A stylish and suspenseful historical page-turner following an up-and-coming journalist who stumbles onto a web of secrets, deceptions, and mysteries at a popular new literary magazine–inspired by the true story of CIA intervention in Cold War American arts and letters.
New York City, 1953: Louise Leithauser’s star is on the rise. She’s filed some of the best pieces at her boyfriend Joe’s brand new literary magazine, Downtown (albeit under a male pseudonym), her relationship still makes her weak at the knees, and the science fiction romance she’s writing on the side, “The Lunar Housewife,” is going swimmingly. But when she overhears Joe and his business partner fighting about listening devices and death threats, Louise can’t help but investigate, and she quickly finds herself wading into dangerous waters.
As Louise pieces together rumors, hunches, and clues, the picture begins to come together–Downtown’s strings are being pulled by someone powerful, and that someone doesn’t want artists or writers criticizing Uncle Sam. Meanwhile, opportunities are falling in Louise’s lap that she’d have to be crazy to refuse, including an interview with America’s most famous living author, Ernest Hemingway. Can Louise stand by and let doors keep opening for her, while the establishment sells out and censors her fellow writers? As her suspicions and paranoia mount, Louise’s own novel “The Lunar Housewife” changes shape, colored by her newfound knowledge. And when Louise is forced to consider her future sooner than she planned, she needs to decide whether she can trust Joe for the rest of her life.
Peppered with cameos from real life luminaries such as Truman Capote and James Baldwin, and full of period detail and nail-biting tension, Caroline Woods channels 1950s New York glamour as Louise’s investigation brings her face to face with shocking secrets, brutal sexism, and life or death consequences. Deeply researched and propulsive, The Lunar Housewife is a historical thriller rich with meaning for modern readers.
Louise is a writer. She has published several works under a male pseudonym for her boyfriend’s magazine. She is also writing a science fiction novel which is showing great promise. With her love life and her professional life going so well, it comes as a shock when she overhears a conversation. So, she starts to investigate and and ends up in dangerous territory.
Now, I am in the minority on this book. I read a few reviews and a lot of people loved this book. I, however, did not. This is a story which I enjoyed while I was reading it but, if I ever put it down, I didn’t want to pick it back up. I did not like either one of the main characters. Louise is wishy washy and Joe is just not a nice man. He does his best to cut Louise down to size on several occasions even going behind her back to make sure she didn’t achieve her goals and that just did not sit well with me.
I am also not a fan of the story within a story format. We get to read Louise’s novel throughout this novel. I will be honest…I skimmed a good bit of that part.
That being said…there was still something about this story which kept me reading. I did enjoy the name dropping and reading about Hemingway. I also enjoyed the time period and the mystery surrounding Joe.
Need a glamorous historical fiction novel…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.