Book Review | Ain't We Got Fun by Emily Chapman and Emily Ann Putzke

16 July 2015

| goodreads |
It was never much of an issue for Bess: living contentedly on her family's farm, despite the Depression which loomed around them. But when her older sister Georgiana takes off to New York City to make a fortune and help Papa out, feelings of adventure and wanderlust strike Bess at home. Through their lively letter correspondence, the sisters recount to one another their adventures, surprises, and heartaches, leaving little room for depression. For in a world of such wonder, ain't we got fun?

When Ain't We Got Fun first premiered in January on the blogs of Emily Chapman and Emily Ann Putzke, I was super excited! 
I have enjoyed reading the short stories and snippets they have posted, and the thought of a full book written by the both of them seemed like pure perfection. 

The story of Gi and Bess sounded exactly like my type of book. Historical Fiction is one of my favorite genres, and I love the idea of stories told through letters.

I followed the story faithfully for the first couple days, but as I got busier, I shamefully couldn't keep up. So I determined that, once I had time, I would find the letters in the blog archives and read them all from beginning to end. 
But then, to my absolute joy, they published it all in an actual, physical book form!
This was one of the sweetest stories I have ever read. It made my heart very happy, and I was able to finish it after only a few short days of reading.
It was so easy to slip into the story, but much harder to get out.  

What I liked most about this book was that, because of the letter format, I was able to see the contrast of what life was like in the big city of New York as well as in the small farm community of Kansas during the Great Depression.

Another thing I appreciated was how very different Gi and Bess were. Both of them were great characters, and each of the sisters had a distinct voice. Their letters never sounded the same.

I felt like I could relate to Bess the most since she was a lot like me. But Gi was so adventurous and fun! I wanted to be her best friend.
And even though it was told in letters, I felt like I could connect with all of the other characters as well. Donny, Tom, and Will were all great!

I'm going to be honest, the ending totally snuck up on me. 
When I finished the last letter, I flipped on to the next page without even thinking, expecting there to be another letter, but instead I found the acknowledgments. 
I sat in shock for a little while.
It's over...? 

I wanted to know what happened next. I had grown so attached to Gi and Bess and I wanted to be able to read through their whole lives!
Overall, I think this was a very nice, short, summer-y read that I think every Historical Fiction fan would absolutely love!
I can't wait to see what Emily Ann Putzke and Emily Chapman write in the future.
"This depression our country has fallen in is just that: depressing. Isn’t it interesting how the government appropriately names economic disasters?" Ain't We Got Fun


  1. Aaaah, this book looks stellar! I am super impressed by good historical fiction books -- partly because they're so difficult to write (accuracy, grr) and partly because I'm sure it's also difficult to make history interesting and upbeat, told with the same spiciness of regular fic. This book looks fantastic! And I also love the letter idea, super creative. I'll have to check it out. :) Great review, Hannah!


    1. I'm always impressed by people who can write historical fiction as well! Whenever I have an idea for a historical story I never ever feel like I've done enough research to do it justice. Plus, being the perfectionist I am, I won't be satisfied until it's completely accurate.
      *sigh* the struggle is real.
      But you should totes read this book, you'd love it :)

  2. I loved this book so much! Isn't it a treasure? And I agree with you, I want Gi to be my best friend! XD All the characters were lovely, though.

    1. That is the perfect word to describe this book! A treasure :)