Set during the Great Depression, Sarah Bird's Last Dance on the Starlight Pier is a novel about one woman—and a nation—struggling to be reborn from the ashes.
July 3. 1932. Shivering and in shock, Evie Grace Devlin watches the Starlite Palace burn into the sea and wonders how she became a person who would cause a man to kill himself. She’d come to Galveston to escape a dark past in vaudeville and become a good person, a nurse. When that dream is cruelly thwarted, Evie is swept into the alien world of dance marathons. All that she has been denied—a family, a purpose, even love—waits for her there in the place she dreads most: the spotlight.
Last Dance on the Starlight Pier is a sweeping novel that brings to spectacular life the enthralling worlds of both dance marathons and the family-run empire of vice that was Galveston in the Thirties. Unforgettable characters tell a story that is still deeply resonant today as America learns what Evie learns, that there truly isn’t anything this country can’t do when we do it together. That indomitable spirit powers a story that is a testament to the deep well of resilience in us all that allows us to not only survive the hardest of hard times, but to find joy, friends, and even family, in them.
About The Author
Sarah Bird is a bestselling novelist, screenwriter, essayist, and journalist who has lived in Austin, Texas since long before the city became internationally cool. She has published ten novels and two books of essays. Her eleventh novel, LAST DANCE ON THE STARLITE PIER--a gripping tale set in the secret world of the dance marathons of the Great Depression--will be released on April 12th.
Her last novel, DAUGHTER OF A DAUGHTER OF A QUEEN--inspired by the true story of the only woman to serve with the legendary Buffalo Soldiers--was named an All-time Best Books about Texas by the Austin American-Statesman; Best Fiction of 2018, Christian Science Monitor; Favorite Books of 2018, Texas Observer; a One City, One Book choice of seven cities; and a Lit Lovers Book Club Favorites.
Sarah was a finalist for The Dublin International Literary Award; an ALEX award winner; Amazon Literature Best of the Year selection; a two-time winner of the TIL’s Best Novel award; a B&N’s Discover Great Writers selection; a New York Public Libraries Books to Remember; an honoree of the Texas Writers Hall of Fame; an Amazon Literature Best of the Year selection; a Dobie-Paisano Fellowship; and an Austin Libraries Illumine Award for Excellence in Fiction winner. In 2014 she was named Texas Writer of the Year by the Texas Book Festival and presented with a pair of custom-made boots on the floor of the Texas Senate Chamber.
Sarah is a nine-time winner of Austin Best Fiction Writer award. She was recently honored with the University of New Mexico’s 2020 Paul Ré Award for Cultural Advocacy. In 2015 Sarah was one of eight winners selected from 3,800 entries to attend the Meryl Streep Screenwriters’ Lab. Sarah was chosen in 2017 to represent the Austin Public Library as the hologram/greeter installed in the Austin Downtown Library. Sarah was a co-founder of The Writers League of Texas.
She has been an NPR Moth Radio Hour storyteller; a writer for Oprah’s Magazine, NY Times Sunday Magazine and Op Ed columns, Chicago Tribune, Real Simple, Mademoiselle, Glamour, Salon, Daily Beast, Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, MS, Texas Observer; Alcalde and a columnist for years for Texas Monthly. As a screenwriter, she worked on projects for Warner Bros., Paramount, CBS, National Geographic, Hallmark, ABC, TNT, as well as several independent producers.
She and her husband enjoy open-water swimming and training their corgi puppy not to eat the furniture.
This is the story of surviving in the Great Depression, a time of bread lines and bootlegging, and this is Evie Grace Devlin’s story, and we walk in her shoes!
Our young woman has great stamina, not the best upbringing, and you will meet her mother and know why! She puts her all into nursing school and I was horrified at what happens to her, injustice, yes!
This is the time of marathon dancing, I can’t imagine, how did these people go on living?
Come and immerse yourself in this page turner historical read, and follow the life of Ms. Evie!
I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher St. Martin’s Press, and was not required to give a positive review.