Red Letter Days (Paperback)
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When two brave women flee from the Communist Red Scare, they soon discover that no future is free from the past.
Amid the glitz and glamour of 1950s New York, Phoebe Adler pursues her dream of screenwriting. A dream that turns into a living nightmare when she is blacklisted—caught in the Red Menace that is shattering the lives of suspected Communists. Desperate to work, she escapes to London, determined to keep her dream alive and clear her good name.
There, Phoebe befriends fellow American exile Hannah Wolfson, who has defied the odds to build a career as a successful television producer in England. Hannah is a woman who has it all, and is now gambling everything in a very dangerous game—the game of hiring blacklisted writers.
Neither woman suspects that danger still looms . . . and their fight is only just beginning.
About the Author
Sarah-Jane Stratford is the acclaimed author of Radio Girls. Her work has also appeared in the Guardian, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Review of Books, Marie-Claire, Bustle, Guernica, and many others. A former resident of both American coasts, she’s now living the expat life in London, where when she isn’t working, she’s exploring and seriously considering learning how to garden.
“Stratford’s novel effortlessly walks the line between hilarious and harrowing in her account of the tribulations of the victims of the blacklist – all told from a perspective that is unique and refreshing. And I simply adored the heroines Phoebe and Hannah, crafted from Stratford’s meticulous research and fabulous imagination.”—Fiona Davis, national bestselling author of The Chelsea Girls, on Red Letter Days
“Red Letter Days is a blacklist-era game of cat and mouse that’s positively Shakespearean in its witty dialogue, forged identities, banishments, unexpected romance, and even its drama within the drama. The final lightning-speed pages left me breathless.”—Kerri Maher, Author of The Girl in White Gloves, on Red Letter Days
"Fairly singing with tension and triumph…weaves fact and fiction into a tale that serves as entertainment, warning, reflection and homage wrapped up in one highly readable package."—Greer Macallister, USA Today bestselling author of The Magician's Lie and Woman 99, on Red Letter Days
“In this crisp novel, Stratford… effortlessly melds politics, romance, and history. This delivers on every level.”—Publishers Weekly, on Red Letter Days
“Red Letter Days is a look at a piece of American history told through the lens of two brave women, whose stories you won't soon forget.”—PopSugar, on Red Letter Days
“[A] thoroughly fascinating and too-little-known story of Hannah Weinstein and her role in supporting blacklisted Americans, regardless of gender or race.”—Booklist (starred review), on Red Letter Days
"Well plotted and moving, with witty characters and an unnervingly timely storyline, Red Letter Days is smart, satisfying historical fiction at its best."—Shelf Awareness, on Red Letter Days
“Stratford’s book is quick-paced and manages to balance background information and descriptive detail without weighing down the story…. the heart of the book is about friendship, professional ambition, and loyalty, and both Hannah and Phoebe are compelling, energetic heroines with fulfilling emotional arcs. A satisfying read with elements that are unnervingly relevant today.”—Historical Novel Society, on Red Letter Days
“A vivid portrayal of artistic life during the Red Scare and the challenges women screenwriters faced in the era’s entertainment industry. It is also a witty and harrowing tale of intrigue, friendship and romance. Stratford imbues the text with lively energy and a wry voice…. Red Letter Days is a timeless and relevant story about the dangers of bias, conformity and groupthink.”—BookTrib, on Red Letter Days
Praise for Radio Girls
"Sarah-Jane Stratford's crackerjack historical novel Radio Girls smartly tunes in to the beginnings of Britain's broadcasting behemoth....Radio Girls is a hit."—USA Today
"An achievement of historical fiction so believable that you'll wonder if the author has access to a time machine....By turns funny and fascinating, Radio Girls is a triumph."—Allison Amend, author of Enchanted Islands
"Sarah-Jane Stratford's storytelling skills are on vivid display throughout, and the strong, believable, and immensely human Maisie Musgrave is the best imaginable guide to that vanished time and place."—Joseph Wallace, author of Slavemakers
"An intoxicating look inside a world of innovative new media."—Kirkus Reviews
"Sparkling historical fiction."—Literary Hub
"A delightfully literary historical fiction book about the early days of the BBC."—Broadly
"A highly detailed narrative and well-fleshed characters set the stage for this unique, early-twentieth-century story....This is an eye-opening view of the world when women's rights were newly budding."—Historical Novels Review