Where the Night Never Ends: A Prohibition Era Novel

Written by Annette Oppenlander
Review by Viviane Crystal

Sam’s mother has died, and she needs to find her brother Angelo, who has been missing for months after a business trip to Illinois. To search for her brother, she must travel from Cincinnati to Chicago, a very dangerous place during Prohibition in 1924. Sam meets a hobo named Paul who, it turns out, actually knows Angelo, though doesn’t equate Sam with him. Paul gives Sam an education in life on the run, helping her survive and disguising her as a boy. When the pair arrive in Chicago, they are separated when Paul is arrested in a police raid. Upon learning of his father’s approaching death, Paul is given an opportunity to lead a different type of life, which forces him to realize how important Sam has become in his world.

Despite the ban on booze, there are plenty of illegal bootlegging sites and hidden clubs where drink, prostitution, and drugs are popular. Sam meets some seemingly friendly characters, including a love interest. She is determined to find Angelo by first finding Al Capone, the gangster controlling most of the illegal activity in Chicago.

The rest of the story is easy to predict, but what will grab readers’ attention are the heartfelt connections the supposedly “low” characters around Sam make with her, as well as with each other. The story is replete with plenty of action, danger, sex, mystery and adventure – a depiction of a historical era when alcohol’s illegality bred a world of passion and violence. This is a remarkable read that explores the levels of good and evil to be found in human beings.