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The Sky Club

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“When I’m dead and buried...you get the hell out of here...Make a life somewhere else...a life that I can’t even imagine.” Jo Salter, a woman from the North Carolina mountains, sets about constructing a new life for herself in Asheville in the wake of her mother’s death. A life that no one—including her mother—could have imagined. Jo has a gift. She is a mathematical “When I’m dead and buried...you get the hell out of here...Make a life somewhere else...a life that I can’t even imagine.” Jo Salter, a woman from the North Carolina mountains, sets about constructing a new life for herself in Asheville in the wake of her mother’s death. A life that no one—including her mother—could have imagined. Jo has a gift. She is a mathematical prodigy—a woman who sees and thinks in numbers. She secures a job as a teller at Central Bank & Trust, where she recreates herself as a modern woman and rises through the professional ranks. While working at the bank, Jo becomes fascinated by Levi Arrowood, the dark and mysterious manager of the Sky Club, an infamous speakeasy and jazz club on the mountainside above town. When the Great Depression brings Central Bank & Trust down in a seismic crash, Jo is forced to find a new home and job. She finds both at the Sky Club, where she strikes a partnership with the alluring Arrowood as she is drawn deeper into a glamorous and precarious life of bootlegging, jazz, and love. The Sky Club is the story of money, greed, and life after the crash from the eyes of one remarkable woman as she creates her own imagined life.


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“When I’m dead and buried...you get the hell out of here...Make a life somewhere else...a life that I can’t even imagine.” Jo Salter, a woman from the North Carolina mountains, sets about constructing a new life for herself in Asheville in the wake of her mother’s death. A life that no one—including her mother—could have imagined. Jo has a gift. She is a mathematical “When I’m dead and buried...you get the hell out of here...Make a life somewhere else...a life that I can’t even imagine.” Jo Salter, a woman from the North Carolina mountains, sets about constructing a new life for herself in Asheville in the wake of her mother’s death. A life that no one—including her mother—could have imagined. Jo has a gift. She is a mathematical prodigy—a woman who sees and thinks in numbers. She secures a job as a teller at Central Bank & Trust, where she recreates herself as a modern woman and rises through the professional ranks. While working at the bank, Jo becomes fascinated by Levi Arrowood, the dark and mysterious manager of the Sky Club, an infamous speakeasy and jazz club on the mountainside above town. When the Great Depression brings Central Bank & Trust down in a seismic crash, Jo is forced to find a new home and job. She finds both at the Sky Club, where she strikes a partnership with the alluring Arrowood as she is drawn deeper into a glamorous and precarious life of bootlegging, jazz, and love. The Sky Club is the story of money, greed, and life after the crash from the eyes of one remarkable woman as she creates her own imagined life.

30 review for The Sky Club

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    The Sky Club is Roberts’ best work to date. The compelling story of plucky Jo Salter’s introduction to city life after living deep in the mountains, layered with the story of the bank crash of 1930 that crippled Asheville, and the story of the mysterious Levi who isn’t afraid to bend or break laws, makes for a true page turner. I highly recommend this book!

  2. 5 out of 5

    George Hovis

    Terry Roberts delights with this tale of boom and bust in Asheville, NC. Spanning the years of the stock market crash and the onset of the Great Depression, THE SKY CLUB features an unforgettable heroine in Jo Salter, a young woman from the mountain hinterlands, whose dying mother sends her away from the farm with instructions to make a different life for herself. With a nearly preternatural gift for mathematics, equaled only by her love of dancing to jazz music, Jo quickly becomes enamored of t Terry Roberts delights with this tale of boom and bust in Asheville, NC. Spanning the years of the stock market crash and the onset of the Great Depression, THE SKY CLUB features an unforgettable heroine in Jo Salter, a young woman from the mountain hinterlands, whose dying mother sends her away from the farm with instructions to make a different life for herself. With a nearly preternatural gift for mathematics, equaled only by her love of dancing to jazz music, Jo quickly becomes enamored of the city life she finds in Asheville. But she just as quickly becomes disillusioned by the snobbery of the Country Club set and takes refuge in an expatriate community of other country folk who have moved to the city, including Levi Arrowood, a bootlegger and proprietor of the titular Sky Club. It's a love story with grit and danger and the sweet burn of apple brandy from the high peaks. Terry Roberts's novels always satisfy readers hungry for a blend of history and suspenseful narrative. And in THE SKY CLUB, he thrills us yet again--with a story of corrupt bankers, hard-boiled booze-runners, and the jazz age in the mountain South.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    This new book by Terry Roberts may well be his best so far. The story deftly weaves together the very different worlds of traditional, subsistence family farming in Appalachia, and the lively, modern scene of Asheville with its fancy houses, jazz joints, and people driven by money and status. Jo Salter, a multi-dimensional principal character, straddles the two worlds, and has a front seat at the banking table when the crash of 1929-30 hits with full force. She finds refuge and a kindred spirit This new book by Terry Roberts may well be his best so far. The story deftly weaves together the very different worlds of traditional, subsistence family farming in Appalachia, and the lively, modern scene of Asheville with its fancy houses, jazz joints, and people driven by money and status. Jo Salter, a multi-dimensional principal character, straddles the two worlds, and has a front seat at the banking table when the crash of 1929-30 hits with full force. She finds refuge and a kindred spirit as the plot unfolds, and we explore what lasts amid upheaval. Readers new to Terry Roberts’ work will find a fast-paced and exciting story, and his long-time fans will be eager for the new book from this talented novelist. Others will be in the thrall of historical Asheville itself. All will be captivated by Roberts’ skill with character development, setting, and atmosphere which pull the reader in, and the narrative which keeps us turning the pages of The Sky Club.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Heather Newton

