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Dollface: A Novel of the Roaring Twenties [Kindle Edition]

Renée Rosen
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $7.01 (47%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC


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Book Description

America in the 1920s was a country alive with the wild fun of jazz, speakeasies, and a new kind of woman—the flapper.

Vera Abramowitz is determined to leave her gritty childhood behind and live a more exciting life, one that her mother never dreamed of. Bobbing her hair and showing her knees, the lipsticked beauty dazzles, doing the Charleston in nightclubs and earning the nickname “Dollface.”

As the ultimate flapper, Vera captures the attention of two high rollers, a handsome nightclub owner and a sexy gambler. On their arms, she gains entrée into a world filled with bootleg bourbon, wailing jazz, and money to burn. She thinks her biggest problem is choosing between them until the truth comes out. Her two lovers are really mobsters from rival gangs during Chicago’s infamous Beer Wars, a battle Al Capone refuses to lose.

The heady life she’s living is an illusion resting on a bedrock of crime and violence unlike anything the country has ever seen before. When the good times come to an end, Vera becomes entangled in everything from bootlegging to murder. And as men from both gangs fall around her, Vera must put together the pieces of her shattered life, as Chicago hurtles toward one of the most infamous days in its history, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In her first novel for adults, Chicago writer Rosen presents starry-eyed Vera Abramowitz, who longs to escape the life her single mother plans for her, working in the family’s stockyard and meatpacking plant. Vera wants to run with a far more glamorous crowd. Slaving away at menial jobs, she barely earns a subsistence living, but it’s enough to put her in proximity to the city’s Jazz Age action. It is her good and bad fortune to meet and fall in love with two of Chicago’s up-and-coming mobsters, from competing North Side and South Side gangs. And though her passion may be inflamed by Capone henchman Tony Liollo, she marries the relatively safer Shep Green, a flashy bootlegger who battles Capone for control of Chicago’s illegal liquor sales. As Vera morphs from a down-at-heels working girl into a gin-and-gems flapper, she unwittingly finds herself at the heart of one of Chicago’s most notorious Prohibition episodes, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. With the rat-a-tat tempo of a Tommy gun, Rosen delivers a smart and snappy shot of Roaring Twenties drama. --Carol Haggas


"Dollface is as intoxicating as the forbidden liquor at the heart of it. Rosen’s Chicago gangsters are vividly rendered, and the gun molls stir up at least as much trouble as their infamous men. Fans of Boardwalk Empire will love Dollface. I know I did."—Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water For Elephants

“With the rat-a-tat tempo of a Tommy gun, Rosen delivers a smart and snappy shot of Roaring Twenties drama.”—Booklist

“Renee Rosen has combined her daring and vivid imagination with the rich history of Prohibition-era Chicago. Dollface is a lively, gutsy, romp of a novel that will keep you turning pages.”—Karen Abbott, New York Times Bestselling author of Sin in the Second City

"Rosen, author of the YA novel Every Crooked Pot, has done her homework and written a flashy story that is more than your average gangster noir. Those interested in novels set in the 1920s and all things Gatsby will not be disappointed."—Library Journal  (Starred Review)


Product Details

  • File Size: 1347 KB
  • Print Length: 417 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0451419200
  • Publisher: NAL (November 5, 2013)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BDQ3A7U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,166 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By adam12
Format:Kindle Edition
As a baby boomer I grew up watching the Untouchables on TV. Then came Mario Puzo and the Godfather book (made into movies by Francis Ford Coppola), and many movies with Al Pachino and Robert De Niro, et al, all of which defined and promoted our taste for books, movies and TV shows depicting the gangsters of the roaring 20’s. However, throughout this genre, women are rarely portrayed.

In Renee Rosen’s new book, Dollface, we are given a look at this era through the eyes of a “Nice Jewish Girl” who marries into the mob. It’s a love story, it’s a gangland expose, and it’s a great read.

The author has certainly done her homework on Chicago in the roaring 20’s. She also writes in a style that is a pleasure to read.

I recommend this book to men and women alike who want another reason to explore the 1920’s and the gangsters who made them roar.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read For Roaring 20's Fans November 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
It's the Roaring 20's.

Prohibition, speakeasies, gangsters, the rich and the poor. DOLLFACE portrays the life of those living in Chicago during this time. No one was exempt from what was going on.

Vera Abramowitz worked in the typing pool of an insurance firm and also as a telephone operator to make ends meet, and she still made next to nothing. She didn't want to do this for her entire life and then met Shep Green, a gangster. She also met Tony Liolli who also was a gangster. She began dating both men, even though she knew she was playing with fire by dating both of them at the same time.

Despite the danger she was putting herself in, she couldn't help herself. Tony was fun, Shep had power, and she didn't want to turn out like her mother....poor and still working in the slaughterhouse. Then something happened and she found out who the "real" man was and who the "real" slacker was.

DOLLFACE is written in an easy style that grabs you as you want to learn more about this time period. The characters are definitely authentic, and the activity at that time appears to be right on.

You will love following Vera from rags to riches and then through a rough time, but Vera was tough. You will be shocked at what she does as a woman in the 1920's as well as bite your fingernails as you see what risky things she gets herself into. Vera carries this fabulous story along even though it is difficult to like her or to agree with what she does.

