I was excited to read Josephine Baker’s Last Dance by Sherry Jones. I had recently discovered that she was not only a performer, but also a spy during World War II and I wanted to learn more about her and especially her work during World War II. The book tells the story of Josephine from her childhood on. Josephine Baker was a very complicated woman who had insecurities and things that happened to her that shaped her life and way of thinking.
I found the beginning of the story about her childhood good and I was looking forward to reading and learning more about Josephine. However, once her childhood story was told the rest of the story went quickly downhill for me. I found the time line very confusing. A story depicting a part of her life would be told but would go back in time to so many different places and times that I was left unsure where and what was really happening. It felt like memories, or wants or ideas, from Josephine’s past were added out of the blue with no hint previously. For example, Josephine desperately wants children. This happens totally out of the blue. Then we are taken back in time to different events in Josephine’s past to explain and show that yes she has always wanted children. This style of writing did not work for me. I felt like it made events random and did nothing to develop her character.
I do not know Josephine Baker and this is the first book I have ever read about her so I did not know much about the kind of person she was. Unfortunately after reading this book I have no desire to learn anything about her. She came across as one of the most selfish people I have ever read. One who cares only for herself and cares nothing for anyone else. It was not fun reading about her at all. I also really struggled with the plot line that Josephine thought everyone wanted to have sex with her and the way she used men. If she was a man her actions would be deplorable. I hold the same standard for women.
My copy of Josephine Baker’s Last Dance was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!