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Apple- Eileen Dandashi review

March 26, 2019

My usual read is full of action–this one is full of depth of understanding the web people are caught in.  At first, the story unfolded slowly, albeit interestingly.  It gave me a chance to absorb the climate of the Prohibition days — the corruption which spread rampant throughout the community, from top officials to the guy doing the dirty work.

Since I love the supernatural, author Decter’s touch of the ghostly Frank adds a lot to the story — not only his apparent need to resolve an issue for which he can’t pass over to the other side, but his unfailingly wise counsel to the only person he’s found who sees him–Maggie Barnes.  Frank is helping to clean up the city.  He has nothing to lose for apparently he’s lost everything.  (grins)

Maggie wants the same, for she lost her husband to the corruption of the city. She is on a precipice of financial ruin.  She’s a single parent, a strong, intelligent woman, playing with fish bigger than she.  Can she manage to care for herself, her son and his education, with her sole means of support through the boarding house and her small earnings?  Her alternative is to swim with the fish in the pool of corruption.  Which is it to be?

I could see the research necessary to make this story authentic.  It drew my attention by that simple fact.  Decter wove the events of the story (Maggie’s determination to try to catch the bad guys) with the prevailing culture of its human tragedy, perfectly seamlessly.  I learned so much. Her flawed characters created a rich texture of emotion.

I commiserated with Maggie’s plight. I commiserated with Edith, Mike Duffy’s wife. The author made me feel compassion for women during that time.   Maggie wants to be loved for herself and be cared for by a man who values her for her talents. Edith is caught in the spokes of a man’s world of corruption and loose morals.

Temptation is looming. Can Maggie resist the temptation of swimming with the fish, lose her integrity and self-respect? Can Edith resist the lure of a man who promises her love?
Colonel Butler is an interesting man.  He tries to do it all — fight corruption from the bootleggers and fight corruption from the politicians and racketeers. He has learned a lesson extremely valuable for humankind to learn.  I don’t want to say what it is, but, it is powerful! Frankly, I bow at his feet for this realization.

Mickey Duffy, Edith’s husband, is also an interesting character who isn’t all he seems.  He has far more depth than it appears.
Under all the corruption, these people are real. They booze and blow to escape demons they live with.

I picked up on a theme, strong and clear.  As long as the arm which controls corruption does not keep you from your own illegal pursuits, your indignation for the wrongdoers holds true.  When it touches you, those of power and influence, it can not be tolerated.
If this is a time period you enjoy, you most definitely should read the book.

If you love books with strong messages, this again will touch you.