Josephine Baker's Last Dance
From the author of The Jewel of Medina, a moving and insightful novel based on the life of legendary performer and activist Josephine Baker, perfect for fans of The Paris Wife and Hidden Figures.Discover the fascinating and singular life story of Josephine Baker—actress, singer, dancer, Civil Rights activist, member of the French Resistance during WWII, and a woman dedicated to erasing prejudice and creating a more equitable world—in Josephine Baker’s Last Dance. In this illuminating biographical novel, Sherry Jones brings to life Josephine's early years in servitude and poverty in America, her rise to fame as a showgirl in her famous banana skirt, her activism against discrimination, and her many loves and losses. From 1920s Paris to 1960s Washington, to her final, triumphant performance, one of the most extraordinary lives of the twentieth century comes to stunning life on the page. With intimate prose and comprehensive research, Sherry Jones brings this remarkable and compelling public figure into focus for the first time in a joyous celebration of a life lived in technicolor, a powerful woman who continues to inspire today.

Josephine Baker's Last Dance Details

TitleJosephine Baker's Last Dance
Author
ReleaseDec 4th, 2018
PublisherGallery Books
ISBN-139781501102448
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Literature, 20th Century

Josephine Baker's Last Dance Review

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    4 engaging stars to Josephine’s Last Dance! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Oh, how I enjoyed this look into Josephine Baker’s life. What an icon she was and continues to be with her legacy. Who was Josephine Baker? What defines her the most? Singer? Dancer? Actor? Civil Rights activist? She even joined the French Resistance during WWII. Josephine’s early life is marred by poverty and living in servitude. Her mother sends her out of the home as a servant while still a child living in St. Louis. Josephine endures abuse 4 engaging stars to Josephine’s Last Dance! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Oh, how I enjoyed this look into Josephine Baker’s life. What an icon she was and continues to be with her legacy. Who was Josephine Baker? What defines her the most? Singer? Dancer? Actor? Civil Rights activist? She even joined the French Resistance during WWII. Josephine’s early life is marred by poverty and living in servitude. Her mother sends her out of the home as a servant while still a child living in St. Louis. Josephine endures abuse at the hands of her parents and also by those for whom she works. Ultimately, she makes a break from her unstable and dysfunctional home life and becomes a dancer. She finds herself touring all the way to Paris. While there, she breaks all the glass ceilings for black women: the first to dance on stage in Paris, the first lead in a movie, and then an opera. She is at the top of her game career-wise and touring all over Europe. Josephine has an encounter with Nazis while touring in Berlin, and because of that, she becomes involved with the French Resistance. What she does in this role and how she carries it out is intriguing and masterful. After having lived in a Europe without segregation, when Josephine returns to the United States on tour, she is heartbroken and dispirited to find out that nothing has changed since she left. She vows to take on prejudice in the U.S. I am so grateful I read this book. Josephine was a spitfire, an ingenue, a power player, and a change-maker, and I found her inspiring. Ahead of her time, she remains an icon, and Sherry Jones found the perfect way to depict her spirited nature, her passion for life, and her commitment to human rights. Josephine Baker’s Last Dance is a bold journey of a bold woman. Thank you to Gallery Books for the opportunity to read and review this treasure of a book. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Mats Werner
    January 1, 1970
    Josephine Baker was during some ten years before her premature death in 1975, a very dear friend of mine – and also of our family.The loss of Josephine at the treshold of new adventures, after some years when she was more or less forgotten and ”out”, when – as an extra burden – her money problem caused her great distress, was deeply felt.In Stockholm, one of her ”regular tour stops”, she had enormous successes during so many years starring with a large entourage on the most important show stages Josephine Baker was during some ten years before her premature death in 1975, a very dear friend of mine – and also of our family.The loss of Josephine at the treshold of new adventures, after some years when she was more or less forgotten and ”out”, when – as an extra burden – her money problem caused her great distress, was deeply felt.

In Stockholm, one of her ”regular tour stops”, she had enormous successes during so many years starring with a large entourage on the most important show stages. But for some years she now had to endure without any orchestra but with just a single piano-player, to be able to get a gig at all. The following year a suburbean dance-hall had the courtesy of inviting her to perform for a week and with a full show-orchestra backing. At that time she received this fantastic opportunity to perform in full gala at Bobino in Paris. Bobino was of course not Le Lido or the Folies Bergere, but still a great place to make a come-back on. I had also managed to negotiate two weeks performances at a new show-scene in the center of Stockholm after the Bobino-sejour. She was definitely coming back! She still had her strong and very personal voice, her moves, her ”one-second-dress-changes” and her ability to mesmerize the audience. She would have made a great impact on a new generation and remained the queen of the show-scene!

