From the author of The Jewel of Medina, a moving and insightful novel based on the life of legendary performer and activist Josephine Baker, perfect for fans of The Paris Wife and Hidden Figures.
Discover the fascinating and singular life story of Josephine Baker—actress, singer, dancer, Civil Rights activist, member of the French Resistance during WWII, and a woman dedicated to erasing prejudice and creating a more equitable world—in Josephine Baker’s Last Dance.
In this illuminating biographical novel, Sherry Jones brings to life Josephine’s early years in servitude and poverty in America, her rise to fame as a showgirl in her famous banana skirt, her activism against discrimination, and her many loves and losses. From 1920s Paris to 1960s Washington, to her final, triumphant performance, one of the most extraordinary lives of the twentieth century comes to stunning life on the page.
With intimate prose and comprehensive research, Sherry Jones brings this remarkable and compelling public figure into focus for the first time in a joyous celebration of a life lived in technicolor, a powerful woman who continues to inspire today.
Boy! Josephine Baker was a unique and tough lady. She suffered an abusive mother and there were many nights she was not sure exactly where she would be laying her head. With her rough start in this world, she still became a famous singer/dancer, a civil rights activist and a spy.
Parts of this story are difficult to read, especially at the beginning of her life. Josephine was raised in St. Louis by an abusive mother who threw her out of their home at the age of 13. This lead her to spend the night with an older man…her boss! As a matter of fact, Josephine was extremely promiscuous. There were many sexual partners throughout her life, some because it would help her career and some….just because.
This is a well researched read. However, I felt disconnected from Josephine. There are many parts in this tale I felt needed expounding on and there are places that are rushed. I expected more out of the spy era. Also, the conversations do not seem exactly right. Not sure what is missing.
But, this is a good read about an amazing lady! I love a book which teaches me a thing or two! This one definitely achieved that!
I received this novel from Gallery Books for a honest review.