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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
The Fourniers: When Hannah Played Ragtime is the first installment of The Fourniers Series by Vera Jane Cook. Hannah Reilly, set to become a nun in the Catholic Church, falls in love with Andy McGregor, an Irish Republican. However, after news of Andy's death in the Great War reaches Hannah's ears, she travels to America to join St. Anthony's Church in Concord. But a handsome man named Wade Fournier sweeps her off her feet and marries her. The newly married couple move to Jacksonville, Florida, where, over the years Hannah gives birth to four of Wade's children. But it's far from a happy marriage as Hannah soon realizes that Wade wasn't the man she thought he was. When she refuses to divorce him, Wade conspires with his sister to put Hannah in a mental institution.
A tragic tale of romance, friendship, and a broken marriage, The Fourniers: When Hannah Played Ragtime showcases how one's choices take people's lives to places they never thought possible. Author Vera Jane Cook tells a harrowing story about a woman trapped in a loveless marriage whose life becomes irrevocably ruined by her husband. Set during the Great Depression, Cook captures the general vibe of that era masterfully, portraying the fears, desperation, and despair amongst the common folk with a sense of authenticity that is utterly captivating to read. The characters are well-realized, and I found them thoroughly compelling. Hannah's story breaks your heart and keeps your eyes glued to the pages. Recommended to readers who enjoy a character-driven drama.