The title pulled me in, the cover made me interested in it even more.
My first thought was that it will be a novel touching on poems, you know because of the word speak, haha. I thought wrong though. I was not familiar with the word “speakeasy” and never bothered to read the summary of the book before actually reading it, so I was actually looking for something that is in relation to poetry til maybe around half of the book when I decided to research what speakeasy mean. haha.
According to Merriam-Webster, speakeasy (n) is a place where alcoholic drinks were sold illegally in the U.S. during the 1920s.
Not knowing what speakeasy means plus not reading the summary and no prologue nor date indicated made me confused altogether. I thought I was reading a contemporary novel all along when, in fact, it was set in the 1920s. hahaha. This is probably the main reason why I did not enjoy reading the book much. I was confused on the setting of what I was reading half the time.
The way it was written, you’ll never know it’s set in the 1920s unless you are familiar with the word speakeasy, you have read the summary before reading, and except for that one time in the book that a date in the early 1900s was given.
I did like the characters though, when I understood the setting, I appreciated the characters and how they are presented more. It kinda reminds me of Pride and Prejudice, maybe in the sense that the characters are so stubborn in admitting that they have fallen in love. Beatrice and Benedick, Hero and Prince. What I like about the book is the diversity of characters. Benedick’s your dreamer rich white guy. Beatrice is your opinionated, smart, fallen, white girl. Hero is your pampered, curvy, poor, white girl. Prince is your poor Italian guy working hard to survive. Maggie is a black girl whose voice is the sweetest. John is an Italian mafia with a soft heart. And Claude, well Claude is your typical rich guy who likes trying something new but still would choose richness over anything else. The characters are not typical characters of the 1920s.
I actually did not understand the main focus of the story. Sure, it has something to do with speakeasy of the 1920s or maybe how the Italian mafia works in the US during that period. I did enjoy the bickering of Beatrice and Benedick and because of that I read the novel til the end.
Overall, I didn’t like nor hate the book. It’s just a book good to read if your passing time. It’s not the greatest but it’s an okay book, an interesting one, I guess, since it touched on the concepts of the 1920s that are not much depicted in books. One thing it thought me though, I still have a lot to learn in history.