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The Reason for Time Paperback – March 16, 2016
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"Burns plunges the reader into the world of Chicago in 1919. Her flawless use of Irish brogue in Maeve's first-person voice pulls us ever deeper into the events...An amazing tale from a master of her craft." (Editors' Choice selection)--Historical Novels Review
"An engaging work of historical fiction" --Foreword Reviews
"...the real strength of the book is in the consistent and believable voice of the young Maeve..."
From the Inside Flap
"Whole minutes passed when I didn't think of my man and the swimming lesson set up for the next day, if no one was murdered before then, or the cars stopped, or a bomb go off somewhere]]" On a hot, humid Monday afternoon in July 1919, Maeve Curragh watches as a blimp plunges from the sky and smashes into a downtown Chicago bank building. It is the first of ten extraordinary days in Chicago history that will forever change the course of her life. Racial tensions mount as soldiers return from the battlefields of Europe and the Great Migration brings new faces to the city, culminating in violent race riots. Each day the young Irish immigrant, a catalogue order clerk for the Chicago Magic Company, devours the news of a metropolis where cultural pressures are every bit as febrile as the weather. But her interest in the headlines wanes when she catches the eye of a charming streetcar conductor. Maeve's singular voice captures the spirit of a young woman living through one of Chicago's most turbulent periods. Seamlessly blending fact with fiction, Mary Burns weaves an evocative tale of how an ordinary life can become inextricably linked with history.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a fairly fast moving story that is easy to read as you follow Maeve’s journey through the city. You get a sense of the sights and smells and the tensions of this vigorous, “city of big shoulders.” Allium’s motto is “rescuing Chicago from Capone… one book at a time” and this series paints a picture of an earlier period than the days of gangsters. It is one of a number of books by the press that cover Chicago architecture in the 1880’s (Honor Above All), progressive politics of Hull House and other groups in the 1890’s (Death at Hull House, Her Mother’s Secret) and the lives of early Chicagoans in the first couple of decades of the twentieth century (Beautiful Dreamer, The Reason for Time). Chicago is a quintessential American city with many people in its past who deserve to be remembered. This is one of the books that succeeds in conjuring up one of those earlier times.
The authentic voice of Maeve draws us into her life and her longing for love and marriage. Chicago comes alive with its Summer heat, sights and smells and we travel the streets with her as she searches through flames and smoke for her lover. Des.
I couldn't put it down and the conclusion when it came was quite a shock!!
A great story, well told. Mary Burns is new to me and I want to read more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mary Burns’ “The Reason For Time” was a page turner. A study of character. A historical novel.Read more