the speakeasies made me feel like I was there. I instantly liked Honoree, Sawyer was meh. His search for answers
    ...more
    Barbara White
    Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES is a stunning debut that weaves together two stories divided by one hundred years. Part mystery, part love story, part historical fiction, it’s an unforgettable tale of passion, courage, survival, redemption, and strong women. And since Al Capone’s henchmen make a few appearances, there’s a murder. Or two.

    In 2015, we meet Sawyer, a film student struggling to save his thesis amidst crippling grief. When he discovers a box of memorabilia in his semi-estranged grandmother’s
    ...more
    Holley Perry
    Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Honestly, I wish I could have witnessed the Jazz Age in Chicago. Denny S. Bryce’s Wild Women and the Blues is set in Chicago circa 1925. Film student, Sawyer Hayes, is trying to discover the history of Honoree Dalcour and how she relates to the filmmaker, Oscar Micheaux. Sawyer has found a film in his grandmother’s attic that may have been made by Michaeux. He is hoping that Honoree can fill in the gaps.

    Honoree was a chorus girl in 1925. She landed a gig dancing at the Dreamland Cafe. It was a s
    ...more
    Ms. Woc Reader
    Mar 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    The story takes place in two timelines switching between 1925 and 2015 depending on the chapter. Sawyer is a young filmmaker who after suffering from the loss of his sister is trying to finish a film project. After finding an old film reel he believes to be a lost work by the legendary Oscar Micheaux, he decides to visit 110 year old Honoree Dalcour who he believes starred in the film. The story then dips back in Honoree's life in 1925 when she was a chorus girl with big dreams dancing at a run ...more
    Cookie
    Jan 26, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Wild Women and the Blues is a historical fiction novel set in the jazz-age of 1920s Chicago. This was the age of speakeasys, crime, bootlegging, and gangsters like Al Capone. Honoree Dalcour is a chorus girl dancer trying to make her way to bigger and better stages. Just when she thinks she is getting the big break that she has been looking for, she gets swept up into some drama involving some dangerous people. In 2015, Sawyer Hayes discovers some photos and film that seems to feature Honoree an ...more
    Brooke
    Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
    HOLY GUACAMOLE, I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING!! While being an absolute QUEEN at foreshadowing throughout this book, Bryce delivers some devastating twists that squeezed my heart and boggled my mind! Seriously though, the foreshadowing… kept me on the edge of my seat wondering “what is gonna happen THIS time?!”

    Honoree Dalcour is a chorus girl, dancing in the jazz scene of 1925 Chicago’s Black Belt. She’s determined to make her own opportunities in life and achieve the fame which the world seems buil
    ...more
    Jeannine Perez
    Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: favorites
    There are books that just touch your heart and this is one of them.. for various reasons. I cannot wait to read more by Denny. New favorite author.
    Teresa Skidmore
    Apr 08, 2021 rated it liked it
    3.5


    I heard such great things about this book and went in with high hopes in loving it.
    At first the 1925 timeline was more interesting and kept me wanting to read and the 2015 timeline wasn’t as engaging to me. Then about halfway through the more recent timeline got more interesting and took on a mystery tone. This is when I really started to engage with the book and wanted to know what would happen. And I really enjoyed how the book ended.
    I also liked how Sawyer was a male talking to an older
    ...more
    Anaa
    Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
    *I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Kensington and Netgalley!

    I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting, witty and it had a thicker plot than I anticipated when I started reading it. It takes place in the 1920s and we follow a 19-year-old dancer called Honoree as she makes her way through club life in Chicago, where there was a huge jazz scene at the time. There are also some chapters that take place in 2015, when a film student interviews Honoree (who is now 100+
    ...more
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    315 followers
    An award-winning author, Denny won the RWA Golden Heart® and was a three-time GH finalist, including twice for WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES. She also writes book reviews for NPR Books and entertainment articles for FROLIC Media.

    The former professional dancer is a public relations professional who spent over two decades, running her marketing and event management firm. For nearly 10 of those years, how
    ...more

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