Rating: 4.5 / 5
A BETTING WOMAN by Jenni L. Walsh arrived in my adult Once Upon a Book Club book box. Prior to that, I had not heard of this one, but the premise sounded really intriguing.
A BETTING WOMAN follows Simone in the wake of family tragedy. When her whole family dies in a fire, Simone feels completely lost. She leaves behind her fiancee and travels west to reinvent herself in the newly developing San Francisco. She leaves without a plan and arrives with little to her name. She expects some money to arrive from her parents’ estate, but in the meantime she must make ends meet. She boldly approaches a local establishment with a plan to earn her keep and some money dealing vingt-et-un, better known as blackjack. Tragedy isn’t done with with Simone just yet and even as she’s pulling together a new life for herself, more befalls her and she must pick herself back up again.
I had some mixed feelings about this book. I loved the character of Simone and seeing how bold she was to stand up for herself. Though she is desperate, she finds ways to avoid what might be considered the more standard work for women in a brothel. Instead, she puts her unique background and her knowledge of dealing cards to work for her and her new employer. Time and again she defies the odds stacked against her. Still, the amount of heartbreak in her life is a lot take in and my heart hurt for her even as I was rooting for her.
I did find the read itself to be a bit slow and it wasn’t ever the book I was most inclined to reach for. Even so, this wound up being a really fun box overall from Once Upon a Book Club and I had a lot of fun reading a bit out of my comfort zone.
This isn’t a time period I tend to read a lot of, so I did enjoy the change of pace and that is one of my favorite things about this subscription box! If you are interested in checking out Once Upon a Book Club for yourself, DGREADS10 will give you 10% off your first order!