Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Becoming Bonnie

Becoming Bonnie

A Novel

Jenni L. Walsh

Forge Books

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One of Bookbub's "Biggest Historical Fictions Books Coming Out This Summer," from debut historical novelist Jenni L. Walsh--and just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Oscar award-winning film, Bonnie and Clyde--Becoming Bonnie is the untold story of how wholesome Bonnelyn Parker became half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo!

The summer of 1927 might be the height of the Roaring Twenties, but Bonnelyn Parker is more likely to belt out a church hymn than sling drinks at an illicit juice joint. She’s a sharp girl with plans to overcome her family's poverty, provide for herself, and maybe someday marry her boyfriend, Roy Thornton. But when Roy springs a proposal on her, and financial woes jeopardize her ambitions, Bonnelyn finds salvation in an unlikely place: Dallas's newest speakeasy, Doc's.

Living the life of a moll at night, Bonnie remains a wholesome girl by day, engaged to Roy, attending school, and working toward a steady future. When Roy discovers her secret life, he embraces it—perhaps too much, especially when it comes to booze and gambling—she tries to make the pieces fit. Maybe she can have it all: the American Dream, the husband, and the intoxicating allure of jazz music. But her life—like her country—is headed for a crash.

Bonnie Parker is about to meet Clyde Barrow.

“A compelling account of a nation and a life in disarray—readers will feel for Bonnelyn as she finds herself scrabbling for survival in a world turned upside down.”—New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig

EXCERPT

1


But I, being poor, have only my dreams.

Hands in my hair, I look over the words I wrote on the Mason jar atop my bureau. I snigger, almost as if I’m antagonizing the sentiment. One day I won’t be poor with dreams. I’ll...

Reviews

Praise for Becoming Bonnie

"Walsh’s debut historical novel brings the Prohibition era, the Great Depression, and American gangsters to life through the personality and circumstances of a notorious moll who starts out as a good girl. Although the story focuses on Bonnie, supporting characters provide further perspectives on the magnetic pull of jazz, illegal booze, and a (short) life on the lam . . . Look forward to the sequel for later exploits of these notorious bandits." --Booklist

"As her new life . . . barrels toward her old one on a collision course, Bonnelyn must decide what name she wants to make for herself. Walsh's rollicking narrative will have readers rooting for Bonnelyn-turned-Bonnie every (dance) step of the way." --Shelf Awareness

“A compelling account of a nation and a life in disarray—readers will feel for Bonnelyn as she finds herself scrabbling for survival in a world turned upside down. How do you go from good girl to gangster's moll? Jenni L. Walsh takes you along for the ride in an account so vivid you would think you were there with her.”—New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig

"In Becoming Bonnie Jenni Walsh delivers an intriguing insight into the life of one half of the infamous duo, Bonnie and Clyde. I look forward to reading more from this new author."--New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor

"Debut author Jenni Walsh deftly pulls the reader into Bonnie’s world, and then deeper into her mind, so we see exactly how and when she made her choices—and her bed. I have to admit, I rooted for Bonnie to connect with Clyde all along, because who can resist a handsome, dangerous man who also happens to be your soul mate? Even if it means you’ll never be that good girl again. Booze-soaked, southern-fried, and fully immersive, BECOMING BONNIE is a rocking good read." -- Heather Webb, author of Rodin's Lover

“A dazzling and compulsively-readable adventure of self-discovery, with a voice both singular and irresistible. I dare you not to fall in love with Bonnie, and her intoxicating, wholly immersive world.”—Lee Kelly, author of A Criminal Magic

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Jenni L. Walsh

JENNI L. WALSH has spent the past decade enticing readers as an award-winning advertising copywriter. Her passion lies in transporting readers to another world, be it in historical or contemporary settings. She is a proud graduate of Villanova University, and lives in the Philly 'burbs with her husband, daughter, son, and goldendoodle. Becoming Bonnie is her first novel.

Jenni L. Walsh

From the Publisher

Forge Books

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