Straight out of the box, I found this novel fun and delightful to read. Englishwoman Gerry discovers her Aunt Leonie left her half a share of a Texas ranch, and an inscrutable Texan, Cooper, is somehow part of the deal.
June Kearns does a wonderful job with moving the story along at a perfect pace, and she is clever with awakening all the senses by utilizing flawlessly written words. I saw the colorful silk dresses and felt their melting softness; I smelled the fruity-spiciness of Mitsouko perfume; I was curious, wary, excited, and thrilled at the ups and downs of the relationship between the exuberant Englishwoman, Gerardina Mary Chiledexter (a.k.a. “Gerry”,) and the enigmatic Texan-with-no-surname, Cooper.
At first, I was a little chagrined at June Kearns’ writing style. The half sentences and phrases threw me off at the beginning, and I wasn’t sure if this would be a good read. However, I continued, determined, and discovered that much of what she wrote is, indeed, thoughts that ran through Gerry’s mind, and that we ourselves think and converse in such a manner. Does anyone think to themselves, or even speak to other in complete, perfectly grammatically correct sentences? Not always. Sometimes. Mostly. Indeed. Let’s move along—
What I was impressed with was Kearns’ knowledge and obvious well-researched history and social aspects of the 1920s world. She was right on about societal conventions, clothing, fashion, and even right down to perfumer Guerlin’s Mitsouko. That perfume, indeed, was a fairly new scent (introduced right after World War I) and was popular, too.
Kearns’ descriptions of England and Texas are picturesque and authentic. I felt I was in the cool, green English countryside and in the dusty, stifling heat of Texas. Even the brief allusions to Gerry’s ocean voyage and the undulating feel was something to which I could relate.
The romantic scenes are tastefully written and leaves all the details to the reader. To me, that is a sign of a truly gifted writer. Bravo!
I warmed up to Kearns’ writing style as I turned each page, I actually grew to care quite a bit about all the characters, living, dead, human, and beast. There were funny scenes and scenes that made me giggle, and I grew so curious about Archie, that, well, I’d like to see his story in a future Kearns novel. I would like to get to know him better.
All in all, I highly recommend “The 20s Girl, The Ghost, and All That Jazz” by June Kearns for anyone who likes the 1920s era, loves a little sweet romance, and relishes a mystery and intrigue.
This is a novel that I’ll pick again off my shelf and read.
©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.