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Speakeasy Paperback – February 18, 2016
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Heath was the quintessential spoiled upper East Side trust fund brat, and my feelings toward him did not warm up until the last part, and even then I didn't feel sorry for the mess he'd made for himself. His best friend Frankie was a perfect example of how rich Southern boys never went back home after Yale, but his dedication to Heath never crossed the straight-gay border. It was touching.
Heath's father, the "Duke," was the perfect Wall Street jerk. I would like to know what happened to him in 1929, a year after this book ended. His mother, the "Duchess," was mercilessly drawn, her status-driven life totally uncomplicated by a brain. His sister Amelia was the female equivalent of a twit, and redeemed herself somewhat as the plot went on.
But this was Art's book, even though there wasn't a single chapter which focused on him. The book is written in the third person but presented from Heath's viewpoint all the way, and it suffered somewhat because of that. Art and his associates Alfie, Jerry, Julian (also Heath's formerly close friend), and Edward (who comes to play a major, and what might be considered an unbelievable, role, but not so much if you know the temper of the times), were a family of their own, and I totally enjoyed any part of the book in which they and Heath interacted.
Although I thought the cover was extremely clever in depicting the art deco world of the 1920s in New York, I found that it actually distracted me from imagining what Art and Heath really looked like.Read more ›
Speak Easy a beautifully written story of the prohibition eras which is my favorite historical period. Suzy Ingold does an excellent job giving the book that nostalgic feel. Speak Easy is character driven as we follow Heath through his summer and his decisions. It’s very clean with no sex, but a beautiful, bittersweet romance with a satisfying ending.
If you like the 1920 prohibition era, coming of age, new adult, clean stories, I think you will like this one!
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through [...] *
For original review, please visit the Prism Book Alliance® blog online.
SPEAKEASY is set in New York City, in the summer of 1927, and basically tells the story of 21 year old Heath Johnson, in particular, how he is finally growing up and becoming his own person.
He’s come home from finishing his studies at Yale and his parents expect him to start working in his father’s firm and to marry a nice young woman, but while Heath knows that he wants neither, he can’t quite figure out what it is that he wants to do with his life.
But he’s still got the summer ahead of him.
His dear friend Frankie introduces him to the TJ, an underground speakeasy, in which not only alcohol is served but which has become a haven and family for gay men of the time, and where he meets the owner Art. It is so wonderfully romantic and sweet how these two fall in love with each other and was just lovely <3
I was pretty much in book heaven until the 80% mark because the book has an interesting, atmospheric, and realistic setting, the characters are well-crafted, even the secondary ones, the language is beautiful, and the romance even more so.
I thought it was extraordinary how fast and deeply I cared for Heath.
The author has an eye for details without getting overly descriptive, and I think she’s really talented in how she brings the story alive. I also really loved her choice of a third person, present tense narration.
But… I think even before the 80% mark I started to wonder why Heath wasn’t facing his problems, like, at all. To give you a clearer picture:
Heath always avoids the path of conflict or complication, allows himself to be guided by his parents and their expectations and is suggestible to a fault.Read more ›
Heath’s known for a long time that he’s not interested in women, and copping to a sham marriage is not something he’s willing to do. He’s a romantic at heart, and longs to fall for someone who’d love him back ardently. His best friend from college knows this, and brings Heath to a speakeasy that caters to men who favor men. I should mention here that speakeasies were illegal bars run in the period of Prohibition in the US–during the 1920s when liquor production and sale was illegal. It’s a whirlwind experience for Heath, especially as Heath’s nature is to acquiesce to his parents’ desires. Seeing men being free with their affection lights Heath in fire in a number of ways, not all of them positive. He’s fairly gobsmacked.
He does return, however, and he strikes up a friendship with Art, owner of TJ, the speakeasy that blows Heath’s mind. During the course of the summer Heath and Art become very close, Heath imagining a life spent with the man who is winning his heart, but all good things are not happening. There is constant pressure from Heath’s parents to settle on a job and a wife, and Heath’s attempts at subterfuge are not sufficient to afford him freedom. And, ever present is the possibility of discovery, not just of TJ, but of Art, and exactly what Heath wants to do with him.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent read! This book is a gem; Ingold draws us into a nostalgic world and paints a picture of aching, of longing, coming of age and falling in love with a writing style that... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jude Sierra
While I really loved the way this author wrote this time period. I have to be honest and say so much of this book honestly just dragged for me. Read morePublished 4 months ago by kara
There’s something brilliant about telling the story of two men in love in America in the early 20C and setting it in a speakeasy during Prohibition. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Alysia Constantine