Firstly I wish to thank Rachel Hutchings at Books Forward for inviting me to read and review Copy Boy by Shelley Blanton-Stroud
ABOUT THE BOOK
Jane’s a very brave boy. And a very difficult girl. She’ll become a remarkable woman, an icon of her century, but that’s a long way off.
Not my fault, she thinks, dropping a bloody crowbar in the irrigation ditch after Daddy. She steals Momma’s Ford and escapes to Depression-era San Francisco, where she fakes her way into work as a newspaper copy boy.
Everything’s looking up. She’s climbing the ladder at the paper, winning validation, skill, and connections with the artists and thinkers of her day. But then Daddy reappears on the paper’s front page, his arm around a girl who’s just been beaten into a coma one block from Jane’s newspaper―hit in the head with a crowbar.
Jane’s got to find Daddy before he finds her, and before everyone else finds her out. She’s got to protect her invented identity. This is what she thinks she wants. It’s definitely what her dead brother wants.
Jane may not have seen much of the world but she had grown far older than her years from seeing things she shouldn’t have seen. Set during the depression in Northern California times are really tough. At seventeen Jane is six feet tall, less than nine stone and none of the curves that would make her at all lady-like. He pa likes his trips to town to play the field while her momma is well and truly pregnant and being as mean as ever to Jane. Jane is the mortar that keeps the family together and smooths away problems. That was until one-day things that had bubbled away now exploded. Jane was left with no option but to take off.
Heading for San Francisco she finds a friend from the past but employment for women is hard to come by in the depression and poorly paid, not to even mention the horrendous ways that women were treated by men. Being as tall and lanky as she was, Jane takes on the appearance of a boy and gets employment.
What a story and what a difference a chromosome makes! Riddled with guilt at just been born and the choices she has made is a huge burden but she has a sense of pride and a determination for justice. She gets herself into some pretty tight situations up against some very influential people. It all becomes a battle for justice but is being right enough?
The story really gets you into the heart of the times and how very desperate people were and the hardship of families with hungry children. People were real tough, they went through so many hardships while others got rich on them. A very hard-hitting story.
I wish to thank Rachel Hutchings at Books Forward for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SHELLEY BLANTON-STROUD grew up in California’s Central Valley, the daughter of Dust Bowl immigrants who made good on their ambition to get out of the field. She teaches college writing in Northern California and consults with writers in the energy industry. She co-directs Stories on Stage Sacramento, where actors perform the stories of established and emerging authors, and serves on the advisory board of 916 Ink, an arts-based creative writing nonprofit for children. She has also served on the Writers’ Advisory Board for the Belize Writers’ Conference. Copy Boy is her first novel, and she’s currently working on her second. She also writes and publishes flash fiction and non-fiction, which you can find at such journals as Brevity and Cleaver. She and her husband live in Sacramento with an aging beagle and many photos of their out-of-state sons.
To get to know Shelley Blanton-Stroud and her writing better, visit her at https://shelleyblantonstroud.com.