Slayermel's Reviews > The Story of Chicago May

The Story of Chicago May by Nuala O'Faolain
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's review
Apr 05, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: irish, 21st-century, biography, female-authors, history, non-fiction, true-crime, 2010, bookcrossing
Recommended for: anyone interested in historical crooks / true crime
Read from October 03 to 18, 2010

I had stumbled across this book in the bargain section of chapters and it sounded very interesting from the description on the back. I had never heard of Chicago May before and I was intrigued to find out what would make a young girl from Ireland run away from home to become a notorious crook and prostitute in The United States. Granted she traveled abroad for quite a while and was not just causing mischief in the states.

May seemed to have a real adventurous side to her and I’m still left wondering if things were different would she have lead a more domesticated life, or was she just one of those women you could never hold down. The reason I can’t entirely come to a conclusion on this is because the book has a lot of the authors interpretations in it as to what she thinks happened (she does states this very clearly so your never fooled) as there really isn’t a lot of documentation left on Chicago May. She did however write her own biography after her 10 year prison stay in England. However according to the author of this biography May skims across quite a few parts of her life and keeps things very factual without getting into too much detail. So you’re always left wanting more of May’s personal feelings and what was going through her head at the time.

I did enjoy reading this even though their where a lot of the authors own interpretations in it. I liked it because she was honest about it and she did her research well and it shows in the story. Also the author approaches the story from a very neutral point, she’s not in love with the idea of May nor did she sully her name more than May manage to do herself.

I loved reading about the States, England and France in the early 1900’s. The clothes and how people conducted themselves. It almost felt like I was there watching it happen before my eyes.

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10/03/2010 page 34
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