But fate wanted something else and she suffered a major stroke that took her life just after the successful opening at Bobino.A lot has been written about Josephine. But now Sherry Jones, author of – among others – the success-novel ”The Jewel of Medina”, has taken on Josephines history in the form of a ”biographic novel” and done so with the honours.It is not a chronological biography, but focuses on some important parts of Josephines life. Her youth, that – the hard way – taught her both the joyfulness and the sorrows of life in the black community of USA in the beginning of the last century. Her lifelong fight against racism and segregation. Her venture as a spy for the French resistance during the war. Her aim to form a rainbow-family (she defined the word long before the HBTQ-people kidnapped it) of adopted children of all races, religions and ethnical backgrounds. But mainly of course, her life on stage where she became the undisputed star of her time.As the strong and determined girl she was, she never let hardship hold her back. France opened its’ arms to her and let her flourish. But also in her new and beloved country she could now and then experience bigotry, pettiness and racism. Especially during the 30-ies and 40ies when France was under influences of the WWII and the Nazis.Sherry empathetically captures the girl and the woman, Josephine, with great compassion and sympathy.It is rather unbelievable that in fact Sherry has never even met Josephine Baker, because she can picture her personality extremely accurate.And the language is so vivid and capturing – almost a ready-made movie manuscript. I would look forward to seeing this on a screen!Let Sherry Jones book be the continuation of Josephine Bakers fight for humanity, equal rights and love! Just read it!MATS WERNERSweden
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  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
    January 1, 1970
    I must say I didn't know very much about Josephine Baker.  It wasn't until I read the short children's picture book biography in the Little People, Big Dreams series to my daughter that I learned she wasn't just an entertainer but a woman who fought for Civil Rights equality and joined the French Resistance to destroy Hitler during World War II.The short children's biography was so brief and yet I was fascinated!  When I found Josephine Baker's Last Dance on NetGalley earlier this year, I absolu I must say I didn't know very much about Josephine Baker.  It wasn't until I read the short children's picture book biography in the Little People, Big Dreams series to my daughter that I learned she wasn't just an entertainer but a woman who fought for Civil Rights equality and joined the French Resistance to destroy Hitler during World War II.The short children's biography was so brief and yet I was fascinated!  When I found Josephine Baker's Last Dance on NetGalley earlier this year, I absolutely had to request it.This book brings to life Baker's most monumental moments, beginning in childhood when her mother hired her out as a servant to white people in St. Louis.  She suffered abuse not only at the hands of the people she served but also her own mother and step-father.With an unstable home life, Josephine found herself living and sleeping with men when she was still a child.  Her love of music inspires her to perform and she begins touring with all black revues as a dancer.  She eventually makes her way to Paris, where she finds that segregation does not exist.Josephine's career explodes; she becomes the first black woman to dance nude on the Paris stage and the first to lead a movie and star in an opera.  Along the way she falls in love often and has a fierce sexual appetite, taking lovers in most cities she tours.When Hitler gains control in Germany, Josephine will not forget the Nazis who scared her in Berlin and vows to bring them down.  She's given the opportunity a few years later when she's recruited in to the French Resistance; collecting important information from the government officials who occupy her night clubs and hope to seduce her.Disgusted with segregation in America, Josephine refused to return to her home country to many years.  When she does return on tour, she is shocked to find nothing has changed and eventually chooses to dedicate her life to fighting prejudice.Josephine Baker's life was a whirlwind --- there are so many daring and thrilling things she did in her life from a troubled teen searching for affection she didn't receive at home, to flirtatious showgirl, to government spy, to Civil Rights activist!The amount of fame Baker had in Europe was astonishing.  She was the sweetheart of Paris who could do no wrong for a time and I can only compare it to the stardom of modern day pop stars like Britney Spears in the early 2000's.Powerfully written, at times brazen and always unapologetically truthful like the woman herself, Sherry Jones has documented both the triumphs and tragedies of Josephine Baker, the bold woman who was ahead of her time in every way.Thanks to Gallery Books and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review.  Josephine Baker's Last Dance is scheduled for release on December 4, 2018.For more full reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    Josephine Baker's Last Dance was an entertaining and captivating read! Josephine Baker withstood so many obstacles in her life and those obstacles shaped her. Racism, segregation, poverty and sexual abuse. The author brought Josephine to life, showing us the real woman behind the public persona. I thoroughly enjoyed this one!
