The Spectacular

Dutton. Jun. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780593184042. $28. F
Davis’s (The Magnolia Palace) 1950s-set novel stars 19-year-old Marion Brooks, who teaches dance in New York City. Her widowed father barely tolerates her working because he expects her to marry her beau, Nathaniel, and settle down in the suburbs. Marion wants more. On the day she is fired from her teaching position, she overhears that the Radio City Rockettes are holding auditions. Sharing this exciting opportunity with her father and sister, she is told that it is out of the question. She sneaks off to the audition and wins a spot in the troupe. Upon hearing this news, her father banishes her from the home. Meanwhile, for 16 years the city has been plagued with random bombings at crowded places like Radio City by a person whom the press calls the “Big Apple Bomber.” A catastrophic bombing finds Marion colliding with the bomber and propels her into a dangerous search for the perpetrator.
VERDICT Davis shares memorable facts about the Rockettes and Marion’s struggle to balance 1950s society’s expectations of what it means to be a woman with her desire to break free. Fans of Davis’s previous books will be enthralled.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing