Format: Paperback, 264 pages
Publication: June 23, 2020 by She Writes Press
Synopsis: Jane’s a very brave boy. And a very difficult girl. She’ll become a remarkable woman, an icon of her century, but that’s a long way off.
Not my fault, she thinks, dropping a bloody crowbar in the irrigation ditch after Daddy. She steals Momma’s Ford and escapes to Depression-era San Francisco, where she fakes her way into work as a newspaper copy boy.
Everything’s looking up. She’s climbing the ladder at the paper, winning validation, skill, and connections with the artists and thinkers of her day. But then Daddy reappears on the paper’s front page, his arm around a girl who’s just been beaten into a coma one block from Jane’s newspaper―hit in the head with a crowbar.
Jane’s got to find Daddy before he finds her, and before everyone else finds her out. She’s got to protect her invented identity. This is what she thinks she wants. It’s definitely what her dead brother wants.
I was really excited to receive this book. While it did take me a few chapters to become fully invested, I still think it was a great book that, if you knew nothing prior, could actually teach you a lot about San Francisco during the Great Depression.
I didn’t feel much of a connection to most of the characters, but they were all written very well. I loved the sudden twists in their individual stories. With several characters, I spent the entire book believing they were one of the good guys – and vice versa – just to be proven wrong near the end. Personally, I think that’s always a great aspect in books. Each character had a level of depth that made the overall story better.
The story itself was pretty complex. The things that Jane had to deal with in order to be successful was, to me, mind-blowing. I hadn’t realized before reading this book how much trouble women would have to go through to get a simple job in this specific time period.
There were a few points with quite a bit of suspense, and others that just left me feeling a bit anxious for Jane. Even when she did something absolutely wrong, I found it difficult to root against her; I wanted her to succeed with whatever she was doing right up until the last page.
My only complaint would probably be the pacing. At times, it felt like everything was moving a little too quickly, and others things felt like they could move faster. Otherwise, I thought it was a highly interesting book, and I actually learned quite a bit from it.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via iRead Book Tours and am voluntarily leaving a review. This did not affect my opinions in any way.
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Meet the Author
Shelley Blanton-Stroud grew up in California’s Central Valley, the daughter of Dust Bowl immigrants who made good on their ambition to get out of the field. She teaches college writing in Northern California and consults with writers in the energy industry. She co-directs Stories on Stage Sacramento, where actors perform the stories of established and emerging authors, and serves on the advisory board of 916 Ink, an arts-based creative writing nonprofit for children. She has also served on the Writers’ Advisory Board for the Belize Writers’ Conference. Copy Boy is her first novel, and she’s currently working on her second. She also writes and publishes flash fiction and non-fiction, which you can find at such journals as Brevity and Cleaver. She and her husband live in Sacramento with an aging beagle and many photos of their out-of-state sons.