Historical Fiction

Book Review – Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh

Goodreads Synopsis:

The summer of 1927 might be the height of the Roaring Twenties, but Bonnelyn Parker is more likely to belt out a church hymn than sling drinks at an illicit juice joint. She’s a sharp girl with plans to overcome her family’s poverty, provide for herself, and maybe someday marry her boyfriend, Roy Thornton. But when Roy springs a proposal on her and financial woes jeopardize her ambitions, Bonnelyn finds salvation in an unlikely place: Dallas’s newest speakeasy, Doc’s.

Living the life of a moll at night, Bonnie remains a wholesome girl by day, engaged to Roy, attending school and working toward a steady future. When Roy discovers her secret life, and embraces it—perhaps too much, especially when it comes to booze and gambling—Bonnie tries to make the pieces fit. Maybe she can have it all: the American Dream, the husband, and the intoxicating allure of jazz music. What she doesn’t know is that her life—like her country—is headed for a crash.

She’s about to meet Clyde Barrow.

My Opinion:

From the very first pages I was completely immersed in this fascinating historical fiction story!

Bonnie is 17 years old and has the weight of the world on her shoulders. She lives with her mother, brother, and sister and money is tight. They work together as a family to pay the bills and put food on the table, but when life throws them a curveball or two, Bonnie takes matters into her own hands.

I just adored Bonnie! She is only 17, but I could not help but think of her as much older. She is determined to not be poor, wants to become a teacher, and marry her childhood beau. She is driven, hardworking, and extremely optimistic.

It is important to remember that this is Bonnie’s story, not her future side-kick Clyde’s. Clyde does play a part in this book, but not until much closer to the end.

I would also like to note that this book is not an accurate account of Bonnie’s life. If that is what you are looking for then this is not the book for you. At the end Jenni L. Walsh sets the record straight and tells the readers what was real and what was not. She has included many real life situations and characters, but did bend the truth a bit. I feel that it is a good blend of both fact and fiction.

I loved this story and cannot believe it took me this long to pick it up! I am very excited to move onto book two – Side by Side.

Book Details:

My Rating: 4.5/5
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: Bonnie, #2
Publisher: Forge
Publication Date: 5/9/17
Pages: 320 (Hardback)

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14 thoughts on “Book Review – Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh

  1. Oh wow – oh wow!! First, great review!! Second, I’m such a huge “gangster” fan, yes, I know how that sounds. I love this era and cannot believe I’ve never heard of this book before now. THANK YOU!!

    Liked by 1 person

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