If you’re judging by the title and a few first chapters you could easily say this is a romance novel set in 1950s America. However, it’s not at all that simple.
The story is told by the protagonist, a girl called Odessa Drake who lives with her aunt. She describes her life as boring and uneventful except for one thing: there is a man called Nicholas who makes her days more interesting. This is a man with a limp and unknown origin, never in a mood to reveal more about himself. They fall in love and after an incident, they are forced to run away on a train and travel through America.
Much of the conflict is derived from the fact that Nicholas has an interesting origin. He’s actually a part of the minority that’s not talked about enough and although he’s not very different from the stereotype it was interesting to read about his life before he met Dessa. There’s something unrealistic about him from the beginning and the reveal brings even a magic element to the story.
Dessa is introduced to the whole world of customs she knows nothing about and, being as young as she is she can’t always be considerate as you’d probably expect from someone who knows more about the world. There’s something in the way that she forms her sentences that makes you wonder if she’s used to talking aloud that much. Her speech and thoughts even sometimes feel like an unusual string of words, connected in a strange way. In fact, she has a very idealized image of her love in her mind and that’s what drives her to continue on her path.
As almost always, there’s much more to the story than just romance. This is also a novel about growing up in isolation and finally getting a chance to know about the world. The main character being a minority rarely talked about ads even more to the story. The story of how he lived is the most interesting one and it’s quite a plot twist.
Lovers of romance will probably enjoy this story.
*I got a free ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review. I’d like to thank them for sharing it with me.