Monday, July 8, 2024

Tayvie's Story


Chicago, IL – December 1923

Terrified, racing from an irate shopkeeper who has accused her of stealing, her comatose mother sprawled in a dark hallway, four-year-old Tayvie Jackson falls asleep while hiding in a car. Hours later, Tayvie, who understands almost no English, awakens many miles from a home she barely knew. Forced to live with deceitful relatives during the Depression in the Jim Crow south, Tayvie and her adopted mother later escape, hoping to build on Tayvie’s fledging career as a jazz singer.

In 1938, Tayvie innocently signs a six-month contract to appear at the Moulin Rouge in Paris. Almost immediately distorted allegations erupt surrounding her involvement with the historically devastating Kristallnacht, the propaganda broadcasts called Charlie and His Orchestra, and the elite Nazi playgrounds in Berlin and Paris, all of which force her into a demoralizing relationship with a strategic member of Hitler’s most despised inner clique, Dr. Joseph Goebbels.

The extraordinary coming-of-age saga of a talented, young, biracial jazz singer, who perfects her craft on two continents during the volatile 1930's and '40s despite appalling circumstances.

my review... 

What a story this is. There’s as much drama here as there is fact. I couldn’t put the book down and yet I caught myself running to the computer to look up more about so many historical milestones.

This is the story of a young girl, Tayvie or Helen Mason Campbell. It begins in the early 1900’s in Chicago. Running from a shopkeeper while trying to steal bread or some sustenance for both her and her unconscious mother, little Tayvie finds refuge in the back seat of a car. It’s a ride that will change her life forever. It will save her life and yet it will place her in danger many times.

Mim Eichmann pens a story and creates a character you will never forget. It hit home with me as my background is in music and no one admires singers and bandleaders of the first half of the 20th century more than myself. It was so fun to hear about well-known bandleaders and to imagine being a singer at the Moulin Rouge. This story goes right through the US Depression and on to World War II. Each event is well-described, and all seem very well-researched. Reading of Tayvie’s hardships, life, and successes made such a great picture for the reader. I think it would make a great movie.

read an excerpt...

“Maman!” I shriek, “ne recommence pas! S’il te plaȋt! Non!” I run towards her, shaking my head fiercely, my tears flying everywhere. I know she will be angry I don’t say the words in English, but my tongue won’t fit into English right now! She is lying on the floor … a pile of limp rags smashed
up against the wall. I pull on her rigid arm that stretches out, reaching towards nothing. Her hand beckons like a hawk’s sharp claw. Her huge green eyes stare right at me. But she never blinks. She never moves.

She’s like one of those old statues where Maman’s friends take me in the warm place where we really live … those pigeon-grey statues in the beautiful cemetery where the long branches of huge live oaks skim along the ground like benches. The place where we eat our picnics on the faded patchwork quilt after church on special Sundays. The place they call Vieux Carré. I know that’s not what it’s called in English, but I can’t remember that name!

about Mim Eichmann...

A graduate from the Jordan College of Music at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, Mim Eichmann has found that her creative journey has taken her down many exciting, interwoven pathways. For well over two decades, she was primarily known in the Chicago area as the artistic director/choreographer for Midwest Ballet Theatre, bringing full-length professional ballet performances to thousands of dance lovers annually. A desire to become involved again in the folk music world brought about the creation of her acoustic quartet Trillium, now in its 19 th year, which performs throughout the Midwest and has released four cds. Among other varied music avenues, she’s recorded two award-winning original children’s cds and an album of early jazz vocals. Her debut historical fiction novel A Sparrow Alone was published by Living Springs Publishers in April 2020 and was a semi-finalist in the 2020 Illinois Library Association’s Soon-to-be-Famous Project Competition. The highly anticipated sequel, Muskrat Ramble, was published by LSP in March 2021. Both books are bestsellers. Her historical thriller Whatever Happened to Cathy Martin was published in August 2022.




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  1. Thank you so much for hosting and reviewing today!

  2. Thank you so much for your lovely review of TAYVIE'S STORY this morning! For you or any of your readers who might be interested, here's a youtube link to our version of "Sweet Georgia Brown" using a video recording session in which I'm the vocalist. We've cut in lots of terrific footage of flappers dancing back in the 1920s!

  3. Great excerpt and giveaway. :)

  4. I would enjoy reading this one. Sounds good.


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