Nicola Harrison’s second novel, The Show Girl, is about a small town girl from Minneapolis, who has big dreams of becoming a famous Ziegfeld Follies girl fighting against all odds and unsupportive parents and many obstacles along the way hoping to achieve her dreams.
Olive McCormick realized she wanted to dance from a young age. She really knew she wanted to be a Ziegfeld girl. This was during the 1920’s and women’s dreams depended mostly on men’s assessments of them. Against her mother’s wishes and her father’s disappointment in her she chose to follow her dreams. And after many regrets, failures and hard work she became a show girl for Ziegfeld! She was singing and dancing. But when her parents are invited to see her perform, their reaction is nothing but disgust. Her father embarrassed by her. Having to make the hardest decision of her life, she decides to pursue her dreams over her family, never realizing how this predicament would someday come back to haunt her.
But Olive is a strong woman able to weather any storm with the brains and wit of any man, and is not afraid to question their decisions.
And as her career takes off something else wonderful happens to Olive, now known as Olive Shine! She falls in love. When she meets Archie Carmichael, a wealthy, handsome businessman with a heart of gold, she finally believes she has it all! He is proud of her career, and loves her. But when they decide to marry, Olive realizes Archie may want more than she is capable of giving him.
Her secretive past now comes back to torture her. She must decide if she should tell Archie what she has been hiding since she was young, and lose him forever, or keep her secret and walk away from the love of her life. Neither decision will make her happy. But her love for him is more powerful than any secret, even though Archie will never truly understand.
Will Olive’s strength and determination be enough to keep her on the new path she has chosen?
I was introduced to Nicola Harrison when I read her first novel back in 2020 called Montauk. It still haunts me to this day. But now I can add to the list of favorite books of 2021 with her latest, The Show Girl. Harrison is able to develop powerfully strong women characters with wills of their own, not afraid to reach out and take what they feel they rightfully deserve.
Thank you #NetGalley #St.Martin’sPress #TheShowGirl #NicolaHarrison for the advanced copy.