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Read advance reader review of The Roaring Days of Zora Lily by Noelle Salazar

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The Roaring Days of Zora Lily

A Novel

by Noelle Salazar

The Roaring Days of Zora Lily by Noelle Salazar X
The Roaring Days of Zora Lily by Noelle Salazar
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  • Paperback:
    Oct 2023, 416 pages


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There are currently 19 member reviews
for The Roaring Days of Zora Lily
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  • Emily (Greenville, NC)
    A riveting read
    This is one of the best historical fiction books I've read in a long time. I couldn't wait to find out what happened next in Zora's story, and I often stayed up late to keep reading because I just had to know how things turned out in the next chapter.

    The characters really come to life on the pages, and the author includes lots of period details and expressions to anchor the story in the 1920s. Zora and many of the other characters are warm and charming, and I liked them from the moment they first appeared on the page.

    It was thrilling to travel with Zora as she went after her dreams and worked to overcome obstacles. I loved that she never gave up, and it was heartwarming to see how much she loved her family and the sacrifices she made to give her family a better life.

    I was very satisfied with the ending of the book, and I felt that the story drew to a close in a rewarding way. I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves historical fiction, and it's the perfect read if you're looking for an uplifting tale or if you need some encouragement while you're going after your dreams.
  • Shannon L. (Portland, OR)
    a good old-fashioned saga
    Spoiler Alert: I loved this book!

    The Roaring Days of Zora Lily is a refreshing saga of family ties, friendships and love. Zora is a young woman who demonstrates that working hard to achieve a personal goal is worth every effort and mistake.

    Her story opens in 2023 inside the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History as a costume conservator is preparing an exhibition featuring movie costumes from the 1920s to present day. As she gingerly places a gown once worn by Greta Garbo on a mannequin, she discovers another name hidden beneath the designer's label, leaving her to wonder – who is Zora Lily?

    The story flashes back to Seattle in 1924 where we meet Zora Hough and her poverty-stricken Seattle family of nine. Zora spends her days looking after her younger siblings. She helps her mother by sewing up holes and fixing hems to bring in extra money. Still in her early teens, she is working her fingers to the bone so the family can survive. At night, as she lies in the bed she shares with one of her three sisters, secretly dreaming of becoming a designer like Coco Chanel and Jeanne Lanvin. Zora loves to sew and earns a reputation as "being a magician with a needle."

    Author, Noelle Salazar, is a skill-master at painting vivid snapshots. It is easy for the reader to imagine the characters, locations, fashions, and clubs. While most of the story takes place in 1924, the readers are smoothly carried back and forth between 1924 and 2023. We can visualize where we are without being overwhelmed with too many details. Both the narrative and the characters feel real. It is easy to care about secondary characters, such as her mother and her friend Rose Tiller.

    While I enjoyed The Roaring Days of Zora Lilly, the narrative's pace would improve if it moved a little faster and Salazar moved the focus to fewer and more important characters. The "story" would jumped off the page with fewer minor characters and issues with prohibition in their lives. Then, the reader could see Zora interact with the difficulties in her own personal and work life as she grew and matured from Zora Hough to become Zora Lily.

    I hesitated reviewing fiction set in the Roaring 20's but The Roaring Days of Zora Lily a really good read and enlightening about the time period, fashions and social life of 1924. I recommend this book to historical fiction readers, especially those who enjoy reading about the 1920s.

    In The Author's Notes, Salazar tells us that her great grandmother's name, Zora Lily, was her inspiration for this story. Although she lived during the time of this story she in no way had a glamorous life but this story is a reminder that she too was special.

    I highly recommend The Roaring Days of Zora Lily and Salazar's previous books
    The Flight Girls and Angels of the Resistance. All three are stories of female spirit and perseverance.

    Do not miss this gem!
  • Terri C. (Litchfield, NH)
    The Roaring Days of Zora Lily- Roaring good Read!!!
    This was a book I could not put down from the first page to the last. The plot was good, the characters were captivating, and the writing was delicious. Capturing life at the Tiller house with "the modern furniture, vases of fresh flowers and always a bowl of fruit for anyone to enjoy" versus the burden of poverty that clung to Zora from morning to night in the home she grew up in with her alcoholic father who stopped working and her siblings her Mom worked hard to support. "The smell of blooming flowers in the air, rather than the stink of damp and overgrown underbrush and rotting tree stumps that littered my neighborhood" and the description of downtown "filled with people wanting things they didn't need and shouldn't have". But to Zora, she was in "in awe of the streetlights, the lit-up signs and even the traffic lights- there were so many. The headlights on the many cars shone like a constellation of starts, the rear lights sparking red like fireworks". Imagine the description of her experiences in the Jazz Clubs, listening to jazz music for the first time, seeing the beautiful dresses of the dancers in the cabaret show with all the fringe and the sparkly, and meeting Harley Aldridge. This is one of the best books I have read so far this year and highly recommend it to all my friends and family. Run right out and read it- you will not be disappointed!
  • Tracey S. (Largo, FL)
    Wonderful book
    I was hooked as soon as I finished the first chapter! In 2023 a museum curator finds a hidden label on a dress that Greta Garbo had worn. Who is this Zora Lilly whose label is on this dress? I loved the characters and the descriptions of all the dresses that Zora mended and designed! Her rise up from poverty to becoming a successful dress designer and business owner was a great story! She always stayed true to herself and her beliefs! I highly recommend this book!
  • Jennifer B. (Oviedo, FL)
    Zora Lily
    What a pleasure it is to be immersed in a story quickly when one begins a new book. The tale of Zora Lily kept my attention throughout with fresh perspectives of one of the most interesting times in history. Prohibition in America has been written about so many times, but this book comes at it from a different angle. The story of a young seamstress who dreams of being an innovative designer in Seattle is really creative. Her disappointments and victories were deftly descriptive, making Zora a very relatable character.
  • Cindy B. (Waukee, IA)
    The Roaring Days of Zora Lily
    Well developed characters as well as excellent descriptions of the settings allow the reader to be transported to the Roaring twenties. It is a wonderful story of perseverance and the belief in a dream at a time when career choices for women were limited. Historical fiction fans are sure to love this book!!
  • Catherine S. (Marietta, GA)
    Superb Seattle Stylist's Story
    The Roaring Days of Zora Lily is a terrific read, especially for fans of historical fiction. The main character, Zora Lily, is an engaging heroine and the supporting characters, members of her family and friends Rosa and Jessie are equally likable. The reader shares Zora's journey from poverty to fulfilling her dream of owning her own dress shop featuring her own designs. We see life from the tenements of Seattle to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood during the Twenties. Throughout her struggles, Zora relies on her inner strength and sense of purpose to guide her. I heartily recommend this book.
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Beyond the Book:
  Jeanne Lanvin (1867-1946)

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