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The Hat Hardcover – March 31, 2011

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

''This is a terrific story that chronicles the beginning of the Mafia and its revelations that profoundly changed lives forever.'' --Jewish Book World, Spring 2011

''This is a deceptively simple tale told in a straightforward, spare manner. The author is particularly good at drawing the blithe lack of self-awareness of an inexperienced young woman, as well as pointing out the self-centeredness of youth.'' --Historical Novels Review

''A captivating love story with a twist. Richly drawn characters in an era of gangsters and bootleggers.'' --Joseph Kertes, Winner, 2009 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction

''The novel's Ben Gold could pass as a universal Jewish underworld type during Prohibition and the Great Depression.'' --Alfred Fried, Pulitzer nominee and author

About the Author

Cleveland, Ohio native Babette Rosen Hughes is a bootlegger's daughter whose father and uncle were murdered by the Mafia. Ms. Hughes is the co-author of Why College Students Fail and author of the memoir, Lost And Found. Her published columns, articles and book reviews can be found in the Saturday Review, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cleveland Magazine and the Cleveland Press. Babette and her husband are parents and stepparents to eight children and now reside in Austin, Texas.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Sunstone Press (March 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865347840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865347847
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,633,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Babette Hughes, author of The Red Scar, The Hat and Lost and Found, and co-author of Why College Students Fail, is a Huff Post columnist; published in the Saturday Review; been Contributing Editor of Cleveland Magazine; a twice-weekly columnist for the Cleveland Press; and has published articles and book reviews in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Sunday Magazine. She has also written, produced and appeared in television documentaries and news and feature stories for Cleveland television stations WKYC-NBC and WNBK-UHF.

In addition to her writing career she has been been National Director of Women's Political Action for Hubert Humphrey in his 1972 Presidential campaign, as well as founder and President of Discover Yourself, Inc., a motivation and self realization program for women. She has also been Director of Public Relations for Revco D.S., Inc. in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Account Executive with Frazier Associates, in Washington, DC. She and her husband live in Austin, Texas, and are the parents and step-parents of eight children.

She is presently working on the final novel in the Kate Brady series, The Necklace.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Leslie VINE VOICE on May 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It is June, 1932. Someone wants Ben Gold, head of a bootlegging organization, dead. The killer strikes quickly and disappears without a trace.

Flashback two years. Smart, pretty Kate Brady is thrilled to find out she has received a scholarship to Ohio State where she hopes to study to be a writer. Now all she has to do is find enough money for room, board and books and she will be on her way to realizing her goals. Her family does not have the money to pay for her education; she must earn it herself. Her father left when she was young and her mother wages a constant battle with alcoholism.

Sadly, Kate's dreams are smashed when she is fired from her job at Shapiro's Bakery. It is the beginning of the Great Depression and business is slow. While she worked at the bakery she met one of the customers, the handsome Ben Gold, a man with money and charm who was very attracted to her. After a whirlwind courtship she agrees to marry him even though she barely knows him. A friend warns her about Ben but she won't listen. With no hope of a job or future and a miserable home life, Ben is the answer to all her problems.

Soon Kate realizes that life with Ben is not what she expected. His business dealings, which she soon finds out are illegal activities and bootlegging, take priority. She begins spending time with Bobby, Ben's bookkeeper, and as she gets to know him she realizes he is the type of man she really wanted and marrying Ben was a big mistake.

I like the use of the flashback technique. Knowing that Ben will die sets us up with a mystery. As the story progresses the suspense builds while we wonder who is responsible for the murder. The author shifts suspicion among several possibilities as Ben becomes an even more unlikable character.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GMTA Publishing on June 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
BABETTE HUGHES' "THE HAT" (A REVIEW)

I cannot say enough about this book and how wonderfully written it is. Babette Hughes is definitely one of my favorite writers as of this moment. From the opening page this book gripped me and I could not put it down. The story of a bootlegger's wife during the 'Great Depression' is riveting and emotionally charged to such a degree that you feel as though you're living it with her. You want so badly to be part of this story, to help her find a way out that it leaves you breathless with anticipation of what will happen to the heroine Kate (Little Red).

I would definitely recommend this as one of the must-reads to add to your list. You will not be disappointed. I long for the next endeavor Babette Hughes pursues and will be sure to pick up her books from here on out. Do not pass this one up!

-Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club

©2010, Kitty, all rights reserved.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Candice H. on October 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Just want to give a big shout-out to my former writing classmate Babette Hughes for her recently published novel "The Hat." Great job! "The Hat" tells the story of young Kate Brady who meets & marries Ben Gold when she is quite young and desperate to escape life with her troubled alcoholic mother. Ben turns out to be a Jewish bootlegger (this is during Prohibition). Kate becomes trapped in an unhappy, violent marriage. She loses their baby son shortly after birth. The rest of the book details a love affair & loss, and Ben's murder. The ending leaves it wide open for her upcoming sequel (which I've read part of in-progress & is also terrific). The historical & personal settings are fascinating. It helps to have read her memoir ("Lost & Found: A Daughter's Tale of Violence & Redemption," 2000). She shows well the character's and their transformations. A good read. Thank you, Babette!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By marilyn miller skylar Author of Tales From A Mad Man's Wife on July 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While I was reading about the life of beautiful,innocent red-headed Kate Brady. who suffered as a gangster's wife. I thought Nicole Kidman should portray her in a movie. It is amazing to me that Babette Hughes could tell this story which bordered so closely on her father's murder by the Mafia. It took a lot of courage on her part. This arresting book disclosed a part of Cleveland's history that I, as a native, knew nothing about. Although "The Hat" needed a bit more proof-reading, I was intrigued through the final page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Frank Monastra, Author on September 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Babette Hughes does a wonderful job in a well-written story from the Depression with an assortment of wonderful characters who show you their true feelings and how they re-acted to several situation that develop throughout their life, and that could have caused their own death. You will enjoy this one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By danny johnson on October 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Babette Hughes is a wonderful example of the ability to bring a reader into her story and keep them spellbound...an excellent read and can't wait for the ones to follow...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've never been one to relish crime novels or murder mysteries--I usually find the language to sparse and the point of view lacking compassion. Babette's Hughes's novel The Hat threw me a curve ball, however. The prose is evocative without being flowery or superfluous, and best of all, the protagonist is a woman. Here we see the other side of the traditionally masculine mob story--Kate Brady, the wife of a Jewish, Depression era crime boss as she evolves from a naive teenager with few choices in life to the wife of a powerful criminal and all that that life entails. Gradually, Kate begins to try and break free from the prison of her marriage--a move that has serious consequences. The Hat refuses to glamorize the mob life, as so many books and movies have--instead it shows the "other side" --what the wife lacking a sociopathic nature has to endure. A revelation, to be sure. My only beef about the novel is that I think it could have been longer (!)--it went by so fast I felt like there were few places here and there that needed some meat on their bones. I would love to see this book made into a movie--Kate Brady is a character an actress could receive an Oscar nomination for. Here's hoping!
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