Last Dance on the Starlight Pier
by Bird, Sarah

In 1932 Galveston, Evie Grace Devlin, escaping a dark past in vaudeville and becoming a good person, is swept up into the alien world of dance marathons, which thrusts her into the spotlight where the promise of a family, a purpose and even love wait in the wings. 75,000 first printing. Illustrations.

SARAH BIRD was long-listed for the Dublin International Literary Award, she was selected for the Meryl Streep Screenwriting Lab, the B&N Discover Great Writers program, NPR's Moth Radio series, the Texas Literary Hall of Fame, and New York Libraries Books to Remember. Her previous novel, Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen, is based on the true story of the only woman to serve with the legendary Buffalo Soldiers.

Awakening exhausted on the Galveston beach after a dance marathon, Evie Grace Devlin witnesses the fiery destruction of the Starlite Palace, a performance venue, while recalling a terrible mistake she made. Following this striking opening, the story rewinds three years to 1929 as Evie flees her traumatic vaudeville past and her vain, abusive mother by enrolling in nursing school in Galveston. Here she finds friendship and her calling. When her nursing pin is unjustly withheld, Evie grudgingly returns to the entertainment world as nurse for a dance marathon group, including its dashing star, Zave. Bird (Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen, 2018) is a master at crafting narrative voices, and Evie's is an irresistible blend of scrappy determination and vulnerability. Despite her street smarts, her instincts sometimes lead her astray. The Depression is a multifaceted character in this addictive tale, which evokes ferocious dust storms, dance marathons' demanding rules, and Chicago nightlife as acutely as the emotions of desperate Americans seizing happiness wherever they can. As the novel stirringly demonstrates in multiple ways, home can be found amid people who accept us for ourselves. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

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