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Review: Last Night at the Blue Angel

July 21, 2015

Last Night at the Blue Angel

In the tumultuous world of 1960s Chicago, Naomi Hill is a jazz singer at the Blue Angel.  For the past ten years, she’s felt like she’s on the verge of making it big.  Jazz isn’t as popular as it used to be, though, so the Blue Angel will be closing down.  Naomi might just find her big break elsewhere, but at what cost?

Last Night at the Blue Angel by Rebecca Rotert is a deeply atmospheric book about ambition, love, and family and I was completely mesmerized by it.  It’s told in the present (1965) through the eyes of Naomi’s young daughter Sophia, and in the past by Naomi herself.  Both characters are complex and fascinating but I found Sophia to be the more sympathetic of the two so I was somewhat partial to her part of the story.  Naomi’s story was essential, though, even if she wasn’t always likeable.  The two were surrounded by great friends and supporting characters who added a lot to the story.

My book club chose this for our June meeting.  It gave me a lot to think about as I read it so I knew we’d have a great discussion and we did!  We were lucky enough to Skype with Rebecca Rotert – she gave us a lot of insight into the characters and hope for a sequel.  Our discussion lasted long after our conversation with her.  The paperback copy of Last Night at the Blue Angel contains great resources for book clubs including discussion questions, a musical playlist, and a note from the author.  I highly recommend this book, especially for book clubs, but you’ll want to read it even if you don’t belong to one.

Review copy provided by Harper Collins and Book Club Girl Book Club.   I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
17 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2015 6:49 am

    I like the idea of a book club and like minded people getting together to discuss a book. Nothing like that here.

  2. July 21, 2015 7:18 am

    I love when books include extra stuff!

  3. July 21, 2015 7:30 am

    I’ve had this book sitting around for awhile, your review has made me dig it out.

  4. July 21, 2015 9:20 am

    Isn’t it great to get the back story directly from the author?

  5. July 21, 2015 10:05 am

    Nice review, Kathy.

    I enjoyed this book. Glad you had a good discussion with your book club. Fun that you skyped with the author.

    Thanks for sharing.


  6. July 21, 2015 11:30 am

    This sounds wonderful. I like atmospheric books and it’s always nice to have something to discuss in book club. Glad you could skype with the author too. Thanks for putting this on my radar!

  7. Literary Feline permalink
    July 21, 2015 1:19 pm

    This does sound like a great book club pick, Kathy!

  8. Patty permalink
    July 21, 2015 2:46 pm

    That sounds like an interesting and fun night!

  9. July 21, 2015 6:58 pm

    I love atmospheric! Adding this to my list.

  10. July 22, 2015 2:22 am

    nice review.

  11. July 22, 2015 4:02 pm

    I read this book a few months back, like your review.

  12. July 23, 2015 12:53 am

    So great that you got to Skype with the author!

  13. Beth F permalink
    July 23, 2015 7:18 am

    I really liked this book — I listened to the audio. How cool that you were able to Skype with the author and I’m thrilled that there might be a sequel.

  14. July 23, 2015 3:16 pm

    This sounds like a good read…and you got to hear some insider scoop! Great meeting to me.

  15. bookingmama permalink
    July 24, 2015 6:19 am

    This one wasn’t even my radar until you told me about it. Sounds good to me!

  16. July 25, 2015 10:41 pm

    this one sounds like one I would very much enjoy! I bet that was so neat being able to Skype with the author.

  17. The Cue Card permalink
    July 27, 2015 6:43 pm

    That’s great you could talk to the author during your book club gathering. That brings a lot.

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