The Pink Bonnet: True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crime by Liz Tolsma

About the book:

A Desperate Mother Searches for Her Child
Step into True Colors — a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

Widowed in Memphis during 1932, Cecile Dowd is struggling to provide for her three-year-old daughter. Unwittingly trusting a neighbor puts little Millie Mae into the clutches of Georgia Tann, corrupt Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society director suspected of the disappearance of hundreds of children. With the help of a sympathetic lawyer, the search for Millie uncovers a deep level of corruption that threatens their very lives.

Publication Date: June 1, 2019

Publisher: Barbour Books

Genre: Historical fiction, American Crime

Series: True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crime #2

My thoughts:

Before I began this novel I had never heard of Georgia Tann or the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. I quickly learned though that this was not a nice woman and the things that she and her cohorts did were absolutely appalling. This story is one I won’t soon forget.

This story takes place during the early 1930s when times were hard due to the recent depression. Although the story centers on the real-life Tann and there is mention of two other real-life people, the rest of the characters are fictional. Yet they are so well-written and developed that it is easy to believe they were real and the entire story laid out in the pages of this book was real. The author does a fantastic job of capturing the personalities of the characters and making them totally believable. It was easy to visualize Tann as a monster with her orthopedic shoes and odd odor. It was equally as easy to imagine the fear the children faced as they were torn from their homes and placed with strangers, some nice and some not nice.

It was hard for me to believe that this was a debut novel. The author’s writing style is wonderful and she has a way of telling a story that kept my interest. I do admit I had to set the book down from time to time because this isn’t a light read. Sometimes the subject matter got to be just a bit much. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book where I’ve despised so many of the characters.

If you like true crime stories I believe you will enjoy this book. Although it falls in the genre of Christian fiction there isn’t too much of a religious tone to the story. It’s just a really well-written fictional story set around real events and people.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.

About the author:

Liz Tolsma has lived in Wisconsin most of her life, and she now resides next to a farm field with her husband, their son, and their two daughters. All of their children have been adopted internationally and one has special needs. Her novella, Under His Wings, appeared in the New York Times bestselling collection, A Log Cabin Christmas. Her debut novel, Snow on the Tulips, released in August of 2013. Daisies Are Forever released in May 2014. When not busy putting words to paper, she enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping with her family.

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