Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Published Date: June 2nd 2015
Genre: Historical fiction, Adult fiction
Page Count: 336
My Rating: ★ ★ ★
Meet Mazie Phillips: big-hearted and bawdy, she's the truth-telling proprietress of The Venice, the famed New York City movie theater. It's the Jazz Age, with romance and booze aplenty--even when Prohibition kicks in--and Mazie never turns down a night on the town. But her high spirits mask a childhood rooted in poverty, and her diary, always close at hand, holds her dearest secrets.
When the Great Depression hits, Mazie's life is on the brink of transformation. Addicts and bums roam the Bowery; homelessness is rampant. If Mazie won't help them, then who? When she opens the doors of The Venice to those in need, this ticket-taking, fun-time girl becomes the beating heart of the Lower East Side, and in defining one neighborhood helps define the city.
Then, more than ninety years after Mazie began her diary, it's discovered by a documentarian in search of a good story. Who was Mazie Phillips, really? A chorus of voices from the past and present fill in some of the mysterious blanks of her adventurous life.
Inspired by the life of a woman who was profiled in Joseph Mitchell's classic Up in the Old Hotel, Saint Mazie is infused with Jami Attenberg's signature wit, bravery, and heart. Mazie's rise to "sainthood"--and her irrepressible spirit--is unforgettable.
“We all lose sometimes. Life’s plenty easy when you’re winning. It’s what you do when you’re down. That’s the real test.”
When I started this book I was really looking forward to hearing about how Mazie helped so many people out and what had made her want to help so many people in the first place. When we do finally get to this part it is extremely interesting to me especially how she made friends with a certain person and really learned how to truly help people in a good way.. The majority of this story is about Mazie's family and how she interacted with them. This is an extremely important part of who Mazie is and why she is the way she is. At times though I did want her to help out her sister more though and realize that she needed help with certain things.
Attenberg did an amazing job of making you see New York throughout the 1920 - 1940 and made you feel like you really could imagine being there while you were reading.
Since this is a fictionalized biography of sorts there is a lot of blank spaces and a lot of things that never get touched on except for briefly making you feel slightly disconnected at times.
“there’s just so many goddamn things we never get to know. We’re not entitled to all the truth.”