Inspired by real events, Forbidden Woman tells the story of how one woman survives in a game created by men, for men.
Lucille learns the hard way that she can't trust men. Her missing husband and the San Antonio chief of police are proof of that. But the Great Depression insists that she needs a man — or at least an open wallet — to build her Texas empire and raise the daughter she wishes she didn't have.
Rosemary is that daughter, and she wants her mother's approval more than anything. She's even willing to say goodbye to the love of her life in favor of a man who has a steady job and serves his country honorably. And yet her mother still doesn't approve.
But when Lucille is nearly killed by an angry soldier returning from the war, she must face the prospect of losing the life she's worked so hard to build. Rosemary tries to send Lucille a message of love, while others prod Lucille to take a stand for the American Dream, but is it enough? Lucille wonders if she was meant for something more than a life of separating men from their coin. She might be wrong, but if she changes nothing in her life, she will change nothing in the world.
Forbidden Woman is Blair's debut novel and will captivate readers who value the gritty realities of life exposed in The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
This book tackles a lot of tough subject matter and includes one instance of domestic violence, one instance of sexual violence, innuendo regarding race-based violence, one instance of general violence, and an abortion. These events are not gratuitous to the story, and the author has attempted to handle these matters delicately.
The author has gone to great lengths to present this story in an historically accurate fashion. A sad result of historical accuracy, however, is that certain uncivilized words are used in this book. It is, after all, set in South Texas in the mid-twentieth century, an era when even Federal and Texas state laws did not hesitate to share their true intent: keep women and people of color out of power. The author has chosen to maintain those words, rather than paint over an ugly part of American history, to demonstrate just how far we've (not) come in the last eighty years.