About the Book
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 My Opinion
Bonnie and Clyde. I know the names and a tiny bit about their crime spree and the hunt for them—most of my knowledge comes from the movies made about them—but I do not know them as people. What led them to their lives of crime and what motivated them to keep going (other than the money). But using this infamous couple as inspiration, Jennifer L. Wright chose to look deeper and examine the pain and heartache in Beatrice to give readers The Girl from the Papers.
From the outset of this book, Wright builds sympathy for Beatrice. Her longing to belong, to be seen is so clear. And when that desire is squashed, she is left facing a crossroads. The path she chooses eventually leads her to Jack. She’s swept up by him and, not wanting to be left behind, aligns herself with him.
Beatrice and Jack do not make good choices. The two of them engage in many vices and sins, but Wright delicately balances on that line of too much detail and reader imagination. While she tackles topics of breaking the law, shootouts, murder, abuse, and alcohol, to name a few, she never goes into so much detail that reading about those things is uncomfortable.
And the message of hope and grace—no matter how far we’ve strayed from God—is so natural to this story, when I was grateful for the journey this story took me through. Most of us know someone who feels (to us) so far from God that we don’t see how they will ever find salvation. The Girl from the Papers is a reminder that God can make a way to even the hardest of hearts.
Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.