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July 11, 2024

The Last Twelve Miles by Erika Robuck ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

From the glamorous world of D.C. Intelligence to the sultry shores of the Straits of Florida, The Last Twelve Miles is based on the true story of two women masterminds trying to outwit each other in a dangerous and fascinating high-stakes game.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of historical fiction novel The Last Twelve Miles by Erika Robuck
June 2024; Sourcebooks Landmark; 978-1464218330
audio, ebook, print (368 pages); biographical fiction

The Prohibition Era is not one of my go-to time periods when reading historical fiction, but I loved Erika Robuck's The Invisible Woman and knew I had to read The Last Twelve Miles

I love when an author brings to light a little-known piece of history. And Robuck does an awesome job of unearthing stories of women in history. So while I don't really have an interest in prohibition, I was sucked into this story of 2 strong women on opposite sides of the law.

This book reads really fast. I think I read it in about 3 or 4 days and just the hours I was floating in the pool. The writing is so smooth you don't realize that you've been reading for hours and 100 pages feel like 20.

I did struggle in the beginning with keeping the time period in mind. There are a lot of motorized boats which I haven't really encountered in the historical fiction I've read. And I was shocked that Elizabeth didn't encounter more sexism. Perhaps it is because she is so brilliant and has a talent that few men possess. 

I didn't find this to be an intense read. There was definitely a game of cat-and-mouse happening and even some real danger, but it didn't feel like there were high stakes involved. Perhaps because they were small-time bootleggers, unlike the organized crime syndicates in Chicago and New York City. There are mentions of Al Capone, which I didn't realize set up shop in Florida as well. 

Perhaps it is less intense because the story is really focused on Elizabeth and Marie as successful, high-powered women and not the bootlegging (though we do see several runs). At a time when few women had to balance family and careers, these women are at the top of the career ladder and yet have children. 

It is a really interesting story and I don't know why there hasn't been more written about Elizabeth. Her life would make a good movie.

If you enjoy biographical fiction that focuses on women in history. then this is the book for you. And if you like to know what happens to the people after the end of the story, Robuck provides information about them at the end so be sure to read the historical and author notes.

Buy The Last Twelve Miles at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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