"Bad Luck" Benny is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Recently released from jail, he has vowed to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. But he also needs to care for his ailing sister and the rest of his struggling family, and he'll do anything to make that happeneven if it means taking a position with a notorious crime boss. He soon finds himself in over his headand worse stillfalling for the one dame on earth he should be staying away from.
Masie is the daughter of a wealthy gangster with the voice of an angel and gun smoke in her veins. Strong-willed but trapped in a life she never wanted, she dreams of flying free from the politics and manipulation of her father. A pawn in her family's fight for control of the city, and with a killer hot on her heels, she turns to the one person who just might be able to spring her from her gilded cage. But Masie is no angel, and her own dark secrets may come back to burn them both.
Two worlds collide in this compelling story of star-crossed lovers in gritty prohibition-era New York.
Perfect for fans of Beatriz Williams’ A CERTAIN AGE or Libba Bray’s THE DIVINERS, THE CANARY CLUB by Sherry D. Ficklin will entice Historical Romance fans of all ages. This Gatsby-era tale filled with dazzling speakeasies, vicious shoot-outs, gritty gangsters, and iridescent ingenues has also been compared to the television series Z: THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING and BOARDWALK EMPIRE.
About the Author
Sherry is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel, eat exotic food, and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she's on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is often only seen in blurry photographs.
The Canary Club
Book Club Discussion Guide
1. From the first few pages did you get a sense of where and when this novel took place? What were your first thoughts about the world Benny lives in?
2. THE CANARY CLUB alternates between the perspectives of Benny and Masie.
What were your immediate impressions of their lives? How are the characters similar? How are they different? Did you identify with one over the other?
3. Benny and Masie are both very rooted in their families needs. How do you think those relationships impact them as individuals? How would their lives be different if their family dynamics were reversed?
4. Many stories have been told about the roaring 20’s and specifically the ‘gangster’ element at the time. How was this different? Did anything about the way it was presented surprise you?
5. Through the book Masie becomes increasingly disenchanted with her father’s lifestyle. What do you think finally pushes her to leave the business? Do you think she made the right choice?
6. As Benny and Masie grow closer, they become more dangerous to themselves and the people around them. Do you think that they could have handled their situation differently? How might you have done things in their place?
7. Early in the story Masie accuses Benny of being “green”. Do you think his innocence and moral foundation was an advantage or a disadvantage? How you think his relationships with Masie and her family changed him, if at all?
8. What recurring themes did you notice throughout the book? Did any specific thoughts or ideas stand out to you? How did you feel about the use of imagery within the world?
9. The 1920’s were a time when there was a significant change in gender stereotypes. Did you notice any differences in the gender roles in this book? If so, how do you think those differences impacted the story?
10. At the asylum, Masie confesses to fearing becoming like her mother. Do you think that a fear of becoming like our parents is a common part of growing up? How do you think Masie’s fear affected the choices she made?
11. THE CANARY CLUB is set in the era of speakeasies and bootlegging. Which scenes did you gravitate towards most: the glittering club scenes full of flappers, booze, and jazz or the grittier scenes of Benny’s life as a lower class street hoodlum scraping to get by? Did that perception of privilege versus disadvantage change as you read?
12. The book is full of colorful secondary characters. Did you find yourself drawn to any of them specifically? How did you feel about where everyone ended up?
13. The end of this book sees Benny and Masie chasing their happy ending at the expense of her father’s business and freedom. Do you think that she will ever truly forgive him for his actions, and vice-versa?
14. How do you think Benny and Masie evolved over the course of the story? Do you still feel the same about them in the end as you did in the beginning?
15. What did you like or dislike about the book that hasn’t been discussed already? Were you glad you read this book? Would you recommend it to a friend? Do you want to read more work by this author?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sherry Ficklin's writing practically hums with electricity. There's an energy and a sense of expectancy in her writing and her characters that makes her writing unique. Having read all three of the prequel novellas in the Canary Club series, it was so satisfying read a full-length novel with all of the characters. And... based on the ending, I'm hoping there's more to come! Ms. Ficklin has certainly done her historical research, and has the ability to fully immerse the reader in the Prohibition Era. I love the inclusion of real life mobsters. The characters are so realistic and well-developed, and the plot never drags. As far as content, there is one instance of rape, but it is not graphic, mostly just alluded to, and one love scene, but again, no graphic details. I recommend this to all fans of Prohibition Era fiction, fans of historical fiction and clean romance. I can't wait to see if there's more to come!
This book is a true roaring twenties romeo and juliet tale with enough glitter and gin to make any flapper happy. Loved the story line and the characters.