Wednesday, June 7, 2017

An Interesting Look at the History of Bicycling in the South

Chattanooga society is turned upside down as a young woman has the audacity to ride a bicycle--in bloomers!

It's 1895. Anna Gaines, 19, struggles to conquer her insecurities after a horrible fall years ago from her beloved horse, Longstreet. On a visit with her aunt in Brooklyn, she's drawn to the new pastime of bicycling. But back at home, cycling is a scandalous sport for a proper lady. Southern women did not engage in activities meant for men.

Anna has her eye on Peter Sawyer, president of the Cycling Club. As community outrage grows, an unexpected turn of events pits Anna against Peter in a race between the sexes.

Will Anna prove that women deserve the same right as men to ride "the wheel?" Will she choose to live a quiet, traditional life of a housewife and mother? Or will she pursue college and become one of the "new women" emerging into the twentieth century on the seat of a bicycle? What will become of the spark between Anna and Peter? Faith, patience, and courage help Anna to become the person she was meant to be.

Available on Amazon

Meet the Author:

Mike Mizrahi has a master's degree in public relations, advertising and applied communication from Boston University. After a career in corporate public affairs, he retired to pursue a deep passion: writing.

Mizrahi and his wife, Karen, led a mission trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo four years ago and were so moved by the experience, Mizrahi wrote his first novel, which he hopes will one day be published. The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race is his debut published work.

Mizrahi loves reading and writing stories about "sozo," which means to be rescued in Greek. He and Karen are very active in their church and community and love to hike, travel and go the movies together. The Mizrahis live in Woodland Hills, California, where they raised their children who are now adults.
Learn more about The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race and Mike H. Mizrahi at or on Facebook (AuthorMikeMizrahi) and Twitter (@MikeHMiz).

My Take:
"Sometimes to want something is not enough," Emma said. "A fight may be necessary to achieve the desire of our heart. The struggle can help us grow if that desire is pure."

I was so excited about this book because Chattanooga is not far from me, and historical novels are one of my favorite genre to read. Mike did not disappoint! I enjoyed this book from the get-go, even though it took me a few chapters to get a good knowledge of the characters.

One of my favorite characters was Peter. He was just the kind of guy a girl could love. He had good values, and wasn't afraid to go against the grain to support those he believed in. Both Anna and Emma were also likable characters. Anna Gaines, although a bit insecure, wasn't willing to compromise her beliefs. She fought to achieve her dreams and desires in spite of the negative attention she received. She was willing to sacrifice for what she believed was the greater good. Emma was an amazing friend, loyal, encouraging and not afraid of opposition.

As always there were a couple of characters I disliked. Grover Biggs fits his name. He was a bit "big" in his own mind and could quickly grate on a girls nerves. Mrs Bertha Millwood on the other hand was the town's meddler, the know-it-all who felt it her place to put everyone else in their place. 

I really enjoyed he historical aspect and the information I gleaned about the challenges of the women pioneering bike riding. It's amazing how different it was then and now. The fact that this was based in a town I've lived in, made it even more appealing. It was really interesting to read about the reasons people believed for why women shouldn't cycle. It was also appalling to them to even consider women wearing bloomers, although bloomers are nothing like the pants women wear today. Those reasons seem so silly in today's day and age, and yet, often we can act like that when something opposes our traditions or questions our standard of belief. 

I would certainly recommend this book and look forward to more by this author. 

I was blessed with a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity. I was not asked to review this book positively. All opinions are my own.

Celebrate the release of Mike's new book by entering to win his $75 Amazon gift card giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race
  • A $75 Amazon gift card
Enter today by clicking the banner below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on June 14. 
The winner will be announced June 15 on Mike's blog.

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