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  • Irene
    January 1, 1970
    This was a riveting, well researched, fact based though slightly embellished account of the life of Josephine Baker from her childhood and beyond her rise to fame, becoming the highest paid black performer in the world. Since Josephine is no longer with us to be able to share her intimate thoughts, there was a good mix of story telling and facts. It held me captivated from start to finish as Josephine grew from a poverty stricken neglected child to a strong willed woman who stood along side MLK This was a riveting, well researched, fact based though slightly embellished account of the life of Josephine Baker from her childhood and beyond her rise to fame, becoming the highest paid black performer in the world. Since Josephine is no longer with us to be able to share her intimate thoughts, there was a good mix of story telling and facts. It held me captivated from start to finish as Josephine grew from a poverty stricken neglected child to a strong willed woman who stood along side MLK to fight for civil rights. I received an advance copy for review.
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    Why read a fictional biography? Sometimes, there is no choice: biographies may be out of date, or nonexistent. When they are available, they may be too linear to capture more than the facts, just the facts, ma'am.There are biographies of Josephine Baker, the "Black Pearl," if the reader wants to know who, what where, and when. I doubt there ever will be one that captures the wild energy, the passionate spirit, and the artistry that came together in this spectacular woman the way Sherry Jones has Why read a fictional biography? Sometimes, there is no choice: biographies may be out of date, or nonexistent. When they are available, they may be too linear to capture more than the facts, just the facts, ma'am.There are biographies of Josephine Baker, the "Black Pearl," if the reader wants to know who, what where, and when. I doubt there ever will be one that captures the wild energy, the passionate spirit, and the artistry that came together in this spectacular woman the way Sherry Jones has done. She has shown us the how and why, and filled in the spaces - the beauty and the ugliness, both - that underlay the public spectacle of the glittering international star.The Josephine Baker who sailed to Paris in 1925 had already powered through enough personal suffering and systemic racism to flatten most people. But, with unlimited talent and drive, she escaped initial rejections in the United States ("too skinny and too dark") by landing a job that took her to the integrated world of Paris. There, her breakthrough abandon and energy in "La Danse de Sauvage," clad only in a skirt made of faux bananas, brought artistic acclaim and access to all she ever wished for: the extravagant lifestyle, a starring role at the Folies Bergere, a film career. She searched endlessly for love while hobnobbing with Colette, Gertrude Stein, Hemingway, and the rest of the expatriates.Her dreams of Europe changed as Brownshirts and Nazis came to her shows and made their vicious intentions clear. A return to New York showed her that not even her fame could break through the racism, and she returned to Europe, disillusioned.She continued to sing and dance and act the role as an international sensation, but used her position to work as a spy and pilot for the Resistance, facing mortal danger in the name of freedom. After the war, she shifted her focus to challenge racial discrimination wherever her career took her, despite personal heartaches and ill health. Back in America, she forced nighclubs to integrate if they wanted her to sing, she called attention to African-Americans on Death Row who were victims of racist justice, and she participated in very public and challenging actions with the NAACP.The happiest day of her life, she said, was when she participated with Joan Baez and others, introducing Rev. Martin Luther King before he gave his speech, "I have a dream." Later, she created a Rainbow Tribe by adopting twelve children, demonstrating how beautiful a multi-ethnic world could be.All of the episodes in this gritty and granular novel are set as her memories during her last performance, celebrating fifty years of stardom in Paris. The reader will come away breathless with admiration for the power and energy of Josephine Baker's life, and how she used her fame to better the world. Watching videos on YouTube is a pale introduction to this groundbreaking woman. The reader's imagination will be well-served by this stunning novel.Five stars, because only five are available.
