Dancing in the Ring by Susan E. Sage

Dancing in the Ring by Susan E. Sage
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Alt="Dancing in the Ring"Dancing in the Ring by Susan E. Sage 

Detroit in the 1920s proved to be the Paris of the West for many—including Catherine McIntosh and Robert Sage. These two law school students are as passionate about each other as they are their dreams.

From a poor family in the neighborhood of Corktown, Catherine learned early on, the necessity of being resilient. She becomes one of the first women in Detroit to obtain a law degree. Bob, the ‘battling barrister,’ boxes in order to pay for law school. Despite his gruff and tough-boy personality, he is a friend to all: judges, cops, and even a couple members of the notorious Purple Gang. The couple becomes legendary in legal circles for their commitment to social justice causes—as well as notorious in the local speakeasies and dance halls.

At first, their optimism seems boundless, as it had for many following an era of trauma and challenges that included the 1918 flu pandemic. It isn’t long before their passionate courtship turns into a tempestuous marriage. Then the Great Depression hits and their lives are forever changed.

Book review

A wonderful love story—literally pulled from the history books—Dancing in the Ring by Susan E. Sage will draw you in from page one and captivate and fascinate you from start to finish.

Ever since she caught Bob staring at her from up in a tree, Catherine has been enthralled.  It’s the 1920s and they’re both in their last years of college.  Father Tim, a friend of Catherine’s family has suggested that Tim seek out Catherine for help with his classes, so he doesn’t fail.  Catherine, sensing there’s more to this story, allows Bob to take her out dancing and, eventually, to his fights.  Bob’s a big-time boxer—his fame only increasing as the years go on.  Catherine, soon a law school graduate and one of the top students with the highest scores on the bar in her class, begins looking for work in a world made for men.  She knows hers is an uphill battle, but she also knows that her strong will and Irish upbringing will help her accomplish anything she needs to—if only she can get Bob on board.  As their relationship progresses and life happens all around them, their budding love will be tried again and again as the 1918 flu continues to impact the population and then the Great Depression sets in.

Susan E. Sage brings her character’s unique and interesting personalities to life so skillfully in this exciting story, Dancing in the Ring.  I loved her note at the beginning of the book detailing how she came about this story.  The characters felt even more endearing after hearing they were her own relatives once upon a time.  Susan also brought the period to life through so many small accurate details –like the flappers’ preference for bra style, or the popular expression in the fashions each generation displayed.  I loved her ability to create relationships that shifted over time—they each felt three-dimensional and real.  What an amazing family legacy; her writing ability really brought the story to life, and I felt like I was almost a part of their lives and comfortable as if I were right at home with them. Susan E. Sage is an extraordinary writer able to draw readers in and cause them to feel like they are on the scenes seeing, feeling, and experiencing all that the characters are themselves.

An engaging historical fiction, Dancing in the Ring offers a heartfelt look at the love of Catherine and Bob in the 1920s as they both try to carve a life for themselves.  Rife with interesting characters and an even more interesting time in history, Dancing in the Ring by Susan E. Sage offers a look at life and love in the 1920s that readers will deeply enjoy.  Book read and reviewed by Mary Rosenthal for Chick Lit Café Multi-Genre Literary Website.

Buy Dancing in the Ring by Susan E. Sage
Alt="Dancing in the Ring"Chick Lit Café Awards
Dancing in the Ring by Susan E. Sage
For Best
Historical Biographical Romance & Family Saga
CLC Book Excellence Award
Alt="Chick Lit Café Book Awards"

Alt="chick lit cafe book reviews"Susan Sage is a fiction writer and poet. She received an English degree from Wayne State University and did graduate work at the University of Michigan-Flint. During her college years, she began publishing her poetry, and was a recipient of WSU’s Tompkins Award in Creative Writing.

After moving to the Flint area, she became a certified teacher in Language Arts, and also completed graduate coursework at the University of Michigan-Flint. An educator for twenty-three years, Susan wore many hats: an adult education teacher, educational coordinator, as well as an academic interventionist at both the elementary and secondary levels. During her years at Carman-Ainsworth High School, she served as both sponsor of the creative writing club, as well as editor of its annual magazine. She has also been active in a group of local authors, Writers as Instructors.

She has published three novels. Her first book, INSOMINY, was published in 2010. A MENTOR AND HER MUSE, her second novel,was published in January, 2018. Her latest novel, DANCING IN THE RING, will be released in June, 2023.

Her work has appeared in Five on the Fifth, Arlington Literary Journal (Issue #84)IlluminationsTwisted Vines Literary Journal, The Birds We Piled Loosely, Referential MagazineStoryaciousE.T.A. Literary Journal, Digital Papercut, Black Denim Lit, The Green Hills Literary Lantern, The Rockhurst Review, Passages North, Metis, Qua, Diceybrown, The Mochila Review, Beyond Doggerel, The Wire, and Corridors.

Susan enjoys travelling and stargazing. She lives in Flushing, Michigan, with her husband, Tom, and two cats. They have a daughter, Sarah.

Connect with Susan Sage and learn more about her and her amazing novels. 

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