About My Book Reviews

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Girls with No Names by Serena Burdick

Title: The Girls with No Names

Author: Serena Burdick

Published: 2020

Genre: Historical Fiction

Grade Level: Young Adult

-Trigger Warning: Child abuse, Child endangerment, Disturbing images

Blurb (from goodreads):

The Girls with No Names pulls readers into the gilded age of New York City in the 1910s, when suffragettes marched in the street, unions fought for better work conditions—and girls were confined to the House of Mercy for daring to break the rules.

My Scores:

Writing Style: Solid

I rather enjoyed the author's writing style and found it unique enough to rank it 'solid.' I appreciated the outdated words used during the 1920s and all the little details that made for an accurate understanding of the time-period.

What really stood out was the way the scenery was described. The author used unique yet perfectly understood descriptions, which may have been inspired by the literary modernist movement during the same time-period in which the story was set.

Characters: Memorable

There’s no doubt that this was a completely character-driven plot.

Each character was compelling, most especially the younger characters. They were messy, lovable, flawed, and redeemable in their own way. 

I was completely won over by Effie, the MC. I felt she was the most relatable/tragic character in the novel.

While I loved the fact that there were complex adult characters in the novel, none of them were male… I’m not sure if this was done to sell the rise of the ‘modern’ woman in the 1920’s, but it was a little strange to me that they were not as fleshed out as any of the other vast array of characters. And there was a vast array, from every age in every socioeconomic class, which really gave a certain life to the novel as a whole.

Plot: Absolute Page Turner

Going in, I was expecting to read a completely different plotline than the one I received. Since the “House of Mercy” was the main selling point of this novel for me, I expected that most of the story would take place there. 

Instead, the plot focuses on different characters, detailing their tragic backgrounds, their desperate motivations, and their empowered views on life in early America.

Overall: Enjoyable

While historical fiction is not my go-to read, I found this one rather enjoyable. The characters were so compelling, I simply had to know how it was going to end! If your looking for a brutally honest take on the best/worst parts of young female adulthood in 1920's America, I would give it a shot!

Goodreads Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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