Review by Amy Atzert, collection development librarian
In 1932, Evie Grace Devlin was strong and determined at 21. She is ready to move on to a new life and wants nothing more than to leave her dark past in the vaudeville circuit behind her. She travels to Galveston, Texas, and signs up to be an RN and get her pin in nursing. Now, she can become the person she was meant to be.
Unfortunately, Evie’s dream coming true is interrupted. A top administrator of the nursing school discovers Evie’s past and deems her unworthy to receive her pin. She blocks her graduation. Frustrated and without choices, she heads back to Houston to figure out what to do next. It is there that she stumbles upon and becomes a part of the world of dance marathons. Evie not only discovers a true “family” with the professional dancers, but falls in love. The lead dancer Zave Cassidy steals her heart.
Evie is plucky and endearing. The supporting characters are well-developed and interesting. I enjoyed learning about the phenomena that was the Depression-era dance marathon trend. Dance marathons gave people a way to earn money, win prizes and find fame in a time when there was so much struggle in the nation. This story spotlighted the type of love and support you can receive from the people around you who are technically not your family, but certainly feel like they are.