The Spectacular Review

Hello, all!

Historical fiction has always been one of my favorite genres, but I've been picking up some duds lately. Then along came The Spectacular by Fiona Davis to renew my love of the genre!

Pub Date: 6-13-23
Adult - Historical Fiction

It's 1956, and nineteen-year-old Marion is at a crossroads. She just lost her job teaching dance, and her father is pressuring her to marry her longtime boyfriend and become a stay-at-home housewife. But Marion knows she's built for more than just cooking and cleaning. She was born to dance, to bring joy through movement. So, Marion decides to throw caution to the wind and audition to become a Radio City Rockette, and no one is more shocked than she is when she gets the job. Her new job puts a wedge between Marion and her family, but she's determined to live her life how she's always dreamed.

Being a Rockette is an honor of a lifetime, but also hard work, and between dancing four shows a day and grueling rehearsals, Marion barely has any time to breathe. One night, a bomb planted by the notorious "Big Apple Bomber" goes off in the audience, rocking Marion's world. Police have been after the culprit for years with no luck, but Marion is determined to get to the bottom of the case. At her insistence, the police turn to a new form of investigating, psychological profiling. As Marion gets more involved in the case, she uncovers secrets that hit too close to home. But if Marion hopes to catch the bomber before he strikes again, she'll need to risk everything, including the ones she loves the most.

This book! Is it cheesy to say that it was spectacular? The last few historical fiction books I've read have been duds, so I didn't go into this with high expectations, and it blew me away. I was captivated from the very first page. You could tell that Davis put so much time and research into the story. She took a staple NYC landmark and true events, and tweaked them into such a compelling read. I loved going backstage at Radio City and seeing what it was like being a Rockette and the amount of hard work that goes into their performances. I also liked how Davis confronted the 1950s idea of a woman's place in society by making Marion strong-willed and independent. She wasn't afraid to make her voice heard when it came to the investigation, which in and of itself was so interesting to follow. The relationships here, both platonic and romantic, were also beautifully done. The romance was so bittersweet, but I loved how it wrapped up. I loved everything about this and can't wait to read all of Davis's books.

Rating: 5/5


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