About the Book:
Chattanooga society is turned upside down as a young woman has the audacity to ride a bicycle – in bloomers!
It’s 1895. Anna Gaines, 19, struggles to conquer her insecurities after a horrible fall years ago from her beloved horse, Longstreet. On a visit with her aunt in Brooklyn, she’s drawn to the new pastime of bicycling. But back at home, cycling is a scandalous sport for a proper lady. Southern women did not engage in activities meant for men.
Anna has her eye on Peter Sawyer, president of the Cycling Club. As community outrage grows, an unexpected turn of events pits Anna against Peter in a race between the sexes.
Will Anna prove that women deserve the same right as men to ride “the wheel?” Will she choose to live a quiet, traditional life of a housewife and mother? Or will she pursue college and become one of the “new women” emerging into the twentieth century on the seat of a bicycle? What will become of the spark between Anna and Peter?
Faith, patience, and courage help Anna to become the person she was meant to be
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction
PUBLISHER: Redemption Press
RELEASE DATE: April 10, 2017
“…in almost every southern newspaper the appearance of a pair of bloomers is treated almost as would be the coming ashore of the sea serpent. (Los Angeles Herald, Sept. 15, 1895)”
The time period in which The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race is set is one of my favorites to read about in fiction, specifically with regard to the women who fought bravely for the world I am privileged to live in today. Shamed by men and women alike, these trailblazers battled hatred, innuendo, and abuse just for the simple right to ride a bicycle and to ride one safely. They were belittled for the muscles they developed, ridiculed for becoming too manly, and snubbed even by their own loved ones. Y’all. Just to ride a bike. Because, you know, one day you’re riding a bike and the next day you want the right to vote. Dangerous women, those cyclists…
As much as I love the bicycles-and-bloomers story line – and how Mizrahi uses the bicycle as a catalyst for change in Anna’s life and in Peter’s – the part of the novel that touched me the most is the subplot involving Hattie Washington and her family. After Anna befriends the former slave, Peter also gets involved to try and find out what happened to Hattie’s husband who disappeared two years ago trying to find work. This adds another level of dimension to the story and gives us another eyeopening glimpse at history.
Bottom Line: The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race by Mike Mizrahi is an entertaining story that reminds us of the bravery of those who paved the way for us today. The author has done his research and seamlessly incorporates the history into the story. A little bit of romance, great characters (a few who need a good purse whomping), wise reminders for the soul, and a dash of suspense as well makes this a great pick for your next road trip!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Intriguing story!
Guest review contributed by Reading Is My Superpower. Peek at Top Ten Tuesday and Favorites Friday but also frequent author interviews/giveaways in a style of review that stands out from the rest.