    In this novel, set in depression/prohibition era Asheville, NC, Terry Roberts gives us Jo Salter, one of the strongest, most interesting female protagonists I've ever read. A farm girl with an unlikely gift for math, she is fearless, funny, and not afraid to go after what she wants. Great tension and peril from bootlegging, police raids and robberies, but (spoiler alert) a happy ending. Loved it. In this novel, set in depression/prohibition era Asheville, NC, Terry Roberts gives us Jo Salter, one of the strongest, most interesting female protagonists I've ever read. A farm girl with an unlikely gift for math, she is fearless, funny, and not afraid to go after what she wants. Great tension and peril from bootlegging, police raids and robberies, but (spoiler alert) a happy ending. Loved it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarah (thebphiles)

    “Land. Up home, on Big Pine and places like it, the land was where you were born and buried. Where you lived and died. The land was beautiful and harsh and, in its own bitersweet way, the thing that made you. In all seasons and all phases of the moon. It's where you planted and harvested, and it's where you were planted and harvested. But not in town, not in Asheville. Land in town was a commodity - to be bought, sold, and traded. And God help you if you held onto a parcel long enough to like it, “Land. Up home, on Big Pine and places like it, the land was where you were born and buried. Where you lived and died. The land was beautiful and harsh and, in its own bitersweet way, the thing that made you. In all seasons and all phases of the moon. It's where you planted and harvested, and it's where you were planted and harvested. But not in town, not in Asheville. Land in town was a commodity - to be bought, sold, and traded. And God help you if you held onto a parcel long enough to like it, let alone love it. Land was meant to be kept moving, just like money, because it was money. Up home, the land was a lover, even if a rough one at times; in town, land was a whore, bought and sold.”- Terry Roberts, The Sky Club 🌅 . . . Jo Salter sets about constructing a new life for herself in Asheville from the BC mountains in the wake of her mother’s death. Jo is a mathematical genius. Working as a teller at Central Bank & Trust she recreates herself and rises through the professional ranks. When the Great Depression brings Central B&T down in a seismic crash, Jo is forced to find a new home and job. She finds both at the Sky Club, an infamous speakeasy and jazz club on the mountainside above town. She strikes a partnership with the manager, Levi Arrowood, as she gets drawn into the glamorous and precarious life of bootlegging, jazz, and love. . . . Jo was a GREAT main character, I loved her! I also loved Levi and how much he respected Jo and her intellect. Knowing this took place during the 1920s crash and 1930s Great Depression, I assumed this would be a story of loss. Roberts surprised me and instead made this a story of how to survive and even thrive in even the most adverse circumstances. 💜 Thank you to @turnerpub for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review 💜

