Jessica Brockmole, in the short space of three novels, has become an author whose books I now anxiously await! Here newest, Women Enters Left, is a deft shuffling of two road trips–one by the mother, the other by the daughter a generation apart. It takes a well-organized mind to plot such a book and a talented writer to keep it from being confusing. Jessica Brockmole has that mind and is that author.
!in 1926 Ethel and Carl are at a impasse. Divorce looms. In the middle is their daughter A.L. (Anna Louisa). Enter Florence Daniels, the one-time third of this group. She and Ethel take off on a road trip after Carl leaves with A.L. to acquire a Nevada divorce. Fast forward the the 50s of McCarthy’s famed House Un-American Activities Committee and daughter A.L, is now the grown-up movie star, Louise Wild, making her own journey to decide if her career and her marriage can survive. In and around these two journeys are a few love stories, both open and hidden, a script by Florence and a lot of hamburgers.
There was really nothing I didn’t like in this one. I just thought the script got in the way a little–hence the fraction of a star. I found the story of Florence’s and Carl’s frustrated love stories very sweet. They were told so gently, so true to the time of the story. I always love this–it is a mark of historical fiction done right. I also enjoyed the frightening story of the radium sickness. When people complain that U.S. Business is over-regulated, they need to remember that this is why.
I hope this soon becomes a movie–it will be a good one.
Woman Enters Left by Jessica Brockmole.
To learn more about the radium tragedy:
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore. Currently on sale for $2.18 for Kindle