Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sin in The Second City

I had a snow day (more precisely an icy road day) so I used it to read a book that's off my usual path of thieves. I'm glad that I picked Karen Abbot's Sin in the Second City. It's a fun, fast paced read. I was surprised it was so enjoyable. Probably because the stars of the books are the self named Everleigh sisters Mina and Ada. Prostitution has never been an easy job for it's workers particularly in earlier periods when abuse and other degradation were thought their due as "fallen women". According to Abbot, the Everleigh sisters not only ran the most exclusive brothel in Chicago's Levee district. The two were enlightened pimps who ran a humane brothel. Decent pay for the workers, decent working conditions (hey they even had medical) no brothel enforcer to keep the women in line. And all women had to prove they were over the age of 18. Hey this at a time when it was not unusual to find young teen 'working girls' and not unusual for them to be sold into the position.

Abbot takes readers through the Levee district in Chicago. Readers see the outrageous characters, political, criminal, and religious. She gets as far as anyone can in explaining the Everleigh sisters past. The book is salacious, informative, and well written. I couldn't put it down yesterday and I'm glad I picked it up.