Strings Attached

2011

It is the 1950s and seventeen year old Kit Corrigan has not had an easy life. She is part of a set of triplets that were raised by their poor, Irish, immigrant father in Providence, RI. The triplets (aka The Corrigan Three) lost their mother during their birth. Kit has always had big dreams of being a performer on Broadway and after the break up of her rocky relationship with boyfriend Billy, Kit heads out to New York City with stars in her eyes. Meanwhile, Billy and Kit's brother, Jamie, enlist in the Army together and are preparing to ship off to Korea.

Kit has to lie about her age to work and finds herself struggling to make it as a dancer in a third rate show that's way off-Broadway. She is living with a fellow dancer and her mother - sleeping on their sofa -- and things are not going well for Kit. Then, someone from her past reappears and seemingly has the answers to all of Kit's problems.

Enter Nate Benedict. Nate is Billy's father, a big shot lawyer with rumored mob connections and he has an offer too good for Kit to refuse. He sets her up with a new apartment, clothes, shoes, and a job at the Lido, one of the top nightclubs in the city. There's "no strings attached" -- all Kit has to do in exchange is to contact Billy & do a few "small favors" for him every once in a while. No big deal.

Soon, strange things start happening and Kit starts to realize she might be in over her head. There are no "small favors" when it comes to the mafia, but with the typical naivety of a teenage girl, Kit doesn't get the clues that make the reader gasp aloud. This book was written on the heels of What I Saw and How I Lied, which won Judy Blundell the National Book Award for Youth, and it doesn't disappoint.

Blundell has a real talent for writing in the noir genre. You can almost feel yourself sitting in the smoky nightclub, sipping drinks along-side John Dillinger type gangsters & Hollywood starlets. This is a book with high appeal to both teens and adults. I highly recommend it.

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