Back after a 7 year hiatus (CBR3 Full Cannonball under my belt) for the 10th Anniversary! Surely a 7 year break renders me ready for this again, right? Must not let review to do’s pile up, must not let review to do’s pile up…….Here we go!
Forever judging a book by its cover, I went on a Beatriz Williams kick this summer. Never having read her books before, I was lured in by a few with a flapper on the cover. All things Roaring 20’s are totally up my alley. A handful of Williams’ books later, I was down the rabbit hole of her Schuyler Sisters books which, ironically, do not take place in the 20’s. Each of the books (The Secret Life of Violet Grant & Tiny Little Thing round out the trio) concentrate on one of three sisters from a wealthy New York family whose other generations appear in many of Williams’ books.
Equal parts mystery, romance and historical fiction, this book follows Pepper Schulyer as she delivers a WWII era Mercedes, that she helped to restore, to a buyer in Florida. Pregnant with a married politician’s baby, Pepper is hoping that the sale of the car will help her to disappear with her impending offspring and escape the judgement of her family and the baby daddy who wants her to be silenced. Annabelle Dommerich, the buyer of the car, has a similar tale to tell. She narrowly escapes Germany before the war, in the aforementioned Mercedes, with her own love child in tow. Bouncing back and forth between the 40’s and 60’s, the story follows each heroine as she finds and loses love and makes whatever sacrifice is necessary to safeguard her child.
Williams’ prose is smart and sassy which I appreciate. I enjoyed the book but it wasn’t my favorite of the three Schyler Sisters novels. Both Pepper and Annabelle were compelling characters but the story more a blending of the previous novels in the series. Borrowing the Kennedyesque politics of the 60’s (Tiny Little Thing) and the unhappy marriage of an young ex-pat woman trapped in Germany on the brink of war (The Secret Life of Violet Grant), Pepper’s story was more of a sequel to Tiny Little Thing than a standalone story of Pepper. Williams sort of short changed the middle child here. Pepper deserved better.