Ingenue continues the story of four young 1920s flappers begun in Vixen. Gloria, the former debutante, is hiding with Jerome, her black musician boyfriend, after they have killed a member of the Mafia in self-defense. Gloria’s ex-best friend, Lorraine, is out for revenge after being humiliated by Gloria at a party; she’s managing a Mafia-run speakeasy with a hidden agenda. Clara is trying to leave her flapper’s life behind for her boyfriend, Marcus, but when she receives an offer from a magazine to write a column about the goings-on of her flapper life, she simply can’t refuse. Jerome’s sister, Vera, is rushing to find her brother to warn him of the Mafia’s latest plans and finds an unexpected romance along the way. The scene has moved from Chicago to New York in the second installment of this riveting series.
On the whole, Ingenue is an extremely enjoyable read. Larkin does make the mistake many authors tend to make in a sequel – letting the plot get a little too complicated – but it doesn’t detract too much from the overall story. One thing she did that I liked immensely was including a lot of 1920s slang in her narration; it really helped me to get in the mood. Larkin also possesses a greater than normal skill in using clear and flowing descriptive language, which is always a welcome addition to any novel, but especially to historical fiction. I would recommend this book for girls ages 12 to 16.