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  • Sherry
    January 1, 1970
    While creating this book, I fell utterly in love with Josephine Baker, as did everyone who ever knew her. Langston Hughes. Bessie Smith. Hemingway. Colette. The King of Sweden. The Pasha of Marrakesh. The Prince of England. Louis Armstrong. Grace Kelly. Mick Jagger. The list goes on and on, and the reasons why become clear when you read JOSEPHINE BAKER'S LAST DANCE. When I finished it--after four years' research and writing--I wanted to do it all again, just to remain in Ms. Baker's bedazzling c While creating this book, I fell utterly in love with Josephine Baker, as did everyone who ever knew her. Langston Hughes. Bessie Smith. Hemingway. Colette. The King of Sweden. The Pasha of Marrakesh. The Prince of England. Louis Armstrong. Grace Kelly. Mick Jagger. The list goes on and on, and the reasons why become clear when you read JOSEPHINE BAKER'S LAST DANCE. When I finished it--after four years' research and writing--I wanted to do it all again, just to remain in Ms. Baker's bedazzling company. I've read JOSEPHINE BAKER'S LAST DANCE twice since getting the first printed copy in the mail, and relished every moment because Josephine. I've always said that I would live a life with no regrets, but now I have one: I never got to meet the glorious, stupendous, funny, smart, sassy, sexy, inspiring, charismatic Josephine Baker.
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  • Joy
    January 1, 1970
    Before reading this, I knew very little about Josephine Baker other than the fact that she was an African American Parisian dancer who worked against the Nazis in WW2. This book is the reason I love biographical historical fiction more than straight biography. Not only is Baker brought to life, but her surroundings, her family, her (many) men, her amazing talent, and her place in history are so vivid and memorable that I feel truly enriched. An excellent read.
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  • Jamckean
    January 1, 1970
    I had never heard of Josephine Baker before reading this book, but I now understand that she was truly a force to be reckon with. The author takes readers on an incredible journey, following Josephine’s life from poverty to stardom, from working as a housekeeper in Missouri to performing as a showgirl in Paris. Not satisfied with just the limelight, Baker also became heavily involved in the WWII French Resistance and the Civil Rights movement. A fascinating story about a remarkable woman that I I had never heard of Josephine Baker before reading this book, but I now understand that she was truly a force to be reckon with. The author takes readers on an incredible journey, following Josephine’s life from poverty to stardom, from working as a housekeeper in Missouri to performing as a showgirl in Paris. Not satisfied with just the limelight, Baker also became heavily involved in the WWII French Resistance and the Civil Rights movement. A fascinating story about a remarkable woman that I highly recommend!
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  • BookGypsy
    January 1, 1970
    A great look into the life of this amazing iconic woman. Her youth which was horrific but shaped her to be the strong woman she was. The many issues she faced from poverty, racism,and segregation. This book was an eye opening as I've read about Josephine before but never to this depth. This really takes you deep into her life. The good and the bad. It shows just how much Josephine had done in her life. Things most of us would never have known. We know the singer and dancer but she was so much mo A great look into the life of this amazing iconic woman. Her youth which was horrific but shaped her to be the strong woman she was. The many issues she faced from poverty, racism,and segregation. This book was an eye opening as I've read about Josephine before but never to this depth. This really takes you deep into her life. The good and the bad. It shows just how much Josephine had done in her life. Things most of us would never have known. We know the singer and dancer but she was so much more than that. A truly amazing read. Bittersweet.I was given a copy of this from the publisher for my honest review.Dawn Ruby-Book GypsyNovels N Latte Book BlogNovels & Latte Book ClubHudson Valley NY
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  • Dawn Wells
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, the history here is incredible, the writing is remarkable, the story/stories show, strength, passion, growth and the ability to believe. I’ve heard stories of her for decades. I’ve also read other books about her but this one was the most well rounded. It showed her life with out excuses. A fabulous read.