  6. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    “She stroked my hand and told me two large things. “Don’t feel sorry for me,” was the first. “Don’t you every feel sorry for me. I chose this life, and I loved this place. Loved your father often as not. Bottom line, I chose this right here, annd I was up to the task, both the daytime of it and the night…I chose it and it’s my life…But it is not your life.” This was the second thing. “What do you mean?” I asked. “I mean when this is finished,” she murmured. “When I’m dead and buried…you get the “She stroked my hand and told me two large things. “Don’t feel sorry for me,” was the first. “Don’t you every feel sorry for me. I chose this life, and I loved this place. Loved your father often as not. Bottom line, I chose this right here, annd I was up to the task, both the daytime of it and the night…I chose it and it’s my life…But it is not your life.” This was the second thing. “What do you mean?” I asked. “I mean when this is finished,” she murmured. “When I’m dead and buried…you get the hell out of here. Make a life for…” Her voice was shriveling up, and I leaned over her, for at that point she was no longer contagious. My chest against her chest, my ear close by her lips to hear the rest. “Make a life somewhere else…a life that I can’t even imagine.”” p. 4 “My eyes, which I guess really meant my brain, never lost the habit of seeing numbers differently. The problem figures in the loan department report quivered on the page from the very first time I saw them, despite the fact that I didn’t really know how to read the report. And some didn’t just quiver; they glowed that weird rust-brown that meant mistakes compounded here and totals corrupted here.” p. 117 “By the summer of 1930 I’d been in big, bold Asheville for over a year. And as summer turned into fall that year, you might say that the quilt scraps out of which I stitched my life all had to do with work. You’d be wrong; there were some stray bits and pieces hidden away in the pattern that were nighttime dark and mysterious, but mostly, it looked like Jo Salter went to work at the Central Bank & Trust Company. You’d say she was consumed by it.” p. 145 “I felt like I’d slipped into the moving picture of his life for a few minutes, an unknown actress for sure, and probably playing a minor role, but still I was in the frame, and it was an easy place to be.” p.205

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gabriella Phillips

    I had high hopes for this book after hearing the author speak at a local bookstore and hearing about living in Asheville from my mother, stepfather, and maternal grandparents. The plot itself is compelling and interesting, but it required little thought. Everything about the plot is straightforward, so there’s no need for deeper thinking about the plot or analysis. There’s enough repetition that if you don’t pick up on an event or a theme when it’s introduced, you will by the third or fourth tim I had high hopes for this book after hearing the author speak at a local bookstore and hearing about living in Asheville from my mother, stepfather, and maternal grandparents. The plot itself is compelling and interesting, but it required little thought. Everything about the plot is straightforward, so there’s no need for deeper thinking about the plot or analysis. There’s enough repetition that if you don’t pick up on an event or a theme when it’s introduced, you will by the third or fourth time it’s used. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for people who read to escape. I would have preferred something left to the imagination or interpretation here. There were also numerous grammatical errors, aside from those inherent to the mountain language that was invoked throughout, and character discrepancies that disappointed me. At one point, the author referred to the Biltmore County Club instead of the Biltmore Country Club. I stopped counting after four such grammatical errors. One character, the narrator’s father, is named Nathaniel at one point (page 132), but then introduced as Lewis when readers meet him and referred to as such through the remainder of the novel (like on page 208). The narrator goes to live with her aunt and uncle in the second chapter following her mother’s death. On page 13, readers learn that her aunt was her mother’s sister, but on page 211, her uncle notes that he shared her mother’s father. Differences like this distract from what could have been an otherwise smooth narrative.

  8. 5 out of 5

    WeLoveBigBooksAndWeCannotLie

    Listen. Go get The Sky Club by Terry Roberts. Just go!🏃🏻‍♀️ When @turnerpub reached out to us asking us to feature or review The Sky Club, it sounds like a great story, and we were excited to read it! I didn’t have a lot of time to read this before posting about it, so I thought ok, I’ll start this book and get a feel for it, post it and then finish it later. BUT, once I started this, I knew. This is the kind of book I’m always searching for. The description can’t do it justice because, it’s the b Listen. Go get The Sky Club by Terry Roberts. Just go!🏃🏻‍♀️ When @turnerpub reached out to us asking us to feature or review The Sky Club, it sounds like a great story, and we were excited to read it! I didn’t have a lot of time to read this before posting about it, so I thought ok, I’ll start this book and get a feel for it, post it and then finish it later. BUT, once I started this, I knew. This is the kind of book I’m always searching for. The description can’t do it justice because, it’s the brilliant writing that draws you in, and then you can’t put it down. It’s a coming of age story, but it has the depth and feeling that will make me remember it for a long time. Jo Salter is a mathematical prodigy and in 1929 when she starts out as the lowest person at Central Bank and Trust, she just hopes to take home a paycheck. Very quickly the people around her realize how valuable she is, but after the stock market crash of 1929 the whole city falls apart. I adore Jo, I love all of the choices that she made, and I hope hope hope that @terryrobertsauthor will consider writing another book about her, so I can see how the rest of her life plays out. The Sky Club gave me Where the Crawdads Sing vibes, partly because it’s based in North Carolina, but mostly because of the feeling it gave me. Thank you so much @turnerpub for this gifted copy! You can find The Sky Club on our Amazon storefront, it published on 7/19/22! I hope you get a chance to read this one!🧜🏼‍♀️🌺

