Reading Sorrento Girl by Dawn Klinge was a peaceful escape for me during California’s Shelter in Place order. Since all non-essential businesses are closed in CA at this time due to CLOVID-19, I found the historical references about the Spanish Flu interesting.The book takes place in 1938 during the Great Depression.
The collapse of the economy didn’t stop the main character, Ann Brooks, from pursuing her desire to become a teacher. Using her inheritance from her grandparents, Ann is able to travel to Washington and pursue her dreams. Even though most women at Seatle College viewed education as a springboard for marriage, Ann knew she wanted both a career and a family.
I found myself relating to Ann’s inner struggle to speak up for what she believes in and the calling God placed on her heart. Will Ann give up everything she thought she wanted for love? Or can she have both?
The relationships and characters in the book move the story along nicely. I normally read and review nonfiction, so I loved entering another time and place. I didn’t want to put the book down. Dawn’s description of the hotels, music, fashion, and culture helped me visualize Ann’s surroundings and what it must have been like to live in the 1930s.
It’s obvious Dawn did thorough research for this book. I loved seeing pictures of the real Sorrento Hotel Dawn posted on her FB page.
Dawn says in a recent blog post,
“My only reservation with writing a story set during the Great Depression was that I was concerned it might be, well, depressing. As I started to do my research, my preconceived notions of the time began unraveling. Yes, the 1930s were undoubtedly a difficult time in history, but they were far from joyless. Music, art, and literature were all thriving. Neighbors helped each other out. People showed an amazing amount of courage, resourcefulness, and strength. I wanted to show this in the way I told the story- and I believe I did.”
During our current national crisis, sure to go down in history, it was reassuring to read how Ann pursued her dreams with courage, and strength.
I look forward to reading Dawn’s future books in The Historic Hotels Collection.
Find out what inspired Dawn to write Sorrento Girl HERE.