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Monday, February 10, 2014

A Snug Life Somewhere by Jan Shapin - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review

About The Book:

Paperback: 294 pages
• Publisher: Cambridge Books (April, 2014)

"A Snug Life Somewhere" is about Penny Joe Copper, daughter of a roustabout shingle weaver, who is caught up in a 1916 union tragedy known as the Everett Massacre. Her brother Horace is killed, as is the cousin of a radical organizer, Gabe. When her love affair with Marcel, a music student seven years her junior, is thwarted, she is pulled into Gabe’s campaign to avenge the “Everett Martyrs.”

She follows Gabe to Mexico (where they live in a household of Bolsheviks bent on smuggling jewels) then to Chicago (where she rediscovers Marcel, steals a Faberge egg and escapes from Gabe). Then a second event intervenes — the Seattle General Strike of 1919.

Penny Joe returns to Seattle to confront Gabe and meets up with a mysterious stranger who turns out to be J. Edgar Hoover. Should she give the Faberge egg to Hoover as evidence against Gabe or just disappear and start a new life. Is she ever going to reunite with her lost love Marcel?

My Thoughts:

I really enjoy books that teach me something that I didn't know, and author Jan Shapin's "A Snug Life Somewhere" did just that.

In this fascinating historical fiction Shapin tells the story of one young woman's struggle to find her identity as well as a little love in her life and is set against the background the country's most intriguing and violent era - Pre World War I and the time when unions were beginning to rise up in the United States.

Told through the voice of Peggy Joe Copper, this novel grips the reader right from the start and takes them on a journey from Washington State to Mexico to Chicago and back to Seattle. Along the way, Peggy meets many people, both good and bad, the infamous and the famous, who influence her life immensely - and as she matures she realizes that she too contributed to both the political atmosphere and the historical events that seemed to find her all through her life. I really enjoyed the character of Peggy Joe - she was a plucky, no-nonsense gal who wasn't afraid to face what ever came her way.

I was also intrigued by the history that surrounded the Everett, Washington Massacre, an event that became a major point in the rising turmoil over the union's rise in the Pacific Northwest. Jan Shapin includes historical facts throughout her story about this dramatic time and it gives the tale the dynamic action that propels the story forward.

"A Snug Life Somewhere" is a well-written, fast moving novel that fans of historical fiction will enjoy. I highly recommend it.

Jan ShapinAbout Jan Shapin

Jan Shapin has been writing plays and screenplays for nearly thirty years, in the last decade concentrating on fiction. Shapin has studied playwriting at Catholic University in Washington, DC, screenwriting at the Film and Television Workshop and University of Southern California, and fiction writing at a variety of locations including Barnard College’s Writers on Writing seminar, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

Her plays have been produced in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. She has received grants from the RI Council for the Humanities and has served as a juror for the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts screenplay fellowship awards. A companion novel, A Desire Path, was published in 2012.

She lives in North Kingstown, RI with her photographer husband. Learn more about Jan at her website, janshapin.com.

Jan’s Tour Stops

Monday, February 10th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Tuesday, February 11th: The Road to Here
Wednesday, February 12th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Thursday, February 13th: Melody & Words
Monday, February 17th: Priscilla and Her Books
Tuesday, February 18th: Lisa’s Yarns
Thursday, February 20th: Dwell in Possibility
Monday, February 24th: Booksie’s Blog
Tuesday, February 25th: The Written World
Wednesday, February 26th: The Most Happy Reader
Thursday, February 27th: Time 2 Read
Monday, March 3rd: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, March 4th: Book Loving Hippo
Wednesday, March 5th: Unabridged Chick

My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this blog tour and to the author for the review copy of this book.  I was not compensated for my opinion.

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jan Shapin said...

Thank you Sharon! Your review of A Snug Life Somewhere was right on point. So glad you liked the main character Penny Joe and found the historical context worth your read. Lots of people think Unions, Communists, blah,blah, who cares? But this is an important part of our history and what happened then shaped what's happening now. Happy you can recommend it to your followers.
Jan Shapin

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm like you - I really love learning history from novels. The things I learn really stick with me when I see them through the eyes of the characters experiencing them.

Thanks for being on the tour!