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  • Linda Zagon
    January 1, 1970
    fullsizeoutput_3869Lindas Book Obsession Reviews “Josephine Baker’s Last Dance” by Sherry Jones, Gallery Books, Simon & Schuster December 4, 2018Sherry Jones , Author of “Josephine Baker’s Last Dance” has written an entertaining , engrossing, and intriguing Biographical Novel about Josephine Baker’s Last Dance. The author vividly describes the costume and makeup that Josephine Baker wore for her final performance. Surrounding this, the author takes the readers back to the past and introduces fullsizeoutput_3869Lindas Book Obsession Reviews “Josephine Baker’s Last Dance” by Sherry Jones, Gallery Books, Simon & Schuster December 4, 2018Sherry Jones , Author of “Josephine Baker’s Last Dance” has written an entertaining , engrossing, and intriguing Biographical Novel about Josephine Baker’s Last Dance. The author vividly describes the costume and makeup that Josephine Baker wore for her final performance. Surrounding this, the author takes the readers back to the past and introduces us to a young Josephine, who is abused, neglected and made to feel unwanted. Josephine was born of color in America and grew up in poverty . Instead of being at school, her mother had her work as a child domestic.Sherry Jones uses her creative imagination to fill in the spaces, and uses fiction to portray Josephine’s rise to popularity as a performer. Josephine was very young, energetic and hyper, and was extremely talented. Josephine traveled to France where she danced provocatively, and learned to sing. She was very popular around the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression. Although, Josephine didn’t finish school in America,, she did learn to fly an airplane, and during World War Two, she would fly supplies to help the Red Cross.I was surprised to learn that Josephine helped and worked for the French Resistance and worked hard to fight prejudice and worked for integration. The author sets the stage for the life of Josephine Baker and shows us how the world was made better because of her. I would recommend this Biographical novel to those readers who enjoy this genre.
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  • Diana
    January 1, 1970
    I think my only complaint would be that a large portion of the first half consists of Josephine "shaking/wiggling her ass;" like to a point where one who might not know her story would begin to think that's all she was capable of. (I looked up some videos and yes, that is basically what she did, but I feel like it could have been better described maybe.).It got to a point where I became a little bored because that's all she seemed to be doing every few pages.Other than that it was a really well I think my only complaint would be that a large portion of the first half consists of Josephine "shaking/wiggling her ass;" like to a point where one who might not know her story would begin to think that's all she was capable of. (I looked up some videos and yes, that is basically what she did, but I feel like it could have been better described maybe.).It got to a point where I became a little bored because that's all she seemed to be doing every few pages.Other than that it was a really well told story, part biography part novel Josephine Baker was fascinating; from everything she did during the war to afterwards. Even before, her fight to be more than what everyone expected was admirable. She knew what she wanted and did not stop until she got it.
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  • Christie
    January 1, 1970
    I knew very little about Josephine Baker prior to read this except what I had seen once on Mysteries at the Museum (the event mentioned on that show is in the book as well). It was an interesting book, going back and forth in the beginning between present and past and gives an overall description of her origins and how she ended up the way she did.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I knew very little about Josephine Baker going into this, but reading the book made me want to learn more about her and do some research on my own. As a novel, this is outstanding. Much of it is apparently fictionalized, but that's understood from the beginning and I didn't feel it detracted from the feel of the book in the least. I was a bit unsure about this before I read it, but I'm really glad I gave it a chance.
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  • Deb
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book on a goodreads giveaway. I did not know much about Jpsepjine Baker before this book arrived, but I learned she led a fascinating, if not interesting, scary incredible life. She was a pioneer, independent, incredible woman, who did things her own way, right or wrong. Without her persistant spirit, this world may have been quite different. One person can make a difference.
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  • Christie Owens
    January 1, 1970
    I waited excitedly for my copy of Josephine Baker's Last Dance because I had been to her chateau in the Dordogne. I had become a gushing fan of the woman most only knew as a black, naked, banana skirt dancer. She was so much more, so brave, so full of heart. Sherry Jones has brought Josephine's life into a dramatic storyline of courage and determination. The author makes it all so real. Her characterization of Josephine as a charming and maddening human being propels the reader forward. I will b I waited excitedly for my copy of Josephine Baker's Last Dance because I had been to her chateau in the Dordogne. I had become a gushing fan of the woman most only knew as a black, naked, banana skirt dancer. She was so much more, so brave, so full of heart. Sherry Jones has brought Josephine's life into a dramatic storyline of courage and determination. The author makes it all so real. Her characterization of Josephine as a charming and maddening human being propels the reader forward. I will be reading more of this author's books after the wild dance and social significance brought to full life in this novel!
