Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Historical #1920s Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks

Today I am reviewing Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks... a story set in a time when the music was an escape from life for many.

About the book

While all of Mississippi bakes in the scorching summer of 1925, sudden orphanhood wraps its icy embrace around Emily Ann “Baby” Teegarten, a pretty young teen.

Taken in by an aunt bent on ridding herself of this unexpected burden, Baby Teegarten plots her escape using the only means at her disposal: a voice that brings church ladies to righteous tears, and makes both angels and devils take notice. “I’m going to New York City to sing jazz,” she brags to anybody who’ll listen. But the Big Apple–well, it’s an awful long way from that dry patch of earth she’d always called home.

So when the smoky stages of New Orleans speakeasies give a whistle, offering all sorts of shortcuts, Emily Ann soon learns it’s the whorehouses and opium dens that can sidetrack a girl and dim a spotlight…and knowing the wrong people can snuff it out.

Jazz Baby just wants to sing–not fight to stay alive.

My review for the book April 20th 2022

Some people are born holding a bad hand of cards. Emily Ann is one of those. At age 13 she has seen and experienced far too much for her years, and despite this, still holds on to a burning ambition to sing. Her voice moves people to tears in church and devilry in the seedy night clubs in New Orleans.

Those who she should be able to trust see the magic in this young girl and most have a twisted vision for her future.

As with any historical novel you have to keep an open mind and base a review on the era in which it is set. In this case is a time of racial inequality, sexual exploitation of the very young and a seedy underworld thriving on the vulnerability and addictions of those desperate to escape their upbringings.

As a woman who has enjoyed the privilege of being raised in a very different world, protected and allowed to make my own choices, it makes for sobering reading. Especially as I was born only 28 years after this story is set.

However raw the circumstances surrounding the story of Emily Ann and her commitment to sing for the world might be, this book is beautifully written. The characters, language, descriptions of the surroundings and the dens and dives of New Orleans are vividly portrayed and you are engaged from the first page to the last.

Emily Ann navigates herself through the minefield that is her life and you leave her story wishing her all the success in the world, on her own terms and beholden to nobody.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

Also by Beem Weeks

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And: Amazon UKFollow Beem Weeks: Goodreads Website/Blog: Beem Weeks – Twitter: @BeemWeeks

About Beem Weeks

Beem Weeks is the author of short stories, poems, essays, and novels. A pop-culture trivia buff, Beem’s passions include indie films, loud music, and a well-told story. He has also penned short story collections entitled Slivers of Life, and Strange Hwy: Short Stories.


Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.

63 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Historical #1920s Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks

  1. Sally, I just finished reading Jazz Baby last week and couldn’t agree more with your excellent review. Beem brought the setting, era, and characters vividly to life. It’s an exceptional novel.

    Thanks for sharing and congratulations to Beem!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am thrilled to see Jazz Baby getting some attention! I loved this book. It was the first Beem Weeks story I read and it made me an instant fan of his writing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on it, Sally, and I will add my recommendation to it! Congrats to Beem!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Thank you, Sally, for featuring Beem and sharing your review. I became a fan of his after reading Jazz Baby. Beem is an unusually gifted writer. Someday I suspect we’ll be saying, “I knew him when…” He’s that good! 🤗

    Liked by 3 people

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