Thursday, June 25, 2015

Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg

Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg

Mazie Phillips moves in with her sister and her husband in New York City at the dawn of the Jazz Age.  She loves to have a good time but her brother-in-law thinks she needs to help out the family.  So he installs her as the ticket taker at The Venice, a movie house he owns downtown.  She struggles with the idea of being stuck in a small glass box all day, but learns to like her job and all the people she meets.  Mazie makes some interesting acquaintances at The Venice and through her eyes we experience Prohibition and the Depression as they come to the Big Apple.

Mazie’s story is told in interesting ways.  The book is mostly entries from Mazie’s diary, but there are also excerpts of interviews from those that knew her, postcards and other short pieces interspersed throughout.  What I liked even more than the interesting format?  The unanswered questions!  Like who is the narrator and why is she so interested in Mazie?  What was Mazie up to during the gaps in the diary? 

If you like headstrong women with a heart of gold (she is a hero to the homeless in the Depression) and stories based on the lives of real people you will enjoy everything about this book.

The only thing I didn’t like about the book was the cover.  This is one of those love it or hate it covers.  Do not judge this book by its cover!