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kae Roberts

    A Story of Time and Place The Sky Place tells a first person narrative about the place of Asheville, NC and Madison County, which lies northwest of Asheville down the French Broad River. Terry Roberts tells the story in the person of Jo, a country girl moved to the “city” a the request of her dying mother. The time of novel is the early years of the Great Depression. Stories have been written about how Americans dealt with this terrible time in the American story but none have told the story as w A Story of Time and Place The Sky Place tells a first person narrative about the place of Asheville, NC and Madison County, which lies northwest of Asheville down the French Broad River. Terry Roberts tells the story in the person of Jo, a country girl moved to the “city” a the request of her dying mother. The time of novel is the early years of the Great Depression. Stories have been written about how Americans dealt with this terrible time in the American story but none have told the story as well as Roberts does from a small city perspective with two dynamic main characters who you soon come to love as your own family. An insightful story into how the depression affected the plain country folk in the hills of North Carolina.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    I'm not sure someone not from here would enjoy it more or less than I did. I enjoyed the descriptions of the area and knowing I've stood where these characters lived. The way the characters spoke and behaved was a fairly accurate representation of the people here. As a Western North Carolina native, the portrayal of our culture didn't offend me and that's saying a lot. I felt my grandmother in the character of Jo. The phrases she used, her tenacity and her connection to home. I guess the only re I'm not sure someone not from here would enjoy it more or less than I did. I enjoyed the descriptions of the area and knowing I've stood where these characters lived. The way the characters spoke and behaved was a fairly accurate representation of the people here. As a Western North Carolina native, the portrayal of our culture didn't offend me and that's saying a lot. I felt my grandmother in the character of Jo. The phrases she used, her tenacity and her connection to home. I guess the only real criticism I have, is that I couldn't find the overall theme. "Make a life I couldn't imagine" is fairly vague and I couldn't even tell if that's what she was trying to do. I feel like a lot of loose ends didn't get tied.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jen Keith

    I love books about strong women who have the imagination to see and construct a life on their own without depending on others to tell them how to live. Jo Salter, the heroine of this novel tells her own story in her own voice, and there were times when I thought she was speaking directly to me, even through she lived her life a hundred years before mine. There are terrifying moments in this book as well as exhilarating ones, and through it all, Jo lives out her imagined and created life in a way I love books about strong women who have the imagination to see and construct a life on their own without depending on others to tell them how to live. Jo Salter, the heroine of this novel tells her own story in her own voice, and there were times when I thought she was speaking directly to me, even through she lived her life a hundred years before mine. There are terrifying moments in this book as well as exhilarating ones, and through it all, Jo lives out her imagined and created life in a way that made me both laugh and cheer out loud. Highly recommended for any ambitious woman and for any man who wants to understand women.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Loisclarke

    I really enjoyed this book. I found Jo Salter and Levi Arrowood very likeable and interesting characters. This book is based on an actual club in the Ashville area; as well as dealing with the crash of the bank in Ashville. The time line in this book is straight through. However, chapter 35 is Part three – Winter 1931, and, chapter 52 is Part four – Summer 1931. Someone should have caught this.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    It was ok - I felt like it was a lot of rambling. One paragraph would be about one thing and the next paragraph about something different. Not sure why others are giving this such rave reviews. Id rate it 2.5/5 stars.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jane Fanelli

    A look into the lives of poor people during the late 1920 into the 1930 depression had made decisions necessary for survival at a time in history that was hard

  15. 5 out of 5

    Krmcnall

    Fabulous historical fiction!!!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Linda Zang

    Terry Roberts best so far I love how Terry turns a phrase. I love reading Western North Carolina where I live. And I love reading about the history around Asheville.

  17. 5 out of 5

    KES

  18. 5 out of 5

    Marlene

  19. 4 out of 5

    Suzon

  20. 4 out of 5

    Clark Pennell

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alana Johnson

  22. 4 out of 5

    Donna

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  24. 5 out of 5

    evans marshall

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jim Brandon

  26. 4 out of 5

    Megan Brotemarkle

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ron

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shalene

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christy Sams

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tara Stanley

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