Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Butterfield 8

This book was so depressing. Weird coincidence with "The Given Day" because the main character in this book, Gloria Wandrous, is based on Starr Faithful, the young girl who was abused by Boston's Mayor Peters. I've seen reviews that indicate Gloria was a call girl but I did not catch that in the book. I felt she was a product of her times. She used her sexuality to control men and get money but I did not feel she was doing it as a business. She was doing it because other ways of making money were not open to women or would have been too menial for her lifestyle.

While Gloria seems mature, perhaps because of her early loss of innocence, she still can't get her life going in the right direction. This had a similar ending to our novella choices of last summer - how did she really fall from the boat? Did she jump? Slip? Or was she pushed?

The book provides insight into New York right at the start of the Depression. It's an odd time and no one struck me as very happy. While gin joints and jazz clubs might sound fun no one was enjoying it. They all seemed intent on self destruction. Again, a depressing read but a very well-written book.

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