Inspired by one of America’s most notorious couples, Bonnie and Clyde, Jennifer L. Wright delivers a riveting tale set during the public enemy era of the Great Depression.
Beatrice Carraway has dreams. Although she’s aged out of the childhood pageant circuit, she’s intent on carrying her talents all the way to the big screen—if only she can escape the poverty of West Dallas first. But as the Great Depression drags the working class further and further under, Beatrice struggles just to keep herself, her mother, and her younger sister afloat. After a string of failed auditions, she feels defeated.
And then in walks Jack Turner. Though Beatrice is determined to pull herself up by her bootstraps, Jack has decided on a different path out of the gutters. It isn’t long before Beatrice is swept into an exciting and glamorous life of crime beside the man she loves. Keeping one step ahead of the law, she sees her dreams of fame come true when her name and picture are plastered in newspapers across the country. Yet as their infamy grows, the distance between them widens. While Jack begins seeking bigger payouts and publicity, Beatrice starts to long for a safe, quiet life and something deeper to fill the emptiness in her soul. But when the danger of Jack’s schemes ratchets up, Beatrice fears her dreams—and her future—will end up going down in a hail of bullets.
In the captivating latest from Wright (If It Rains), the gritty realities of the Great Depression force a woman into a life of crime. Beatrice Carraway and her family have always struggled financially, and when her childhood pageant career ends at age nine, so do the winnings that helped to keep the West Texas family afloat. Not long after, her mother marries Charles Thomas, a strict and religious man who abuses Beatrice and her sister. After fleeing Charles, the three live with the girls' grandparents. As the Depression sets in, moneymaking opportunities dry up until Beatrice, now 19, meets and falls for Jack Turner, a charismatic small-time thief who brings her onto the wrong side of the law. After Jack does a stint in prison for a robbery gone wrong, Beatrice, at the urging of her faithful sister-in-law Alli, begins reading the Bible and starts to reconnect with her Christian faith, a fraught proposition given her early experiences with her authoritarian stepfather. Alli, however, introduces Beatrice to a loving God that promises rescue from the increasingly dangerous path she finds herself on, though she'll have to resist the allure of easy money to do so. Wright's tightly plotted historical offers a nuanced exploration of how faith can serve as a cudgel for submission or a source of salvation. Wright's fans will be riveted.