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  • Stan
    January 1, 1970
    Those who are familiar with the writing of Sherry Jones, know that she relishes bringing to light the exploits of “kick ass” women that have been largely ignored by history. In doing so she shows us that women have always been an important part of the growth of Western Culture – they have just never had a voice. Sherry’s voice is loud and convincing.The women in Jones’ earlier works like “The Jewel of Medina” and “Four Sisters, All Queens” her characters were born or married into positions of in Those who are familiar with the writing of Sherry Jones, know that she relishes bringing to light the exploits of “kick ass” women that have been largely ignored by history. In doing so she shows us that women have always been an important part of the growth of Western Culture – they have just never had a voice. Sherry’s voice is loud and convincing.The women in Jones’ earlier works like “The Jewel of Medina” and “Four Sisters, All Queens” her characters were born or married into positions of influence. In contrast the heroine in “Josephine Baker’s Last Dance” was born not only into poverty, but also into a culture that looked at her race as, dare I say, subhuman. Josephine Baker combined her intelligence and drive to move up in the only field open to people of color, entertainment. Then she went on to use those talents to advance even further, all-be-it not in her native country. In Europe, especially France, she received rave reviews and reached the pinnacle of accomplishment. She starred in European shows and eventually owned the venues where they were performed; situation that would not have been imaginable in the USA of the pre-WWII years. Nor for many decades after.But Baker’s love of freedom and commitment to equal treatment for all led her down another different and dangerous path. She became a spy for the French resistance during the war. Her travelling shows and easy way with people, she treated others with the open arms with which she expected them to receive her, gave her access to the conversations and thus the plans of those who would take away the freedom and equality she found so invigorating in her adopted France.Jones conjures Josephine’s thoughts leading up to and during her last performance to drive the narrative. She begins sections of the book with Josephine’s musings as she readies herself for and during the performance. In these, she links the stage of the performance with Baker’s development as an entertainer and as a person. Just as getting made up and dressed for a performance lays the groundwork for the show, Baker’s experiences as a child laid out the values she lived by. My only criticism of this technique, is that Jones didn’t check in on the preparation for the “Last Dance” often enough. It is obvious that Jones has at least partially morphed her own mind into that of Baker’s. And, watching this play out in the “Last Dance” is just as captivating as the story.
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  • Debbi
    January 1, 1970
    What an amazing story! Who knew that Josephine Baker, singer and dancer from the 20's to the 60's, was so much more: resistance hero, spy, designer. From her terrible upbringing in poverty with an abusive mother and indifferent stepfather, to the people in her life who should have protected her but did opposite, in spite of all this, she rose to great heights as a performer and un-sung hero. Sherry Jone's book will open your eyes to the real story behind the legend and myth that was promulgated. What an amazing story! Who knew that Josephine Baker, singer and dancer from the 20's to the 60's, was so much more: resistance hero, spy, designer. From her terrible upbringing in poverty with an abusive mother and indifferent stepfather, to the people in her life who should have protected her but did opposite, in spite of all this, she rose to great heights as a performer and un-sung hero. Sherry Jone's book will open your eyes to the real story behind the legend and myth that was promulgated. Barely educated, unable to read much, constrained by the lack of civil rights and the huge barrier of racism, Josephine Baker moves to France and becomes an international star. Through incredibly hard work and in spite of not a little bad judgement along the way (particularly in men) Josephine Baker makes and loses a fortune and becomes an American icon (even though she comes to think of herself as French). A truly wonderful book, you will laugh, cry, cringe right along with Ms. Baker.
