14 June 2011

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Cordelia Grey wants much more out of life than to be married young and stuck in her hometown of Union, Ohio with a whole bunch of babies and unfulfilled dreams.  She wants to go to New York City and be somebody.  So that plan is that she and her best friend, Letty Haubstadt, will hop on a train immediately following Cordelia's wedding, a ceremony that the two parties were being forced into, though one of them was a much more willing participant than the other.  And, no doubt about it, the very next day, Letty and Cordelia step off that train onto the streets New York City.

It is 1929.  Neither girl knows a soul in the big city, but both are looking for something very special.  Letty wants to be a star . . . has always wanted to be a star.  In her family of four other siblings, Letty was always the invisible one, despite her obvious talents for singing and performing.  She's convinced that NYC can offer her all the opportunity she'll need in order to shine.  Cordelia -- under the cover of simply wanting a bigger and better life for herself -- is desperately looking for her father, with whom she has never had any contact.  Astrid Donal is from a wealthy Long Island family, NYC-born, raised, and cultured.  She's currently dating Charlie Grey, the son of a big city mobster, and she takes an immediate and lasting liking to Cordelia when the daring young woman sneaks into Mr. Grey's birthday party at the guarded White Cove estate.

There is a different fate in store for each of these three young women, each finding her own way in a tricky big city world, and the author certainly has a knack for keeping the reader wanting to know what happens next to each of them.  With a plethora of romance, adventure, and history, this series opener is recommended most to high school girls.

Reviewed by kate the librarian.

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