The Manhattan Girls – ARC Book Review

Title:- The Manhattan Girls

Author:- Gill Paul

No. of pages:- 416 pages

Date published:- will be published on August 16th 2022

Publisher:- Avon

Genre:- Historical Fiction


Plot:- 4/5

Writing:- 4/5

Overall rating:- 4/5

NEW YORK CITY 1921: The war is over, fashions are daring, and bootleg liquor is abundant. Here four extraordinary women form a bridge group that grows into a firm friendship.

Dorothy Parker: renowned wit, member of the Algonquin Round Table, and more fragile than she seems. Jane Grant: first female reporter for the New York Times, and determined to launch a new magazine she calls The New Yorker. Winifred Lenihan: beautiful and talented Broadway actress, a casting-couch target. And Peggy Leach: magazine assistant by day, brilliant novelist by night.

Their romances flourish and falter while their goals sometimes seem impossible to reach and their friendship deepens against the backdrop of turbulent New York City, where new speakeasies open and close, jazz music flows through the air, and bathtub gin fills their glasses.

They gossip, they comfort each other, and they offer support through the setbacks. But their biggest challenge is keeping their dear friend Dottie safe from herself.

In this brilliant new novel from the bestselling and acclaimed author of Jackie and Maria and The Secret Wife, readers will fall right into Jazz Age New York and into the inner lives of these groundbreaking, influential women.

Gill Paul is the bestselling author of eleven historical novels, many of them describing real women she thinks have been marginalized or misjudged by historians. They include THE MANHATTAN GIRLS, about Dorothy Parker and three friends navigating life, love and careers in Prohibition-era New York, like a 1920s version of Sex and the City; THE COLLECTOR’S DAUGHTER, about Lady Evelyn Herbert, the first person to enter Tutankhamun’s tomb in modern times; JACKIE AND MARIA (retitled THE SECOND MARRIAGE in the UK) about Maria Callas and Jackie Kennedy’s rivalry over Aristotle Onassis; two bestselling novels about the Romanovs – THE SECRET WIFE and THE LOST DAUGHTER – as well as WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST, which was shortlisted for the 2013 RNA Epic Novel of the Year award, NO PLACE FOR A LADY, shortlisted for a Love Stories award, and ANOTHER WOMAN’S HUSBAND, about links you might not have suspected between Wallis Simpson and Princess Diana. Her novels have reached the top of the USA Today, Toronto Globe & Mail and kindle charts, and been translated into twenty-one languages.

Gill also writes historical non-fiction, including A HISTORY OF MEDICINE IN 50 OBJECTS, and she speaks at libraries and literary festivals on subjects ranging from Tutankhamun to the Romanovs.

Gill lives in London, where she is working on her twelfth novel, and she swims daily in an outdoor pond.

This is the first time I am reading Gill Paul’s novels and I have to say, I actually did enjoy reading this book.

The story is set in 1920’s New York–the Jazz era, the Prohibition era, the great boom and is just after the First World War. The story is based on Dorothy Parker, based on the real life Dorothy, and her friends, Winifred, Jane and Peggy. Jane is the first female reported of New York Times, Winifred is a Broadway actress and Peggy is a brilliant novelist. These four women are friends and form a bridge group and the story tells about the lives of these four women and how their friendship between them grows stronger and of couse their love life.

As this is based on the true story, the author takes the reader to the 1920’s era and as a reader you can get a glimpse of what the 1920’s lifestyle was really like. It was the time when women wore flapper dresses, the alcohol was prohibited, various gangs were formed and of course scandalous lives that shows us how men are still in control of the society. As a result, I actually enjoyed the author’s writing. The story is told from each of the friends’ perspectives, detailing about their careers, working in a men dominated world and of course their love life. I actually enjoyed reading Winifred’s story as I found her story more interesting. I have to say, the author did a good job of researching about the life back in 1920’s.

This book actually is like the 1920’s version of Sex and the City–taking place in Manhattan New York. I actually enjoyed reading this book–worth four stars!

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue

Louis Armstrong – Fireworks

Duke Ellington – Jubilee Stomp

Betsy Byre – Sleepwalk

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