Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh (Forge), subtitled “The Crash of the Century: When Bonnie Met Clyde,” is a page-turning historical novel about the early life of one of the most intriguing and famous female gangster who ever lived in the United States, Bonnie Parker. Along with Clyde Barrow, the Prohibition Era criminal duo and their gang became famous for their daring robberies, enduring love for each other, and their end, going out in a violent way, slain in a blaze of bullets by the police. Of course, Bonnie, growing up known as Bonnelyn, was not born a gangster, but fate eventually brought her to that turning point in her life when she chose to become one, out of her love for Clyde.
Walsh’s novel about Bonnelyn Parker’s early life, Becoming Bonnie, helps provide insights into Bonnie and why her love of Clyde eventually led her from a life of growing up in a small Texas town, known as Cement City, to becoming a member of his Clyde’s gang. Two lucky readers who live in the United States or Canada, thanks to CDA News, the book’s publisher, Tor/Forge, and author Jenni L. Walsh, will win a hardback copy of this fascinating glimpse into the life of Bonnie Parker!
When Becoming Bonnie begins, it is the summer of 1927, and Bonnie is in her teen years. She has grown up in a single-parent household, ever since the passing of her father, and Bonnie has a job, as well as attending school in Dallas with her best friend, Blanche, who also later becomes a member of Bonnie and Clyde’s gang. Walsh takes creative license with Blanche, as well as other facts about Bonnie and Clyde, as the two women were actually really not childhood best friends. Walsh reveals this and other aspects of Becoming Bonnie where she has taken creative license in an Author’s Note at the conclusion of the novel.
Bonnie grows up being a church-going young woman, living a secluded, protected sort of small-town life that is a far cry from the life she eventually leads, taking part in robberies and living a life as one of the most wanted criminals in America. When readers meet her, she finds herself getting proposed to by a boy she has known for years, Roy Thornton. He comes from a poor, working-class family, but tells her he is going to buy a house where they can start a family together.
Bonnie has an affection for Thornton, though whether or not what she feels is love might be a different matter. But, for a while, she entertains plans of marrying him and having a family together. Walsh mentions in the Author’s Note that Bonnie did marry Thornton, in real life, when she was sixteen years old.
In Becoming Bonnie, Bonnie becomes introduced to a wilder kind of lifestyle when Blanche talks her into going with her into Dallas, where Blanche wants to earn money quickly, working at an illicit juice joint called Doc’s. She tries to get Bonnie to also work there, though she initially looks askance at the idea, thinking about the consequences that might happen if she got arrested.
Much of Becoming Bonnie is about Bonnie’s life before she ever meets Clyde, as she tries to remain a wholesome girl by day but work at Doc’s during the nights. She still has plans of having a future together with Roy, and thinks she can make being a working woman fit into also having a husband, though the lifestyle of gambling and booze she starts to embrace is in conflict with her plans.
When the “crash of the century” does happen, and Bonnie eventually meets Clyde, sparks fly between them. Bonnie has always dreamed about living the American Dream, but she has found that is difficult to do, especially during the Great Depression.
What happens that causes a “good girl” to turn “bad,” like Bonnelyn Parker does, in Becoming Bonnie, by Jenni L. Walsh? Like everything else in life, Bonnelyn’s conversion into becoming Bonnie, one half of Bonnie and Clyde, did not happen overnight, and a variety of factors were involved, besides her love for Clyde Barrow. The novel has been optioned for the small screen, and viewers will soon be able to see how Bonnie “breaks bad,” on television. Until that happens, two lucky readers in the United States or Canada selected at random who comment and leave a non-Spam related comment below will be chosen as the winners of Walsh’s amazing novel, Becoming Bonnie. Just follow the few simple rules below, leave a comment, and you are entered to win!
Contest Giveaway Rules –
The Giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada only. CDA News will select two lucky winners, who will each receive one hardback copy of Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh. Winning a copy of the
book is easy! Just leave a non-spam comment below, letting CDA News know why you think you should be selected as a winner, along with the name of the U.S. state or Canadian province in which you live.
The Giveaway will run from June 10, 2017 until midnight on June 24, 2017. CDA News will select and notify the two lucky winners via email by June 26, 2017. Want more chances to win? Simply enter the contest every day.
Those selected as winners must provide their full mailing address to CDA News within five (5) days, by July 1, 2017. All personal information will be kept confidential. CDA News does not sell or otherwise distribute any information given by those who visit their website. However, please be advised that CDA News must pass on the names and addresses of the winners to the book publisher, Tor/Forge, as they will mail the free copy of Becoming Bonnie to each winner, directly. CDA News staff and writers are not eligible to participate in this contest giveaway.
By John Samuels
Photo Courtesy Tor/Forge