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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
In the moving historical novel, Brick, Lime and Moonshine by Victoria Ventris Shea, families struggle to survive following the end of WWI. As livelihoods are destroyed, men turn to selling moonshine to feed their families during the prohibition era, despite the risks involved. As WWI ends, the price of grain falls. Like other farmers in Midvale, Idaho, John is forced to file for bankruptcy and move his family to Utah. His son Joe meets Helen, whose father sells moonshine to provide for his family. As the United States imposes a nationwide ban on alcohol, Canada repeals its liquor laws. A group of friends, who meet while working for a large local brick company, devise ways to smuggle liquor into the States all while trying to sidestep the authorities.
I found the main characters' strength and perseverance inspiring as they dealt with the hardships they faced. The characters are also well-developed and compelling. I found Hank and his friends’ escapades exciting. Each incident they faced was different and every smuggling run had unexpected twists. I also found many sections in the novel uplifting including those where the characters lean on friendship and family during hard times. Memories of a cozy cabin set close to a serene lake which are intertwined with the main story were nostalgic and heart-warming. Brick, Lime and Moonshine by Victoria Ventris Shea is an outstanding historical novel that weaves the experiences of its memorable characters with intriguing factual historical detail. It includes many moving scenes and is a wonderful celebration of the fortitude of those who lived during the era covered. Highly recommended.