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The Roaring Days of Zora Lily by Noelle Salazar

2023, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History: While preparing an exhibit featuring movie costumes from the 1920s to the present day, costume conservator Sylvia discovers a name label hidden underneath the designer label of a dress that was worn by Greta Garbo. Her curiosity leads her on a quest – who was Zora Lily, and why is her name hidden beneath another designer’s label?

1924, Seattle: By day, Zora helps her mother with the children and also with the sewing that they take in to try to make ends meet. Zora dreams of one day becoming a designer and owning her own boutique, but her dreams feel very far away from her day to day reality. When Rose, Zora’s best friend, gets a job as a dancer in one of the clubs in the city, Zora is drawn into the glamorous world of the nightclub scene, the beautiful clothes, the dancing, and a budding romance with Harley, a local businessman. Word gets around about Zora’s sewing skills, and soon leads to opportunities that she never before thought possible. And then, tragedy strikes, and Zora must now decide whether to follow her dream, or take another path.

This is a perfect read for book clubs – there’s a lot to discuss! It’s also a great read for those who are interested in fashion or Hollywood history. Salazar really sets the scene well, taking us not only to the creation of a modern day museum exhibit, but also to the 1920’s world of prohibition, speakeasies and Hollywood. Verdict: definitely add to your TBR!

Posted in: Book club, Historical Fiction