STARRED REVIEW
May 2017

Heartbreak and secrets of four women in Las Vegas

By Laura McBride
Review by

Four seemingly unconnected women’s lives intersect in ’Round Midnight, the moving new novel from the author of We Are Called to Rise. Readers first meet June, a beautiful but restless woman who owns the glittering El Capitan casino with her husband, Del, in dusty 1950s Las Vegas. She becomes pregnant and spends nine months praying it isn’t the child of their headlining act, a talented black singer. When the baby is born, Del takes it away, shattering June.

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Four seemingly unconnected women’s lives intersect in ’Round Midnight, the moving new novel from the author of We Are Called to Rise. Readers first meet June, a beautiful but restless woman who owns the glittering El Capitan casino with her husband, Del, in dusty 1950s Las Vegas. She becomes pregnant and spends nine months praying it isn’t the child of their headlining act, a talented black singer. When the baby is born, Del takes it away, shattering June.

Honorata is a young Filipina woman whose cruel uncle arranges her marriage to a rich man in Chicago. When she hits a slot machine jackpot during a trip to Vegas, she leaves him and starts a new secret life, taking care to cover her tracks so he’ll never find her.

Coral is raised in a large, loving African-American family. She knows she’s different from her three siblings—her skin is markedly lighter—but her mother insists it doesn’t matter how Coral came to be a part of their clan. She searches for the truth of her heritage, ultimately stumbling across it in the most unexpected way.

Engracia is a hotel maid, an undocumented worker from Mexico who is grieving the loss of her young son after a freak accident. She’s not sure whether she even wants to live—until she’s caught in someone else’s domestic drama and her next steps become clear.

Each of these women is quietly extraordinary in her own way. As their stories unfold, we come to understand their bonds, through community, compassion and, in one case, blood. They are women of different eras, all doing the best they can with their own flawed choices and circumstances, all woven together in this jewel of a novel. Haunting and unpredictable, ’Round Midnight is the beautifully told story of how fates intertwine in ways we can’t plan.

This article was originally published in the May 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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’Round Midnight

’Round Midnight

By Laura McBride
Touchstone
ISBN 9781501157783

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