Featuring 1929 by M.L. Gardner


From bestselling author M.L. Garder, comes a powerful historical novel of Depression-era America with over 500 five star reviews…

Stockbroker Jonathan Garrett faces his life’s biggest challenge when his firm collapses along with the stock market on October 29, 1929. Having lost everything, Jonathan, his wife, two best friends, and their families are thrown together in a ramshackle tenement where they find themselves at the mercy of a vicious slumlord. Can they rebuild their lives—or will they all become victims of the event that changed America forever?

Who Will Like This

Fans of historical fiction, Americana, readers who have heard stories from their parents/grandparents about the Great Depression, anyone who wants insight about our current state of the economy through the lens of history

Book Notes

Themes: pride, failure, friendship, adversity

Setting: New York City. The Great Depression of 1929

What Readers Say

I SO enjoyed this story, it rates as one of the best books I’ve read this year. I recommended it to my book club and it brought out the best discussions of our monthly meetings this year.

Gardner’s characters were wonderfully crafted, from every loveable flaw to their growth and maturing. I fell in love with Arianna, I laughed at Aryl’s jokes, and I wanted to be a leader like Jonathan.

I was hooked immediately. The characters although fictional are as real as anyone I have ever met. The story of three couples whose lives were torn apart by the “crash” and how they struggled to survive.

Interview with M.L. Gardner

Historical novelist M.L. Gardner is one of the most popular authors among Shelfbuzz readers and her novel 1929 ranks as one of our most downloaded books of 2015. We’re honored to have M.L. kick off the inaugural edition of the Shelfbuzz Book Club.

Welcome to Shelfbuzz, M.L. Let’s dive right in. Readers of 1929 seem captivated by your vivid cast of characters. Tell us about your main character.

My main character, Jonathan, loses everything on October 29th, 1929. He (until that moment) is a successful, brilliant businessman—he built his small empire from the ground up. With the loss of his wealth, his once lavish lifestyle is reduced to the basic necessities and his pride and self esteem are whittled away to nothing. Jonathan sinks into a hole of deep depression and with no real direction, relies on his wife and circle of friends to help him navigate his next steps. How can he provide for his wife and deal with the guilt he feels for taking his friends down with him?

All of the characters evolve, forcibly, when faced with trials and tribulations that didn’t exist in the Roaring Twenties. It’s a journey, and while helping each other, Jonathan and his friends rediscover the important things in life.

What made you want to tell Jonathan’s story?

I have always been interested in the Depression Era and the sturdy people that survived it. On September 29th, 2008 I watched the stock market drop 777 points. The largest one day drop in history. I knew the results of that were going to be horrific. I maintain that the only reason we do not currently see the resurgence of bread lines and (larger) shanties is because of the social programs that are in place today.

1929 started out as a non-fiction book on how to survive modern day lean times, using Jonathan as the narrator. It exploded from there with new characters and a deeper story-line. I rewrote the opening chapter as fiction.

Tell us more about the research that went into 1929.

I had already researched the lives of the people who survived the Great Depression. I did have to do more research into the financials behind it. That’s when I really became frightened, looking at mirror images of charts, then and now. I felt there were important things people needed to know about what was coming. We’re so out of touch with our roots and the basics of life.

After readers finish 1929, which novel of yours should they read next?

I have the books numbered one through six. Elizabeth’s Heart is next. There is always some confusion when people start reading Elizabeth’s Heart because it opens with new characters. I often tell people to rest assured, it’s all connected. We also have the boxed set with all six books at a large discount. Everything is available to read through Kindle Unlimited. After the six book series, I have Purling Road season one and two. The continuation of the story is in serial format, initially published weekly and now also in ten episode sets.

Tell us about an upcoming fiction project that you are working on…

I am currently working in unfamiliar territory under the pen name Elyse Richfield. My work-in-progress is a contemporary fiction story about a couple trying to deal with a drug addicted daughter and coming to terms with the fact that nothing in their life is how they planned it to be. They have to find their way back to the beginning in order to get it right. I am toggling between that and season three of Purling Road.

This has been great, M.L. Thank you so much for stopping by.

M.L. Gardner: In Her Own Words

I live in very northern Utah. I like the snow in the winter. I also like how quickly they clear the roads after a storm. I’m quite impressed. The food is fabulous here, too, responsible for at least fifteen extra pounds. I love waking up and seeing the Wasatch Mountains every morning.

When I am not writing, I am a cat herder, furniture builder, soap maker, or rouge butter canner. Living frugal and living (some of) the old ways is something I consider an occupation that comes along with being a wife and mother. My newest hobby has been teaching others who are new to self publishing. I’ve started a podcast called “Enlightened Indies” and a Facebook group as well. I didn’t find a lot of support when I was starting out and I’d like to be what I didn’t have. I’m trying to pull in other successful Indies gleaning their knowledge and experience to share as well as my own.

4 replies
  1. Monica Haynes
    Monica Haynes says:

    As a long time Shelfbuzz reader, I’m so excited about the new Shelfbuzz Book Club. Love the interview, the layout and am looking forward to upcoming interviews. Although I’m M.L. Gardner’s assistant, I was a fan and loyal reader first. Thank you for spotlighting this amazing author!

  2. Shayla
    Shayla says:

    I am so happy to see M. L. Gardner on your list! I always say she is the master of character development. She talks about her characters as if they were real, standing right there by her. For those who are back and forth on reading the 1929 series, do it now. You’ll love it!


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