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by | Read by Alexandra Grey

Historical Fiction • 10.5 hrs. • Unabridged • © 2024

This novel imagines jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald's harsh early life. In 1932, at age 14, Ella is impossibly dreaming of stardom as a singer. In 1948, she makes that dream a reality by appearing on Ed Sullivan's "Toast of the Town." Overall, narrator Alexandra Grey's distant tone and staccato intonation detract from the emotional punch the story deserves. However, she captures the rhythms of Harlem's Black vernacular through the dialogue of young Ella, her family, and neighbors. Ella's white step-father, Joe, has a harsh, demanding voice, especially when he's expecting Ella to fill her mother's role after her unexpected death. Other voices are well developed as Ella supports her family by running numbers for the Mob and survives incarceration as an "ungovernable adolescent." N.E.M. © AudioFile 2024, Portland, Maine [Published: JUNE 2024]

Trade Ed. • Harper Audio • 2024

DD ISBN 9780063338548 $27.99

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