1920s -- fiction

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

“It was June and long past time for buying the special shoes that were quiet as summer rain falling on the walks. June and the earth full of raw power and everything everywhere in motion.  The grass was still pouring in from the country, surrounding the sides, stranding the houses.  Any moment the town would capsize, go down and leave not a stir in the clover and weeds.  And here Douglas stood, trapped on dead cement and red-brick streets, hardly able to move.”

The opening piece in Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine finds Doug Spaulding at the start of his twelfth summer, yearning for a pair of running shoes that will let him be a part of the glorious season. Like the dandelion wine bottled and stored in his grandparents’ cellar, the memories of that long-ago summer are preserved to be savored by his readers.

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

On her wedding night, Cordelia Grey catches the last train to leave Union, Ohio. With her is her slight but talented friend Letty Haubstadt. Their destination is the end of the line: fabulous, roarin’ New York City. Both girls are escaping their boring, unhappy lives in Ohio and fleeing to New York where they hope to find what they are looking for. Cordelia seeks her father, whom she believes to be the infamous bootlegger Darius Grey. Letty wants nothing more than a microphone before her, a dazzling dress to wear and an enraptured audience to sing to.  Set in New York City in the final year of the Roaring Twenties, Anna Godbersen’s Bright Young Things focuses on three young women who, like the rest of the United States, are on the verge of a terrible encounter with reality.

Black Gold by Marguerite Henry

Black Gold by Marguerite Henry

“A haunt in the wind”

That’s how Al Hoots described the small, thin filly named U-See-It who happily crunched his peppermints in the saddling shed before her big race. Al picked up such talk from his wife, Rosa, of the Osage tribe. In the newly-minted state of Oklahoma, the spring weather of 1909 saw most everybody who lived near the Chisholm Trail come out to watch the match race between little U-See-It and a big-striding mare from Missouri named Belle Thompson.  Soon enough Al Hoots had traded 80 acres of land for the little filly, and she began winning races for him. That’s just the beginning of the story Black Gold, by Marguerite Henry.

Another Good Loving Blues

By Arthur Flowers

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"It's Beale Street in Memphis in the age when jazz was spelled 'jass' and ragtime was just a glint in Scott Joplin's eye. Lucas Bodeen is the bluesman, and Melvira Dupree is the conjure woman he loves. But pitted against them are all the forces of nature, the clashing of their own stubborn wills, and a society mired in the laws of Jim Crow and the mob. Combining the ancient African storytelling art of the griot with the American offshoots of blues and hoodoo, Arthur Flowers sings us a story that makes us smile - a story of life, and how love and happiness really happen."

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The Last Kashmiri Rose

By Barbara Cleverly

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Commander Joe Sandilands, a Scotland Yarder completing a stint with the Bengal Police, is on his way back home when the provincial governor asks him to look into the recent death-by-suicide of an army officer's young wife. Nancy Drummond, a close friend of the dead woman, reveals that four other officers wives have also died apparently by accident or misadventure over a period of 12 years, all in the month of March.
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Tinisima

By Elena Poniatowska

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"A vibrant portrait of the controversial photographer and radical Tina Modotti discusses her love affair with Edward Weston, her trial for the murder of another lover, her militant communism, and her work for the international revolutionary organization Red Aid."
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The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Paris retains an eternal allure for the creative. And the gifted expatriates who flocked to the City of Lights in the 1920s often felt the hallowed pursuit of their individual muses justified unconventional personal behavior. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain chronicles the courtship and subsequent marriage of Hadley Richardson and Ernest Hemingway—a relationship strained and eventually damaged by their friends’ hedonistic lifestyles.

Hadley, who was seven years his senior, met her future husband in Chicago. Although quite the ladies’ man, Hemingway was immediately drawn to her wholesome beauty, even temperament, and courage. Hadley’s unconditional support bolstered Hemingway, a man already plagued by multiple demons, and gave him the companionship he needed to wholeheartedly pursue his writing.

Hanging Curve

By Troy Soos

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April 1922: five years after East St. Louis is scarred by the worst racial violence in American history, Mickey Rawlings' team, the St. Louis Browns, loses a game to the St. Louis Cubs, a black semi-pro team. When the Cubs' pitcher is found dead, the KKK is suspected, and Mickey gets caught up in a side of American life he's never experienced before.
An electronic audio book that may be downloaded to a personal player.
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The House of Eliott

By Jean Marsh

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Two genteel sisters in 1920s London, finding that they are suddenly destitute, defy societal norms by seeking work. They build a fashionable dressmaking business against the backdrop of a ritzy, jazzy, high society London.  Also available as a BBC production.

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