Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford

At long last, I finished reading this long, long novel. I bought it for the cover and the subject. The historical details are interesting but the title and the prologue are misleading. Real-life people from history show up in the story, which is told from the POV of fictional Plain Jane who morphs, over the years, into a confident journalist, a modern woman in a world where men still oppose giving women the right to vote. The jubilation of women in 1930 gaining suffrage is something women today should be reminded of before they decide “why bother” exercising their right to cast a ballot. I could excerpt passages from the book (as I usually do in reviews) but I’m exhausted from the long read. It took forever to get Maise through her job interview, and I lost count of how many times we hear that she was born in Canada and lived in New York City for a while with her negligent mother, an actress. Shoes and wool dresses. Food. The landlady who won’t allow her tenants a radio. It’s hard to believe this novel was professionally edited by a Brick House publisher, it’s so bloated with extraneous or repeated details, yet not one radio is described – my husband has a passion for old wooden radios. Three knobs, not one, had to be turned to tune the first radios. The black horns, the glow of the dial, the static, the sound – none of the magic of the wireless is brought to life here – just the people working at the BBC and their staff meetings and such. This novel could be cut in half and it’d still be too long for me. A pity, given the fantastic subject.

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Next on my To-Read-and-Review List via NetGalley

Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford   coming 14 Jun 2016 from Berkley Publishing Group  Women’s Fiction, General Fiction (Adult)


About carolkean

novelist, reviewer, editor, book critic for Liberty Island and Perihelion Science Fiction; native prairie/guerilla gardener; champion of liberty, indie authors & underdogs; one of the top two reviewers in Editors &Preditors Poll 2015; Amazon Vine, NetGalley Top Reviewer
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