Against the pulsating back drop of a New York City in social and economic change, young Travis Kane struggles with his passion to be an artist painter, and the conservative demands of his strict grandfather, Barclay Kane.
His mother, unable to come to terms with tragedy, has taken Travis’s infant sister and abandons him, leaving their house in Gramercy Park, and Travis to be raised by the grandfather he adores.
Travis enters a New York speakeasy, with a unique idea, that will change his life, leading him on an exciting journey, meeting Manhattan’s privileged, studying in art in Paris and, finding his way to Broadway.
Meanwhile, Lindsay Wayne’s mother, seamstress, has a secret, and a passion. Her daughter will become a famous stage actress, and this is her focus.
Lindsay and Travis’s worlds collide.
Their lives will never be the same again.
Travis Kane grew up under the watchful eye and heavy hand of his grandfather, Barclay Kane. Travis' father was killed fighting in the Great War, meanwhile, his mother continued to grow distant until the birth of his baby sister. Shortly after giving birth, Hannah Kane gathered up her things and her new baby and disappeared. Left with his grandfather, Travis continued to practice the art that he loved, but was continually pushed toward a career in law by Barclay. When Travis becomes serious about his art, he decides to show and sell some paintings in a speakeasy. Through the speakeasy, Travis finds friends that pull him into the underworld of rum running, but also opens him up to the world of professional art. Meanwhile, Lindsay Wayne is entering the world of professional theatre with the help of her mother. Lindsay and Travis' worlds soon collide through Travis' friend, Gino.
This historical saga took me on a journey from the end of WWI through the beginning of WWII. Through Travis and Barclay I had a very unique view of the politics of World War I, prohibition, the depression and the tensions rising to World War II. More interesting than the perspective on history however, was the family dynamic of the Kanes. From the beginning, the family had significant issues. Clearly, Travis' mother felt uncomfortable in Barclay's house, there are several reasons explored throughout the story, but none that we know for sure. Though, there was something strong enough for Hannah to force herself to abandon her son and leave with her newborn daughter. Travis is the most affected by his mother's abandonment and his grandfather's pressure to make him into something he is not. I'm not sure his character ever really comes to terms with his mother's actions or his grandfather's will. However, I am glad that Travis seems to finally do what makes him happy in the end. I was really interested in Travis' artwork, his style and the mission he was sent on. Hopefully I will discover more in book two!
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.