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Title: The Lives of Diamond Bessie
Author: Jody Hadlock
Publish Date: April 5, 2022
Genre: Historical Mystery
My Rating: 3/5
Pregnant out of wedlock, sixteen-year-old Annie Moore is sent to live at a convent for fallen women. When the nuns take her baby, Annie escapes, determined to find a way to be reunited with her daughter. But few rights or opportunities are available to a woman in the 1860s, and after failing to find a respectable job, Annie resorts to prostitution in order to survive.
As a highly sought-after demi-mondaine, Annie—now Bessie—garners many expensive gifts from her admirers, and eventually meets and marries the son of a wealthy jeweler. With her marriage, she believes her dream of returning to proper society has finally come true. She’s proven wrong when she suffers the ultimate betrayal at the hands of the man she thought would be her salvation. But Bessie doesn’t let her story end there.
Inspired by a true story and set amid the burgeoning women’s rights movement, The Lives of Diamond Bessie is a haunting tale of betrayal and redemption that explores whether seeking revenge is worth the price you might pay.
Diamond Bessie was killed and her killer was never brought to justice. Before that, Diamond Bessie was Annie Moore. After much tragedy in her young life, Annie became a prostitute known as Bessie. One day Bessie met Abe Rothschild, they fell for one another, and got married. Not long into their marriage, they traveled to Jefferson, TX, where Bessie was killed.
The Lives of Diamond Bessie is told from Bessie’s point of view. While most people suspected they knew who Bessie’s killer was, he was never convicted. This novel is Bessie’s story of bringing her killer to justice.
I was okay with the first part of the novel, but when things switched to Bessie’s spirit’s point of view, I lost interest. It felt almost like two separate novels. A solid start with a lackluster ending.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.