The Girls at the Kingfisher Club

Atria. Jun. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9781476756158. $24; ebk. ISBN 9781476739106. F
OrangeReviewStarFor the 12 Hamilton sisters, life is a dreary prospect. Locked in their posh Upper East Side town house by their overprotective widowed father, the girls are little more than prisoners in the proverbial gilded cage. By day, they struggle to thrive in pale, dusty rooms, but at night—at night, they dance. Marshalled by the eldest sister, Jo "The General," the girls sneak down the back stairs and out into New York City's legendary speakeasy scene. Earning themselves the nickname "The Princesses," they haunt the famous nightclubs of the era, dancing and flirting with bootleggers, bartenders, and dashing bachelors of all kinds. But their father suspects what they've been up to, and worse, has plans to marry off or institutionalize the girls as punishment. Forced to flee into the cold, dark streets of Manhattan, they must learn to dance a new dance—of survival.
VERDICT Dressed up in the thrill and sparkle of the Roaring Twenties, the classic fairy tale of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" has never been more engrossing or delightful. Valentine's (Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti) fresh, original style and choice of setting make this a fairy tale reimagining not to be missed. [See Prepub Alert, 1/6/14.]
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