I really enjoyed DOLLFACE. The reality of events was terrific. The author captured the perfect picture of this time period and did excellent research.

You will want to read this book if you are a fan of historical fiction and more specifically the 1920's. It was a great read. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dollface is a must, must enchanting read! November 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Vera Abramowitz is like any of the other ladies living in the 1920s. She is trying to survive. She works as a switchboard operator. For a brief period she worked as a jewelry model. She got to dress up in some of the finest jewelry and rub elbows with the rich and famous. It is here that Vera meets the dashing Shep. Shep is a club owner. Along the way Vera starts an affair with the sexy, Tony, a gambler. Tony has stolen Vera's heart.

Vera learns that Tony and Shep are in rival gangs. Vera is in the middle of the biggest gang war. There can only be one winner.

I have read a few books where the stories are based in the 1920s but I never really realized how much I enjoyed this era untl I read this book. This book was an instant hit with me. I was glued to Vera's story. It was like I was transported back in time and was one of the girls.

For me there was one clear winner when it came to the two men in Vera's life. I preferred Shep over Tony. While Tony may have been the bad boy in this story, I liked Shep and the kind mannerism that he protrayed. This is funny as I write this description about Shep. I would never expect to use the word "kind" to describe a gangster. Dollface is a must, must enchanting read!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's All Right, Just Not What I Expected November 5, 2013
When I first read the blurb for this book, I thought it was about a woman bootlegger...and it for all of 20%. In this aspect, it's disappointing. To state it bluntly, this heroine is just a tramp who can't keep her legs closed and is weak for a man...well, men. Unable to choose between two gangsters, she beds them both, sometimes one after the other.

I don't consider her strong, which is what I prefer in the heroines I read.

It's not until 62% that the very idea of her bootlegging even comes up.

However, I must say despite my intense dislike for the heroine, the book really captured the times, the lifestyle, the danger, the "toeing the line" between worlds. I mean, you have a woman who wants to provide the best home possible for her daughter and impress the Jewish Ladies' Society or whatever it is, but at the same time, her husband is a gangster and there's a bullet hole in her ceiling...

I also appreciated the theme may think the grass is greener on the other careful what you wish de da.

"Don't waste your time chasing after the wrong things."

I had a hard time with this chick's friends too, but I got a kick out of what they did at the auction.

Frankly, it's a very well-written story. It really made me dislike the characters, which is a sign of a good writer. I was sucked into the tale. I even appreciated the "tragic" ending, though I didn't find it tragic, but moralistic... I mean, hey, the bad guys can't win. It can't be made to look as though this life is the way to go, right?

I just wish the story had been less about a woman weak for men.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Juvenile
This book read as though it was written by a girl in high school who wanted to be an writer when she grew up. It was very juvenile in its phrasing and descriptions. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Marsha Birdsong
4.0 out of 5 stars A Rosen Fan
You've just whetted our appetites for old-time Chicago with DOLLFACE, telling an engaging story of the gangster era, and your NEXT one with a Chicago setting is coming out soon! Read more
Published 6 days ago by M. Rose Jonas
5.0 out of 5 stars Pulls you right into the fray
Renee Rosen has a way of making 1920s Chicago come alive in her book, Dollface. The unique perspective is from that of the North Side gang that rivaled Capone. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Michelle Regan
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!
I was sorry to finish it! Reminds me of the stories my grandmother used to tell. Halfway through it gives you a sense of foreboding and you can't stop reading ... Read more
Published 16 days ago by AnnFes
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book!
This was a fantastic read! I was pulled right into the story of Vera Abromowitz and her life. Two gangsters fall in love with her but they are from rival gangs, the story just... Read more
Published 23 days ago by Love to read
5.0 out of 5 stars Dollface, a terrific journey.
This was a wonderful ride into the twenties. Vera was a real flapper. I couldn't put this novel down. Read more
Published 1 month ago by JEAN STUART
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative and Entertaining
Dollface is set amid the gangsters of Chicago in the Roaring '20s, when Prohibition was raging and a good time was the sure cure for anything that ailed you. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tamela Mccann
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging
Interesting twist to the gangster world we hear about and all know. Well written and kept me engaged to the very end.
Published 2 months ago by Cyndy
3.0 out of 5 stars Chicago during the roaring 20's was an exciting time.
One gets a picture of the life of the less affluent workers and the gangster life.
This book was OK but rather shallow.
Published 2 months ago by Mary Lou Sproat
4.0 out of 5 stars This one will take you on a journey through the roaring twenties
I’ve always been one who loves books set in various times throughout history, so when I came across this book by Renee Rosen, it was no question that I wanted to read it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Heather Anne
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More About the Author

Renée Rosen is the author of DOLLFACE, A Novel of the Roaring Twenties. DOLLFACE tells the story of a flapper who falls in love with two mobsters from rival gangs during Prohibition Chicago. Coming November 5, 2013 by Penguin/NAL.

She is also the author of EVERY CROOKED POT, a YA novel published by St. Martin's Press.

Renée has contributed to many magazines and newspapers, including Chicago Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Complete Woman, DAME, Publisher's Weekly and a slew of now sadly defunct publications. She lives in Chicago where she is at work on a new novel also coming from Penguin/NAL in 2014. Visit her at

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