Fair Play, Deeanne Gist’s new novel, is well researched and full of interesting pictures, bringing to light the appalling conditions of Chicago during the late 1800’s, from jailing 8 and 9-year-old children to sewage running in the streets.
Though Fair Play is touted to be about the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, the majority of the book is focused on the first playground ever developed for the poor, with the World’s Fair being the backdrop.
Dr. Billy Jack Tate is a female, notwithstanding her masculine name. She is hired to be the doctor for the Women’s Pavilion at the World’s Fair.
Hunter Scott is a Texas Ranger sent on special assignment to the World’s Fair. Despite his impressive credentials, he works as a security guard for the Women’s Pavilion.
Herein lies a problem and a very disconcerting portion of the novel. Dr. Tate treats Hunter for an ailment when he practically collapses at her feet. The ailment is an impacted bowel from not having gone to the bathroom in many days. The discussion and subsequent examination are very disquieting. Why not pick a different, less-ahem-embarrassing, problem for both Hunter and the reader?
I was stunned to find out Ms. Gist was leaving the Christian or inspirational genre and going to a more general and secular market. (I discovered this after reading the book.) As a result, I could make more sense of the “edginess” to the book, especially its sexual tension.
Another problem appears within the formatting for the Kindle edition, a minor glitch but perplexing all the same.
Overall, Fair Play is an enlightening story about parts of history many probably aren’t aware existed and perhaps would prefer to ignore.
I was provided the Kindle version of this book by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.