“This immensely entertaining and illuminating book transports readers back in time … Exceptionally readable and highly recommended.”
— Library Journal, Starred Review
A midwestern novel about insiders, outsiders
… and the true nature of community
set on the Chautauqua Circuit of 1917
Flagship publication of Kaylie Jones Books
Marian Elliot Adams, an outspoken advocate for sensible women’s undergarments, sweeps into the Chautauqua tent on a sweltering August night in 1917, and shocks the gathered town of Emporia, Illinois with a radical speech. The crowd is further appalled when Marian injures herself falling off the stage and must recuperate in the town for a week. As the days pass, she throws into turmoil Emporia’s unspoken rules governing social order, women and Negroes. While she agitates for enlightenment and justice, she has little insight into her own motives and extreme loneliness.
Advance Praise … from Ann Hood, author of The Red Thread
In Unmentionables, Laurie Loewenstein brings the reader into the past, to Chautauqua assemblies, World War I France, and Midwestern small town life. But like all good historical fiction, Unmentionables uses the past as a way to illuminate large pertinent questions – of race and gender, of love and death, of action and consequence. Meticulously researched and exquisitely written, Unmentionables is a memorable debut.
… from Beverly Donofrio, author of Riding In Cars with Boys
Laurie Loewenstein’s Unmentionables transports the reader to a time not that long ago — when women were not allowed to vote and racial prejudice was common – when so much was different, but human nature was so much the same. Treating us to a captivating narrative that illuminates as it entertains, Loewenstein reminds us that it is the courage and integrity of individual people that changes the world.
… from Robin Oliveira, author of My Name is Mary Sutter
Laurie Loewenstein’s Unmentionables, a story of prejudice, struggle, and redemption, is compulsively readable and immensely seductive. Buffeted by the immense societal changes surrounding WWI, Loewenstein’s characters—deftly-drawn and as familiar to the reader as friends from childhood—fight for love, equality, and ultimately justice in a world awash in change. At once intimate and wide-ranging, Unmentionables illuminates both the triumph and cost of sacrifice, along with its hard-won rewards.