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  • D.B. Moone
    January 1, 1970
    Authors Name: Sherry JonesPublisher: Simon & Schuster Galley BooksGenre: Fiction: African American Women, Historical, BiographicalPage Count: 384ISBN: ISBN 9781501102448Publication Date: December 2018, Release Date: December 4, 2018Simon & Schuster Author PageSimone & Schuster Josephine Bakers Last Dance PageFind Sherry Jones on the following social media sites:Sherry Jones WebsiteFacebook TwitterYouTubeSaveGoodreadsPre-Order Now From Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Indi Authors Name: Sherry JonesPublisher: Simon & Schuster Galley BooksGenre: Fiction: African American Women, Historical, BiographicalPage Count: 384ISBN: ISBN 9781501102448Publication Date: December 2018, Release Date: December 4, 2018Simon & Schuster Author PageSimone & Schuster Josephine Bakers Last Dance PageFind Sherry Jones on the following social media sites:Sherry Jones WebsiteFacebook TwitterYouTubeSaveGoodreadsPre-Order Now From Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBoundOther Novels by Author Sherry Jones: The Sharp Hook of Love, Four Sisters, All Queens, White Heart, The Sword of Medina, The Jewel of MedinaDisclaimer: I received Josephine Baker’s Last Dance from Simon & Schuster via NetGalley to read and write a review.My Rating: 5 StarsAuthor extraordinaire, Jones’s novel Josephine Baker’s Last Dance although classified as fiction is written with accomplished knowledge and precision of Josephine Baker’s life. I specifically took notes once I was lured into the novel and held captive for the sole purpose of going back to Josephine Baker’s life and fact-checking (everyone is fact-checking everything today – insert laughter) events, dates, and all things Josephine Baker. Jones’s Josephine Baker’s Last Dance was a replica of Josephine Baker’s life. It was clearly obvious that Jones had completed extensive research on Baker and was unquestionably prepared to write Josephine Baker’s Last Dance. Having been to Paris, I also checked the streets, clubs, etc.. Yes, there were some events that were omitted, but purposely so; the essential events in Baker’s life were included in Jones’s novel.To read the full review visit: www.dbmoone.com#SimonandSchuster #NetGalley #AuthorSherryJones #FiveStar #Novel
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  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    I love Sherry Jones and the variety to be found in her books, so I was very excited to read her newest offering, Josephine Baker's Last Dance. From the very beginning I was held entranced by this incredible story and the life behind it. The first few chapters demonstrated the wildness of youth and a strength unknown to many. Josephine'slife was truly fascinating, and it was as if I was along for the ride so vivid were the sights and sounds I was reading about. It was a fabulous journey alongside I love Sherry Jones and the variety to be found in her books, so I was very excited to read her newest offering, Josephine Baker's Last Dance. From the very beginning I was held entranced by this incredible story and the life behind it. The first few chapters demonstrated the wildness of youth and a strength unknown to many. Josephine'slife was truly fascinating, and it was as if I was along for the ride so vivid were the sights and sounds I was reading about. It was a fabulous journey alongside an extraordinary woman. When I was less than 150 pages into the book, I just had to sit back for a minute and think about what a remarkable life Josephine was living and not yet 21 years old. It rendered me speechless and made it hard to step away from the story for any length of time. And yet amidst the bright lights and loud life, Jones did a terrific job of showing that life when outside the limelight and the feelings held deep within our Josephine. There was a yearning there that was often overshadowed by the laughter and passion. Those emotions were there for the reader to feel and made this book one that will certainly stick with me for quite some time even after the end. When I read about Josephine's life in Paris in the late 30's and early 40's as the Nazi invasion and war loomed on the horizon, there was an eerie and ominous feel to the story. Here was a woman with a fire burning inside and a brave spirit willing to help in any way that she could. I was truly in awe of her of her courage and the work that she did to aid the allies. When Josephine returned to America and began her work for racial equality I cheered along with every triumph. She had already seen and done so much in her life, and yet here she was determined to do even more. Jones did an absolutely amazing job with writing this book. Josephine was truly a force to be reckoned with and I was completely enamoured with her by the end of the book. Josephine Baker's Last Dance comes highly recommended by me.
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  • Lee Husemann
    January 1, 1970
    I was not familiar with Josephine Baker before I read this very revealing biographical novel about her. Josephine was a Black girl born in St. Louis, MO in 1906 to a poor family and was forced to go to work at age 6 to help support her family. Josephine had very little interest in school and loved to perform at the local theater where she danced, sang and was somewhat of a comic with her facial expressions. Josephine had to deal with racism, segregation and sexual abuse on her way from poverty t I was not familiar with Josephine Baker before I read this very revealing biographical novel about her. Josephine was a Black girl born in St. Louis, MO in 1906 to a poor family and was forced to go to work at age 6 to help support her family. Josephine had very little interest in school and loved to perform at the local theater where she danced, sang and was somewhat of a comic with her facial expressions. Josephine had to deal with racism, segregation and sexual abuse on her way from poverty to stardom in Europe, mostly in Paris, France as an actress, singer and dancer. She was a Civil Rights activist and a member of the French resistance during World War II as well. This is a very well researched and well written novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Cupcake Book Lady
    January 1, 1970
    Josephine Baker’s upbringing was far greater than tragic. From hands burned by a cruel mistress, to physical abuse from her alcoholic father, and being shipped off from place to place to work by her verbally abusive mother, it’s amazing that she didn’t follow in her family’s footsteps of succumbing to any of the men who belittled or abused or desired her from far too young an age. Instead, her music, dancing, and singing became her salvation. A brutal, often painful and uncomfortably honest port Josephine Baker’s upbringing was far greater than tragic. From hands burned by a cruel mistress, to physical abuse from her alcoholic father, and being shipped off from place to place to work by her verbally abusive mother, it’s amazing that she didn’t follow in her family’s footsteps of succumbing to any of the men who belittled or abused or desired her from far too young an age. Instead, her music, dancing, and singing became her salvation. A brutal, often painful and uncomfortably honest portrait of the life of a young black woman making her way in the world and rising above prejudice and suffering.I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed above are my own.
