Withlacoochee Jitterbug

Fiction - Realistic
475 Pages
Reviewed on 07/14/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Ted Leavengood lives in Chevy Chase, MD with his wife Donna and the family dog. They have two daughters, Julia Leavengood-Boxer and Claire Leavengood-Boxer, both of whom live in Brooklyn, NY. "Withlacoochee Jitterbug," his first novel, was published in March of 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. Ironically, the novel's main character, Rose Breitenbach, survives the Spanish Flu in 1918 to fashion a wonderfully successful career as a shop owner while raising a family. It is a story of redemption and new beginnings. Before moving to fiction, Ted was a baseball writer, whose first four books focused on Washington, DC baseball history. He was the managing editor for the baseball blog Seamheads.com during its heyday. His baseball writing has appeared on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network web page, in a number of Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) books and periodicals, and numerous other written and on-line outlets. Before turning to writing he was an urban planner who worked for the City of Atlanta, GA, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development from which he retired in 2011

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Withlacoochee Jitterbug is a work of fiction in the historical, interpersonal drama and slice of life sub-genres, and was penned by author Ted Leavengood. It focuses on two characters who undergo some very trying times indeed, leading them to later accomplishments and the promise of future happiness. Rose Lindermeyer is a young woman who has already been through a great deal of tragedy during the Spanish Flu pandemic, but life begins to look up when she meets Florida angler, Harry Breitenbach. As the pair navigates the waters of their new relationship, the family thrives and struggles in early 20th century Florida to craft a life for themselves, one which they deserve.

Author Ted Leavengood has crafted an excellent novel which portrays a realistic slice of life for its main protagonists, whilst also teaching readers about the diverse and fascinating history of Florida at this time in history. One of the things which really impressed me about the novel was the commitment to character development and the depth which they display. Rose is a standout character, astutely written and deeply resonant with modern readers in her fears and aspirations as she faces a truly harsh world where the odds are often against her. Her relationship with Harry provides plenty of ups and downs in the plot, keeping readers turning the pages to see how each episode of their life together will turn out. Overall, I would highly recommend Withlacoochee Jitterbug for readers who want a realistic slice of life drama with plenty of emotional impact.