In the Garden Room by Tanya Eby
Historical Suspense, Gothic
Date Published: July 18, 2016
Publisher: Blunder Woman Productions
It is Chicago. 1910. Eleven-year-old Lillian March looks over her mother’s dead body with a sense of relief.
As a poor woman, her mother, Cora, never had any real choices or happiness with her life. Cora and Lillian flee to the bustling city of Chicago, where she is certain she will have the life of opulence she deserves.
Cora and Lillian face deep hardships in turn-of-the-century Chicago as Cora’s mind continues its downward spiral. With no money and no hope for income, Cora sells Lillian to The Garden Room, a brothel, where young girls and desperate women are kept like flowers in a jar.
John March comes looking for his daughter and his wife in an attempt to rescue them, but even if he finds them alive, is rescue really possible?
IN THE GARDEN ROOM is an exploration of madness, desire and two women’s choices in a time when they weren’t really allowed to choose.
Tanya Eby is a writer and an award-winning audiobook narrator. She has published a variety of novels from romantic comedies to mysteries to dark historical pieces. While her writing crosses genres they all share quirky characters and complicated relationships. Visit her at tanyaeby.com or follow her on Twitter @Blunder_Woman.
It is 1910 and we meet Cora and Lillian. Cora is Lillian’s mother and married to John. John is a fisherman and Cora has issues with having to work as a servant when she feels she is entitled to the rich world. Not happy with hoe her life has turned out, Cora is sweet talked by new comer Zeke into running away with him to Chicago.
But when Cora and Lillian get to Chicago it is not the wonderland Cora was lead to believe. It is dirty and rough and Lillian ends up working in a meat packing plant just to make some money that Cora and her can live on since Cora is not about to do anything to help their situation. It doesn’t help that Cora clearly has mental problems and they are not being addresses. Finally at wits end, Cora sells Lillian to a brothel called The Garden Room. John comes to Chicago to help save his wife and daughter but it is going to be a race against time to save them.
This is a very touching historical story. The description sucks you right in and plunks you down in the middle of the dirty, nasty Chicago slums and meat packing plant of 1910. Cora is clearly a narcissist and doesn’t like her lot in life. She runs away from a loving, hardworking man to chase a man that is more interested in using Lillian. And poor Lillian, I know things such as this happened all the time in the past and at time here in present day but I just can’t help wanting to get her away from Cora and give her the love that she deserves.
If you like historical fiction, this is the book for you. It is heartbreaking and gives a realistic portrayal of life in 1910 Chicago.
I received In the Garden Room from Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours.