“The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race” by Mike H. Mizrahi

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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.
 
Mizrahi
Mizrahi writes a new kind of historical fiction in The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race.  With subplots involving Civil War landmark preservation, mental illness, grief, marital relationships, and race relations, there’s a lot happening in this book – and that doesn’t even touch the main themes of women riding bicycles and wearing bloomers.
 
It’s obvious that Mizrahi did his homework in the way that he blended all of these themes seamlessly.  The setting is detailed and plays a large role in the story.  I love the way that Mizrahi made the bicycle the pivotal point of the story, using it to show both historical and romantic information and spiritual transformation throughout the book.
 
I really enjoyed the main cast of characters.  Anna, Peter, Emma, and Rose were all realistic-sounding people I’d love to befriend.  The villains, of course, came across as appropriately evil, and it was easy to tell the difference.
 
While Anna grew and matured throughout the story in pleasing ways, I didn’t always enjoy those changes as they happened.  Not because I didn’t want them to, but because they seemed to be sudden.  It almost felt too abrupt, as if there were partial scenes that got cut in the editing process.  Anna sometimes reversed her feelings or decisions seemingly without justification, and I would have liked to know why she was making a change.  I think it would have added much to the story.
 
I also found myself frequently wanting to yell into the pages, “Just talk already!”  While I enjoyed reading about Anna’s romantic relationships, I often felt that so much of the confusion could be cleared up if they would only communicate.  I realize that this problem was, in part, a sign of the times, but in this age of emails and texts, the many mix-ups are frustrating to me.  In that regard, I much prefer living in 2017!
 
The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race is an exciting historical fiction about a pivotal time in history.  If romantic stories, coming-of-age tales, or women’s rights hold any interest for you, give it a try.
 
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About 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 www.mikehmizrahi.com or on Facebook (AuthorMikeMizrahi) and Twitter (@MikeHMiz). 
I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.

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