‘ROUND MIDNIGHT – Laura McBride
Las Vegas – 1960 to the Present
This is the story of four women whose lives connected in various ways. It's also the story of the growth of Las Vegas from a sleepy Nevada town to the glitzy, gambling mecca that it is today, along with all of its dark sides.
June Stein left her husband in New Jersey for the West. After her divorce in Las Vegas, she met and married, Odell (Del) Dibb, and together they bought the down and out casino, El Capitan. Their goal to rebuild it begins with hiring great entertainment. They discovered Eddie Knox, a black man with amazing rapport with the audience. His voice melted their hearts, and it melted June's for sure. She and Del had a son, Marshall, and the El Capitan just got bigger and better. But an incident changed how June dealt with life.
Honorata flew from the Philippines to Chicago where she was met by the man who had arranged her travel with her uncle. Jimbo wanted a wife, but first he wanted to make sure Honorata was the right woman. He changed her name to Rita and took her to Las Vegas. For Honorata, it was a nightmare, until the day she played the slots and won big.
Coral had grown up in a happy family, but always wondered why she was slightly different from her brother and sisters. Her mother never let on about anything until Coral overheard a conversation between one of her sisters and their mother. Only then did she realize she was not a blood relative. She speculated about her parents, but no one would give her any help. Her research hit a dead end.
Engracia was from Mexico and worked in the El Capitan, and then as a housekeeper for private individuals. Her world revolved around her son, Diego, and everything she did was for him.
‘ROUND MIDNIGHT was not an easy book to get into. I wasn't sure where the story was going, but once the connections between the women were made, it smoothed out a bit. So my advice is to be persistent and readers will find a satisfying conclusion to all of these women's tales. Each one is indicative of the era in which they lived, right up to the immigration issues of today.