Sinners of Starlight City by Anika Scott
Publication July 18, 2023
Genre: Historical Fictoin
Taken from Goodreads: From the author of the international bestseller The German Heiress, a gripping historical drama about a woman determined to avenge the crimes against her family, set at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair.
Vengeance is in the family, and the family is a bond like no other… It’s the worst year of the Great Depression, and America needs all the hope it can get. The Chicago World’s Fair, a glittery city-within-a-city, becomes a symbol of the good that’s yet to come. But every utopia has a seedy side—and that’s Rosa Mancuso’s world. As the mysterious Madame Mystique she mixes magic with a dose of bare skin burlesque, bringing customers to the home of the Fair’s carnival rides and spectacles. Rosa doesn’t perform for fame, though. She has come from Mussolini’s Italy to America, where she’s plotting her revenge for the murders of her family. The perpetrator will soon arrive at the World’s Fair via a celebrated Italian air fleet, and Rosa is determined to be prepared. But when her estranged cousin, Mina, comes to her desperate for help, with a dangerous mobster close on her heels, Rosa agrees to protect Mina and her new baby, born across the color line. With the clock ticking, Rosa decides the only way to survive is to make vengeance a family affair and prompt everyone to, at last, confront the sins from their pasts. A gripping story of retribution, belonging, and survival, Sinners of Starlight City boldly explores the complexity of identities straddling ethnic lines and asks, who gets to decide who we are and where we belong?
My Thoughts: I do not remember reading another book about the Chicago World Fair, so I was very excited to pick up this book and read about it. I live in Illinois, so Chicago is like coming home for me. As I read, I was able to picture the city and locations.
The Chicago World Fair is like nothing I have ever seen. The unique acts, the hugeness, and the sense of family all had me wishing that I could head to Chicago right now. This place came alive to me, I could hear the calls of the acts, smell the food, hear the sounds of the games, I could picture the entertainers working the crowds.
Author Anika Scott wrote a book that pulled me in and kept me wanting to never put the book down. I love the history of Chicago, the depth of the characters, and the strength of the storyline. Everything about this book is wonderful. I look forward to more from her in the future.
Thank you William Morrow for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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Meet Anika Scott (taken from her website): Anika Scott grew up outside Detroit, Michigan and has a BA in International Relations from Michigan State University and an MS in Journalism from Columbia University in New York. She worked as a staff writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Chicago Tribune before moving to Germany in 2001. Since then she has freelanced for US and European media including Deutschlandfunk, and taught journalism at the Technical University in Chemnitz. She now lives in Essen with her husband and two daughters. She is the bestselling author of The German Heiress, The Soviet Sisters, and Sinners of Starlight City.