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Harlem After Midnight

by Louise Hare

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Canary Club (2)

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402633,677 (3.5)None
"A body falls from a town house window in Harlem, and it looks just like the newest singer at the Apollo...in this evocative, twisting new novel from the author of Miss Aldridge Regrets. Harlem, 1936: Lena Aldridge grew up in a cramped corner of London, hearing stories of the bright lights of Broadway. She always imagined that when she finally went to New York City, she'd be there with her father. But now he's dead, and she's newly arrived and alone, chasing a dream that has quickly dried up. When Will Goodman-the handsome musician she met on the crossing from England-offers for her to stay with his friends in Harlem, she agrees. She has nowhere else to go, and this will give her a chance to get to know Will better and see if she can find any trace of the family she might have remaining. Will's friends welcome her with open arms, but just as Lena discovers the stories her father once told her were missing giant pieces of information, she also starts to realize the man she's falling too fast and too hard for has secrets of his own. And they might just place a target on her back. Especially when she is drawn to the brightest stage in town"--… (more)
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Showing 2 of 2
Lena Aldridge has fetched up in New York. After the horrible events on the Queen Mary, Lena is pleased to have found romance with Will Goodman and he helps her find a place to stay with his friends. As their relationship blossoms Lena tries to find out more about her family but also discovers a lot more about Will's history. After a sudden death, Lena must decide where her future lies.
This is the third book in Hare's story about Lena Aldridge, a bi-racial singer in the 1930s. Here the focus is New York and the uneasy relations between black and white and levels of society. I loved the setting in Harlem and places such as The Apollo and the Cotton Club. However at it's heart this is a story about family ties and revenge. Sometimes the plot feels a lott too contrived but I genuinely love the journey. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Oct 14, 2023 |
The sequel to MISS ALDRIDGE REGRETS takes place in New York City in 1936. Lena has survived the problems of the first book but is in New York with no job and no friends except Will Goodman whom she met on the Atlantic crossing.

Lena is staying with Will's friends Claudette and Louis. She's a library assistant and he's a doctor. Lena is also learning more about Will. She meets his stepsister Bel and his niece Joey and lots of people in Harlem who remember him fondly.

Lena is also looking for information about her father who recently died of tuberculosis. She met the woman who was her mother in the first adventure and has quite a few questions about her father's life that he never told her about.

The book actually begins with a woman falling out of the window of Claud and Louis's apartment holding Lena's passport leading the reader to believe that it was Lena. Then the story slips backward to when Lena first arrives in New York. There are also flashbacks that let the reader take a peek into Lena's father Alfie's life in New York City before she was born. We learn about him before Lena does.

This was an interesting historical story with a bit of mystery. Like in the first book, the mystery plot isn't the most important part of the story and isn't particularly strong. What is important is Lena's search for family and for the past her father never told her about. It is about the difficulties of being Black in New York City in 1936 even if your skin is light enough to pass. It's about the start of a romance that doesn't seem to have a future.

Fans of historical fiction will enjoy getting to know Lena and her world. ( )
  kmartin802 | Jul 25, 2023 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Louise Hareprimary authorall editionscalculated
Osborne, EmilyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weerasakera, AvinashCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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in memory of Karen Clarke
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She let out a sigh as she fell, an exhalation so sweet and soft that not a soul heard it, not even the cop who'd passed by the building not two seconds before; it was the smashing of china and the subsequent thud of her body landing hard against the stone steps three storeys down that made him turn and look.
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"A body falls from a town house window in Harlem, and it looks just like the newest singer at the Apollo...in this evocative, twisting new novel from the author of Miss Aldridge Regrets. Harlem, 1936: Lena Aldridge grew up in a cramped corner of London, hearing stories of the bright lights of Broadway. She always imagined that when she finally went to New York City, she'd be there with her father. But now he's dead, and she's newly arrived and alone, chasing a dream that has quickly dried up. When Will Goodman-the handsome musician she met on the crossing from England-offers for her to stay with his friends in Harlem, she agrees. She has nowhere else to go, and this will give her a chance to get to know Will better and see if she can find any trace of the family she might have remaining. Will's friends welcome her with open arms, but just as Lena discovers the stories her father once told her were missing giant pieces of information, she also starts to realize the man she's falling too fast and too hard for has secrets of his own. And they might just place a target on her back. Especially when she is drawn to the brightest stage in town"--

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