Contacted weeks ago by Tor&Forge Books, they asked me if I was interested to read Becoming Bonnie The crash of the century: when Bonnie met Clyde written by Jenni L.Walsh.
The book will be launched the day of the death of Bonnie&Clyde in Louisiana on May 23, 1934.
What I noticed was an immediate welcomed atmosphere from the publishing house and it helped a lot. I love enthusiasm. It's contagious.
At first I was skeptical. I didn't know a lot these two gangsters and the only phrase I use to say is: "They're like Bonnie&Clyde" but substantially without to know a lot of this couple apart that they were two very famous American criminals.
My latest experience with a real gangster, "Whitey" Bulger, because Johnny Depp filmed Black Mass at Boston very positive.
I thought: why not?
It's a quick reading book Becoming Bonnie and the "narrative voice" the one of Bonnelyn Parker, Bonnie.
Remember just this dear reader that this book is not an "easy" book, because it will let you think about choices, growth at different levels, poverty and richness.
I would suggest it for high school students and their teachers for the thematic contained, most of them pretty actual.
Bonnelyn, great ideas, a good boyfriend, Roy, she was still going at school in 1927 when the story start.
She didn't want to continue to become poor.
She wanted to become rich, someone in this life for giving all the best to her dear ones avoiding the life of sacrifices that they were doing because of lack of money.
When she lost her job as waitress, his biggest brother in the same condition, she starts to take in consideration the option: "Blanche."
Blanche was her best friend. A hurricane, very different from her. Bonnelyn went to the mass, still virgin because there was time for herself and Roy "to do that," devoted to her family, sacrificed to her family for the good of everyone.
Bonnelyn was searching for solidity also in her relationship with Roy. She wanted close to her an adult tooth as she told later, not a baby tooth, while Blanche devoted for adventures with men more adult than her for money.
Blanche didn't believe at family because her family just didn't exist and so when Bonnelyn talked to her of family, Blanche irritated.
If you haven't never had a family you can't understand the meaning of family.
Blanche met one day this guy, Buck.
Buck asked her and Bonnie to start to work for him at Doc's.
Well it was a place pretty illegal, you know with girls, men in search for sex or gambling. Bonnie once said it was possible to feel the perfume of sex. A place like that.
At first Bonnelyn says no, but then: "If I obtain the money for going on, Blanche in one night receives the money I receive in a month, why not?"
And she starts.
She starts this life as the other "Bonnie" or Saint Bonnelyn as they call her.
They needed someone virginal for keeping curiosity in this sort of illegal club and Bonnie was the best choice for everyone.
She was loved.
Loved and appreciated and money started to make the difference. New hair cut, colored lips, shortest dresses, while Roy, still unaware of what was going on worked hardly for creating with Bonnie the house of their dreams that in the while he bought for Bonnie and himself and their future marriage.
Bonnie starts at the same time to feel something for Henry a charismatic man she met often at the club. It was a delusion to discover he was married and the wife was waiting a baby.
She asked to Roy to marrying her and Roy, considering that in the while she introduced him in the new environment where she was working for, accept.
It's symbolical what happened to this couple: Bonnie changed of course her vision of the world enlarging her horizons.
The introduction in a different environment change everyone and surely a place populated by gangsters is a place where you grow up fastly. You don't never know what will happen. It's not a joke.
Bonnie grew up, but never-changing what she wanted to do in her life: marrying Roy, becoming a teacher, while Roy would have studied for becoming a great reporter.
But, this choice, this personal choice she made once searching for big money would have changed the life and destinies of all the people surrounding her.
I loved for example Roy Thornton's character. He was a devoted boy. Someone solid, very in love for her Bonnie. He was touching and I felt a great freshness while this couple projected their future together.
But, at least Roy will be the one who will lose the balance, his personal interior compass, devastating himself, becoming someone else, drinking too much and acting as a fool.
It's him who acts as a deficient, gambling, searching for other women, giving up with school and his work as a reporter. And what for?
And then in the final pages the fatal encounter with Clyde.
The magnetic, big love of Bonnie.
The adult tooth.
I looked at an identification picture of Clyde Champion Barrow. WANTED for 250.000 dollar.
Very young, sticking-out ears, apparently just an insolent boy with a touch of goodness in his face. And a hard face.
If you search for the couple you find a beautiful, smiling couple. You wouldn't say Bonnie was a moll of a gangster.
The book is written using a colloquial "dialect", the one we guess talked by Bonnie.
But what this book wants to remind us is the power of our choices in our life.
Choices that we make everyday will affect our dear ones as well.
A wrong or right choice means the end of a life and the start of a complete new one.
I thank Forge for this book review copy!
And here a test for you: Which Member of Bonnie and Clyde's Gang Are You?
Anna Maria Polidori