Author: Joanna Scott
Summary: Great writing and characterizations made the slower-paced mystery a pleasure to read.
In 1950’s New York, Maggie Gleason is enjoying the empowerment of having a career at the Port Authority. She stands in awe of her boss, the impressive Mrs. Jeffe, who is driving the creation of the world’s largest sky scraper. When Mrs. J asks her to look out for new hire, Pauline Moreau, and her daughter, she takes that charge seriously. So when Pauline vanishes, she won’t rest until she finds out what secret from Pauline’s past led to her disappearance.
I expected this book to have writing that felt very similar to much of the other historical fiction I’ve read, maybe like Susanna Kearsley or Sarah Jio. Unlike their more lyrical prose, this writing was crisp and sharp. It felt appropriate to the setting, bringing to mind an image of the women in crisply pressed clothes walking briskly through the bustling city. There was also more of a mystery than I expected. The story was told in a lot of short vignettes, moving backwards and forwards in time. Initially it was difficult to figure out how the many scenes connected, but I was always interested to discover what would happen next. Watching everything come together slowly was very satisfying.
Altogether, the author crafted an engaging, character-driven story that I couldn’t put down. I found the way people were described very convincing. On many occasions, the author perfectly captured an emotion I’d felt or an experience I’d had before with a phrase I’d never have thought to use. Although this book wasn’t what I expected, I really loved it. I’d particularly recommend it to anyone who enjoys slower, more thoughtful, character-driven stories.