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  • David V.
    January 1, 1970
    Received as an ARC from the publisher. Started 9-1-18; finished 9-11-18. Well-written historical fiction about Josephine Baker. I'm assuming the activities are true but the conversations may not be. There's no info from the author. If that's correct, then I learned much more about her life than I knew before. New information to me: Her conflicts with many American celebrities and journalists who refused to verify her racist victimization in New York restaurants; her adoption of several foreign c Received as an ARC from the publisher. Started 9-1-18; finished 9-11-18. Well-written historical fiction about Josephine Baker. I'm assuming the activities are true but the conversations may not be. There's no info from the author. If that's correct, then I learned much more about her life than I knew before. New information to me: Her conflicts with many American celebrities and journalists who refused to verify her racist victimization in New York restaurants; her adoption of several foreign children; her affairs with world-renowned celebrities were numerous but SO MANY; her speech at Dr. King's march on Washington; her efforts as a member of the French Resistance during World War II. A misunderstood lady.
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  • Rita
    January 1, 1970
    Josephine Baker is a name we all know but what do we really know of the woman and her life? If you can say Paris and banana skirt, singer and dancer, you might know more than the average Joe. What about French Resistance fighter, civil rights activist, and mother? Sherry Jones writes an illuminating biographical novel of a complex woman with many facets. Jones’ writing gives an intimate look at Josephine Baker’s extraordinary life, as a phenomenally successful woman at a time where prejudice aga Josephine Baker is a name we all know but what do we really know of the woman and her life? If you can say Paris and banana skirt, singer and dancer, you might know more than the average Joe. What about French Resistance fighter, civil rights activist, and mother? Sherry Jones writes an illuminating biographical novel of a complex woman with many facets. Jones’ writing gives an intimate look at Josephine Baker’s extraordinary life, as a phenomenally successful woman at a time where prejudice against not just blacks, but also women was fierce. This novel is historically accurate but as a novel provides the reader with a more emotional connection with Ms. Baker. She had a fascinating rags to riches life but as an individual she was more than that. She was a woman who worked hard for her successes but became more than just an entertainer. Sherry Jones, renders a legend into a fully-realized woman.
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  • Norrine
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book. What an incredible life. The perspective viewing the world from such a rough beginning. It was just awe inspiring. I just can't imagine being so young and traveling and accomplishing so much. The way it read, she raised herself with very little guidance or protection from anyone. She took the world on. I just can't stop thinking about her traveling to Paris with no guarantee that it would work out. I could not put this book down.
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  • Cosima demaglie
    January 1, 1970
    . Although a bit wordy at times, the author creates good connection between her reader and her characters so that they can feel the emotions and struggle with throughout the book. I recommend this book.
  • Kimberly Mussell
    January 1, 1970
    This was a great combination of story telling and non-fiction. This is marked as historical fiction, but from page one you can feel the heart of the author and all the research that was completed. When I am reading about a particular person, I always find myself looking them up and other names associated. Spot on for the descriptions within this novel.What an extraordinary life Ms. Baker had and she was a phenomenal woman. I learned so much about her by just reading this novel.Thank you NetGalle This was a great combination of story telling and non-fiction. This is marked as historical fiction, but from page one you can feel the heart of the author and all the research that was completed. When I am reading about a particular person, I always find myself looking them up and other names associated. Spot on for the descriptions within this novel.What an extraordinary life Ms. Baker had and she was a phenomenal woman. I learned so much about her by just reading this novel.Thank you NetGalley, Sherry Jones and Simon & Shuster!
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  • John of Canada
    January 1, 1970
    Wonderful history.I especially was taken with her work as a spy.That part of the book is worthy of a full length book of it's own!Get to it Sherry.
  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    See my review at Reading World.
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