Laurie Loewenstein’s debut novel Unmentionables, the inaugural novel in Akashic’s Kaylie Jones Books imprint, has received a starred review in the January 15th, 2014 issue of Library Journal! Read the full review below:
★ Loewenstein’s remarkable debut was selected as a Midwest Connections Pick for January and is the first book in a imprint from Akashic curated by award-winning author Kaylie Jones (Speak Now). In August 1917, Marian Elliot Adams, a fiercely independent advocate for women’s rights, is traveling with the “Chautauqua circuit,” promoting their message of “sensible undergarments for women.” When she takes to the stage on hot night in Caledonia, IL, her speech shocks the local residents, who are further disgusted when she falls from the stage and sprains her ankle, forcing her to stay in town for a week. One week turns into many, and Marian’s presence reveals Caledonia’s long-held but unspoken rules regarding women, African Americans, and social order. After befriending the town’s newspaper publisher, Deuce Garland, and his stepdaughter Helen, Marian begins to question her own motives and must contemplate continues her chosen life of a visitor always passing through, or being known in a small town.
VERDICT This immensely entertaining and illuminating book transports the reader back in time while confronting the timeless matters of courage, sacrifice, race, gender, love and death. Exceptionally readable and highly recommended.
Join Laurie, Kaylie, and the Akashic team for the Unmentionables and Kaylie Jones Books launch event at 7:00pm on Wednesday, January 22nd at Bluestockings Bookstore and Cafe (172 Allen Street, New York)!