Review by Ivy Francis M.
Mazie Butterfield has dreamed of Broadway all her life, and after a devastating loss she decides to take the plunge and book a train ticket to New York City. It’s 1959 and the city is bustling with industry and growth, the polar opposite of her rural Nebraska home. The road to success (or even just a paycheck) never did run smooth, and there are more than a few speed bumps in between Mazie and the stage. But in the spirit of her tough, farming community, Mazie tackles love, loss, and the competition with wit, sincerity, and style.
Melanie Crowder’s practical and detailed writing style brought welcome satisfaction and romanticism to every description of Mazie’s world, from her homestyle cooking to her daily outfits. The novel gave me American Girl vibes in the best way, exploring the issues of the era as well as the realities of daily life in the same way the doll’s stories often do. There’s certainly a young adult appeal to the book, however, as Mazie doesn’t hesitate to share any of the complicated fear, fury, and grief she feels.
The characters were fantastic, from Mazie’s starry-eyed and stocky boyfriend to her honest and hardscrabble grandmother. However, I would’ve loved more time with most side characters. As Mazie’s story is a bit of a destination-hopping whirlwind, it felt like the cast was ever-rotating, and I would’ve loved deeper explanations of the friendships she made in the city and on the road.
Overall, Mazie is a big-hearted belt of a novel perfect for those seeking a comfort read that’s easy to binge. It’s doubly perfect for any Broadway fans such as myself, as understanding each reference that Crowder put down was a delight. This novel does a perfect job of getting the audience to fall in love with the main character, and my greatest complaint is that Mazie can’t leap off the page and perform.
Rating: 4 step-ball-changes/5