Ragtime was my introduction to the writings of E.L. Doctorow, one that I had been putting off for a couple of years while telling myself that he was next in line to be read. I thoroughly enjoyed this “historical novel that melded imaginary characters with actual figures from history. Henry Ford, Emma Goldman, J.P. Morgan, Evelyn Nesbit, Sigmund Freud and Emiliano Zapata slip in and out of the tale, crossing paths with Doctorow’s imagined family and other fictional characters, including an immigrant peddler and a ragtime musician from Harlem whose insistence on a point of justice drives him to revolutionary violence.” (taken from publisher’s description)
This book appears to be deceptively easy-to-read, but it is much deeper than it appears on the surface and I would encourage readers to take their time with it, absorb the atmosphere created, to contemplate the various situations and the reasons behind the decisions the characters made. An excellent read.
A quote from Ragtime - “Children suffered no discriminatory treatment. They were valued everywhere they were employed. They did not complain as adults tended to do. Employers liked to think of them as happy elves.”