The Pink Bonnet: True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crime

We rated this book:


I first heard the horrors of Georgia Tann on a couple of podcasts. The first, on Criminal, was jaw-dropping. The second, on Behind the Bastards, almost made me turn it off. Georgia Tan, monster. The scariest of monsters, terrors in history. She is bad news, heroines and heroes fought her.

Set in Tann’s heydey, The Pink Bonnet: True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crime is a tense page-turner. The Pink Bonnet tells the tale of Cecile Dowd trying to protect her young daughter, coming face-to-face with Georgia and the system.

This gripping tale shows the seedy sausage making of turn-of-the-19tth century “child welfare” system. Set in pre-Depression Memphis, you can imagine the extent of the exploitation, especially unwed, poor, or POC in those days. If you’re rich and white, and willing to pay with no questions asked, you can get a baby tomorrow if you know Georgia. People fought, though. Cecile fights, and The Pink Bonnet will transport you back to Memphis with her.

I imagined Georgia Tann like Cathy Bates’ character from Misery. She’ll bake you cookies, but there’s likely some arsenic in them. Georgia is real and she sucks. I like to read about characters in history, especially the weirdos. Georgia was weird, bad weird. What drove her depravity? We can empathize and forever root for the heroines like Cecile in these tense histories.

Author Liz Tolsma will have you turning page after page as she leads you down a twisted path, to where only you can find out if you snag this enjoyable true-crime drama.

Reviewed By:

Author Liz Tolsma
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 256 pages
Publisher Barbour Books
Publish Date 2019-06-01
ISBN 9781643520452 Buy this Book
Issue July 2019
Category History


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