In Catie Cordero’s début novel, Ramble and Roar, Eliza Belcourt is engaged by her parents’ arrangement, but she wants to pursue a music career. Against the convention of the day and her parents’ wishes, she runs away to New York City to make her dream a reality. She finds life in the big city more challenging than she expected. Will Eliza thrive in this new environment, or is it more than she bargained for?
Ramble and Roar is an incredible story and packed with plot twists and personalities. Set in the 1920’s, the novel is an ode to flappers, frivolity, the Jazz Age, and a time when women fought for a more public role in society. The historic description of the era is fascinating, and the themes of innocence, privilege, and cynicism are explored beautifully throughout the storyline.
On the other hand, the usage of slang seems overdone in places and makes the characters feel inauthentic. In addition, the negative portrayal of authority figures is troubling and, in a sense, the lead character uses others’ actions to justify her own. I have some reservations about the subtle message that the end justifies the means in regards to Eliza’s decisions.
However, if you like riveting historical fiction that transports you to unique time periods, Ramble and Roar is right up your alley.