Friday, May 6, 2022

Review: The Mad Girls of New York by Maya Rodale

The Mad Girls of New York
by Maya Rodale

Publisher: Berkley Books
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In 1887 New York City, Nellie Bly has ambitions beyond writing for the ladies pages, but all the editors on Newspaper Row think women are too emotional, respectable and delicate to do the job. But then the New York World challenges her to an assignment she'd be mad to accept and mad to refuse: go undercover as a patient at Blackwell's Island Insane Asylum for Women.

For months, rumors have been swirling about deplorable conditions at Blackwell’s, but no reporter can get in—that is, until Nellie feigns insanity, gets committed and attempts to survive ten days in the madhouse. Inside, she discovers horrors beyond comprehension. It's an investigation that could make her career—if she can get out to tell it before two rival reporters scoop her story.

Kritters Thoughts:  Not my first book about Nellie Bly, but after this read it won't be my last either.  A fictional view of Nellie Bly as she settles herself in New York and tries to find her first newspaper job when a serendipitous moment has her connecting with other women in New York and she finds herself trying to pitch a crazy article idea just to get buy in and then she is trying to get herself into the insane asylum.  

A lot of us know the Nellie Bly story, but this take felt different.  I loved that I questioned what was fact and fiction throughout the story and wondered where it started and ended.  I also loved the presence of over journalists - male and female, but fun to read a few other stories about other women trying to get into the male dominated newspaper floor and not just be covering the "women's stories."

A historical fiction that I would recommend to readers who need a break from the typical time and place that we read and who want a fun ride with Nellie Bly from New York to insane asylum and back.  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2022 Challenge: 37 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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