1924. May Marshall is determined to spend the dog days of summer in self-imposed exile at her father’s farm in Keswick, Virginia. Following a naive dalliance that led to heartbreak and her expulsion from Mary Baldwin College, May returns home with a shameful secret only to find her father’s orchard is now the site of a lucrative moonshining enterprise. Despite warnings from the one man she trusts—her childhood friend Byrd—she joins her father’s illegal business. When authorities close in and her father, Henry, is arrested, May goes on the run.
May arrives in New York City, determined to reinvent herself as May Valentine and succeed on her own terms, following her mother’s footsteps as a costume designer. The Jazz Age city glitters with both opportunity and the darker temptations of cocaine and nightlife. From a start mending sheets at the famed Biltmore Hotel, May falls into a position designing costumes for a newly formed troupe of African American entertainers bound for Paris. Reveling in her good fortune, May will do anything for the chance to go abroad, and the lines between right and wrong begin to blur. When Byrd shows up in New York, intent upon taking May back home, she pushes him, and her past, away.
In Paris, May’s run of luck comes to a screeching halt, spiraling her into darkness as she unravels a painful secret about her past. May must make a choice: surrender to failure and addiction, or face the truth and make amends to those she has wronged. But first, she must find self-forgiveness before she can try to reclaim what her heart craves most.
May is a young lady from a farm in Virginia. She has been expelled from college and comes back home. She ends up helping her father run moonshine. But, the authorities close in and she high tails it to NYC. Well…this is just the beginning a new chapter in her life.
This story is intriguing all the way through! However, there are places where it is a little mundane with some details. But, this is minor. May is such a great character. She starts out as timid and follows MOST of the rules. Then she falls into the wrong crowd and makes some huge mistakes. I enjoy a character which grows up in front of your eyes. And May truly does. She takes ownership of her mistakes and does everything she can to rectify them.
Then…the setting of the Jazz Age in NYC and Paris…OH MY! Plus, May has a mystery in her background. This is what leads her to Paris.
Now, let me say, this cover is misleading. This is not how I pictured May or someone in the Jazz age. So, never judge a book by its cover!
This is a wonderful novel! Grab your copy today!
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
About the Author
The farmhouse where Liza Nash Taylor lives in Keswick, Virginia, with her family and dogs was built in 1825, and it is the opening setting of ETIQUETTE FOR RUNAWAYS. She writes in the old bunkhouse, with the occasional black snake and a view of the Southwest Mountains. In 2018, Liza completed the MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Art and was named a Hawthornden International Fellow. She was the 2016 winner of the San Miguel Writer’s Conference Fiction Prize. Her short stories have appeared in Microchondria II,(an anthology by the Harvard Bookstore), Gargoyle Magazine, and others.
ETIQUETTE FOR RUNAWAYS is her first novel. Look for her second, stand-alone sequel, in 2021, also from Blackstone Publishing. For more visit, www.lizanashtaylor.com .
‘Exquisitely written, Liza Nash Taylor’s Etiquette for Runaways is a powerful tale of seeking absolution and pursuing dreams. It’s a magnificent, special novel that I didn’t want to end.” –Alan Hlad, international bestselling author of The Long Flight Home
‘Fasten your seatbelts, for Etiquette for Runaways is an effervescent and completely unpredictable ride from Virginia to New York to Paris with brave and complicated May Marshall. Trust me, this is one fabulous book that will keep you turning pages.” –Nancy Thayer, New York Times bestselling author of Girls of Summer
‘This is a great coming-of-age novel about life lessons, loyalty, and forgiveness in a fast-spinning, glittering world full of temptation and opportunity. Beautifully done!” — Kathleen Grissom, New York Times bestselling author of The Kitchen House and Glory Over Everything