Madam May by Janet Hogan Chapman
In my quest to spread the word about my own books, Intoxic, Purgus, and Icara (due out June 2017) I have participated in several author showcases in the area. I met Janet Hogan Chapman
at one of these events and had the pleasure of spending a quiet moment talking about her book. Janet is an avid genealogist and in her research she came across a grandmother, from the early 1900's, with secrets. She caught the trail and started piecing the sketchy details together and was amazed at where it led. She was so taken by the tale of misconduct, independence, and ruthlessness, that she wrote a book based on that ancestors adventures. The book is based on true events, and backed up with resources and even occasional snapshots of the newspaper clipping.
Chapman writes in a journal fashion from several different character respective. Each character has a disrinct voice and there was no difficulty keeping track of them. I enjoyed the journal effect, it made me feel like I was in time with them. Chapman's descriptions of Atlanta at the turn of the century feel accurate and congruous. I never questioned her details because it all came so naturally from her characters experiences.
May is a small town girl with big city aspirations and she plans and connives her way from her family home to the city of Atlanta where she encounters other people with questionable morals and strong ambitions. Her greatest friend, Maude, tries to look out for her and even encourages May to keep on the straight and narrow. May can't do it, she tries again and again to make the right choices but her ambition drives her. She is a lovely character, full of conflict and contradiction.
I came to this book with an idea of what to expect, based on my conversation with the author, but I was still caught off guard as I walked with May through her labyrinth. If you love Atlanta, or enjoy history, or skeletons in a closet, this is a book to get lost in.
I'm looking forward to the sequel. I am anxious to see if May ever finds her straight and narrow. Hope you are writing, Janet!
Madam May is available on Amazon and by request at your favorite book store.
You can visit the author's website to be updated on her projects. Take some time to enjoy her poetry, blogs and photography.