Review: Whistling in the Dark by Tamara Allen

Whistling in the Dark is a heartwarming and poignant historical romance set in New York in the aftermath of World War I. It’s the story of two men, both damaged by the war in different ways, who are drawn together first by fate, then by friendship and finally by love.

Sutton Albright, son of a rich Kansas businessman, has just been expelled from college and, too ashamed to face his parents, travels to New York to look for work. Here he meets Jack Bailey, who is desperately trying to keep his late parents’ struggling novelty shop afloat. Jack has come up with the idea of advertising on the radio (which is still a very new invention) and is looking for someone to provide the music for his broadcasts. Well, guess who just happens to be a talented classical pianist?

This is a very well written book and Tamara Allen does a fantastic job of portraying New York City in the early 20th century. I had no problem at all in forming a mental picture of Bailey’s Emporium, Ida’s restaurant, Jack’s apartment and the other locations we visit. It was interesting to read about the early days of radio broadcasting, the emerging jazz scene, prohibition and all the little period details that the story touches upon. In Jack and Sutton – very different people in terms of both background and personality – she has also created two characters that I really liked and cared about.

The book was just the right length to allow the author to take her time developing the characters and building up the different layers of the plot, without the story dragging at all. Recommended.

Genre: Gay Historical Romance/Pages: 340/Publisher: Lethe Press/Year: 2009/Source: Won from LibraryThing Member Giveaways

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