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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Blythe of the Gates by Leah Erickson, the year is 1911 in Brooklyn, New York. A magician with a harsh and violent upbringing struggles to find recognition for his talent. Frustrated with his life, he unleashes all of his anger on his long-suffering wife and assistant, Luna. She dreams of one day escaping her violent magician husband to be with her secret lover, Sean. Luna is convinced that her husband’s powerful magic powers will be used against her if she leaves. Little does Luna realize that one night's events are set to change her life forever. Luna is catapulted into the public gaze when she becomes linked to the Irish Mafia and murder. Luna manages to regain her reputation and becomes a successful magician in her own right. But with a court case looming over her, will she choose to protect her future or tell the truth and risk everything?
Blythe of the Gates by Leah Erickson is a captivating historical novel that drew me into vaudeville New York immediately. Luna was a lost and desperate soul who had the misfortune to meet and marry a man with a horrific abusive past. The background to the characters explained a great deal about their behaviour and view of the world. I thought the relationship between Sean and Luna was quite intense and passionate and the result was explosive. The story was constantly moving forward, full of twists turns, and it was action packed. I enjoyed how Luna’s character developed from being controlled by her family, husband and lover into a self-assured and confident woman. The plot contains a rollercoaster of emotions from complete desolation and sorrow to pockets of humour too. The ending did not disappoint at all and I would love to read much more about Luna. Hopefully, there will be another novel to follow. I feel the story has an excellent and inspirational message to always live true to your standards and always have the courage to follow your dreams.