GOOD TO HER - Enid Harlow
Strategic Book Publishing - Trade Paperback
New York City, New York – 1935 to 1962
Nate Neumann had been a regular customer at Dinty Moore's restaurant in New York City for years before he met Sallie May Wheeler, a young woman over twenty years his junior. That day in 1942 when Sallie came into the restaurant, laughing on the arm of a sailor, is the day that changed Nate's life. Up until then, he lived his life alone, going to work, then to Dinty Moore's, where he would eat whatever special of the day was on the menu at his own reserved table in the back of the restaurant. James Moore, beloved owner of Dinty Moore's, now deceased, set aside this table just for Nate years ago, and, likewise, Nate has not missed one night of sitting at that table, either alone, or with other men who frequented James's establishment, and later, with Sallie at his side.
Dinty Moore's is famous as a gathering place for the theater crowd and big name personalities like Frank Sinatra, Yogi Berra, Yul Brynner, and many others. Sallie loves the theater and comes alive when Nate points out these famous people while they eat dinner. Sallie, fresh off the farm from Anderson, Indiana, has always longed to be a dancer, so she left home, took dancing classes once she arrived in New York City, and now spends her time auditioning for the theater while she works the local clubs.
After she and Nate are married, life continues much the same for both of them. Nate still goes to his job every day at the American Chicle Company, where he's worked his way up from the mail room to the elevated status of secretary to the company president. And, after they married, Sallie continues to do what Sallie has always done, except that now she's a wife, then becomes a mother to two adorable girls during the day, eats dinner with Nate at his table at Dinty Moore's. Then she dances the night away in someone else's arms at her job. Nate never questions her behavior; he knows Sallie loves him and he trusts her.
GOOD TO HER tells Nate and Sallie's story, and the story of the iconic Dinty Moore's Restaurant in flashbacks through the years leading up to Sallie's accidental death in 1962. Sallie always told Nate, "you're so good to me," which is often repeated throughout the story as Nate reminisces about their life. This historical novel is a bit slow to start, and is told in the author's methodical voice, but the pages are captivating as we read through the chapters to discover the truth about Sallie and Nate. Other secondary characters bring to life the events of Prohibition and other political and social happenings of the times as we travel through Nate's memories of the years of his life at Dinty Moore's and his marriage to Sallie.
Rich in history and background, GOOD TO HER is a captivating book.