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Red Letter Days

by Sarah-Jane Stratford

Red Letter Days by Sarah-Jane Stratford X
Red Letter Days by Sarah-Jane Stratford
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  • Terri C. (Litchfield, NH)
    Hit the Spot!
    Red Letter Days by Sarah-Jane Stratford was well worth the time invested to read. This book delivered exactly what I look for when reading historical fiction! A great storyline, well developed characters and a much better understanding of what life was like in the early cold war era in New York City and London during the Red Scare and the impact of the McCarthy Era investigations on people's lives and political views. In addition, add in the eye opening reminder of what it was like for career oriented women when the women's rights movement was just beginning and you have all the makings for a book that delivers in all the ways a reader enjoys when choosing a historical fiction book to read!
  • Diana C. (Delray Beach, FL)
    McCarthy Era Hollywood
    This is a period in history in which I was not very familiar, and this book sheds a lot of light into the strong-arm tactics of the U.S. government during this period. The book follows various writers and Hollywood luminaries both caught up in and negatively affected by the "Red" hysteria. The best part of this book was the history lesson into a repulsive and deeply embarrassing time in our country's history. The personal stories of the writers were touching to a much lesser extent as I found I could not, no matter their dire circumstances, feel completely sympathetic towards them or their situations as a result of the author's creation of brusque and boorish characters.
  • Crumb
    Red Letter Days
    An ominous portrait of what life was like during WWII. While there were some slow spots, the majority of the book had my attention. I very much enjoy historical fiction and this did not disappoint. The formatting was excellent and there was no confusion. If you are enjoy reading about WWII, this book is for you.
  • Peggy A. (Morton Grove, IL)
    A Good Book, Not a Great One
    I found this book to be very slow in its pacing for the first third of the story. Obviously the author, Sarah Stratford, needed to set up the context for the following chapters but the narrative lacked the driving momentum that would hook the least this reader.
    I did appreciate the historical context of the book which is centered on a painful time in American history. I especially enjoyed her retelling of Hedda Hopper's visit to the film making set intent on trapping blacklisted artists from the homeland. Stratford did capture well the underpinnings of post WW2 culture: women vs career; British aristocracy in its waning influence; and drinking wine with straw bottoms.
    All in all, a good book but not a great one!
  • Elizabeth P. (Lower Burrell, PA)
    Red Letter Days
    Phoebe was finally making some money for her scripts and getting well known, but then for some reason she was tagged as being a communist by the government and blacklisted by the playwrights.

    Phoebe had no idea what she did to be tagged, but she decided to leave the country and head to London where there was someone who would take her scripts no matter who or what she was.

    We follow Phoebe on her trip across the ocean and when she arrives in London determined to make a name for herself in the seven weeks she was granted to be in the country.

    I enjoyed the characters in RED LETTER DAYS. LOVE the cover.

    Phoebe was funny and lovable and eager to take chances. Hannah was talented but flighty. Phoebe's sister, Mona, was upbeat even though her life wasn't.

    We see the historical struggles and worries that play writes had at this time and how the blacklisted writers could get into deep trouble.

    Historical fiction fans, fans of the theater and television productions, and fans of Robin Hood will enjoy RED LETTER DAYS.

    Ms. Stratford did marvelous, in-depth research, but The Robin Hood pages that took up a great deal of the book actually were of no interest, and that did make the story drag for me. 3/5

    This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
  • Laurie F. (Brookline, MA)
    Not Enthralled
    Spoiler: I did not finish the book. I loved Radio Girls but I think the author failed on Red Letter Days. The writing was very choppy and dialog quite basic/simplistic. I found the characters underdeveloped and could not get into the sincerity or reality of the story. Just not my style.
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