Notes from an Italian hermitage – despatches from BOLOGNA #3
The Jazz Flower
Location(s): New York City (NYC), Paris, Washington DC
Era(s): 1930s, 1950s
The Jazz Flower is a follow-up to Forbidden Circles, which ends with Nora Johnson and Douglas Stills expecting their first child. In The Jazz Flower, the child is born. Later, the couple has two more children. But it is their first child, Rosa, who takes center stage.
Rosa Johnson Stills grows and blooms into a beautiful mocha-hued jazz singer in 1930s and ’40s Washington, D.C. During those years, Rosa challenges her light-skinned grandmother, Lilly, who low rates her dark skin color and her jazz dream. Rosa also fights her rival, socialite Iris Haywood, in an endless effort to possess her first love, Attorney Alan Covington. Because of a long-ago pact their families made, Alan is pledged to Iris. And Iris will never let him go. Eventually, Rosa relocates to New York City to take a singing job at The Blue Phoenix nightclub and to try to forget Alan. In New York, Rosa dates Jackson Parker, a racketeer. But Alan is in her arms whenever he’s in New York on business ? even after he and Iris are married. Parker threatens to kill Rosa if he catches her with another man. Set in the Swing and Bebop eras of jazz music, The Jazz Flower unfolds prejudice, obsession, and murder, as it transports readers from D.C. to New York, to Paris, France, on its way to a riveting conclusion.
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