What Girls Are Good For by David Blixt
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
Paperback & eBook; 535 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: This book was given to me by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Enraged by an article entitled ‘What Girls Are Good For’, Elizabeth Cochrane pens an angry letter to the Pittsburgh Dispatch, never imagining a Victorian newspaper would hire a woman reporter. Taking the name Nellie Bly, she struggles against the male-dominated industry, reporting stories no one else will – the stories of downtrodden women.
Chased out of Mexico for revealing government corruption, her romantic advances rejected by a married colleague, Bly earns the chance to break into the New York’s Newspaper Row if she can nab a major scoop – life inside a madhouse. Feigning madness, she dupes the court into committing her to the Insane Asylum on Blackwell’s Island.
But matters are far worse than she ever dreamed. Stripped, drugged, beaten, she must endure a week of terror, reliving the darkest days of her childhood, in order to escape and tell the world her story. Only, at the end of the week, no rescue comes, and she fears she may be trapped forever…
Based on the real-life events of Nellie Bly’s life and reporting, What Girls Are Good For is a tale of rage, determination, and triumph – all in the frame of a tiny Pennsylvania spitfire who refused to let the world tell her how to live her life, and changed the world instead.
My Review: Nellie Bly is one of America’s most famous journalists. Many strong female characters such as Lois Lane, Lana Winters, and Maggie Dubois were all based on her. The novel What Girls Are Good For chronicles the early years of her life. After reading a newspaper article where it patronizes women’s daily lives, Nellie Bly writes a scathing letter to the newspaper about the hardships of womanhood. This impresses their editor, and he hires Nellie to write an article on the average woman. Happy with her assignment, Nellie wants to investigate the life of an average working woman. This is the first of many of Nellie’s strange adventures.
Nellie is a delightful and charming character. She is spirited and idealistic. She is bold, witty, and confident. She has a taste for adventure. She loves to go undercover and write about her experiences. However, I really like the part in the novel where Nellie feigns madness to get into the asylum. This is where we see Nellie at her most vulnerable and her insecure. However, it is through these experiences that Nellie becomes a stronger fighter and a wiser person.
Overall, this novel is about passion, beliefs, and inner strength. I thought all the characters were very realistic, and I loved how the author portrayed a male-dominated world that is baffled by an unconventional woman. The story is fast-paced and will draw you in with the first few pages. The only thing I did not like about this book was that there were some unnecessary and drawn-out scenes. However, I am excited for the sequel! What Girls Are Good For is a novel that you will want to read again! I recommend this for fans of Madame Presidentess, Falling Angels, and Emmy Nation: Undercover Suffragette.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Praise for What Girls Are Good For
“Dramatic, engrossing, and spirited, What Girls Are Good For takes the reader straight to the heart of an unsung American hero–a feminist icon whose voice rings loud and true. This is a must-read for anyone who loves an underdog and celebrates justice; the perfect accompaniment for our present times.” – Olivia Hawker, international bestselling author of The Ragged Edge of Night
“With rich imagination and meticulous research, David Blixt has brought the hectic, exciting world of nineteenth-century journalism vividly to life. His Nellie Bly is determined, independent, crafty, irresistible — a heroine any reader would be delighted to get to know.” – Matthew Goodman, New York Times bestselling author
About the Author
David Blixt‘s work is consistently described as “intricate,” “taut,” and “breathtaking.” A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS’D series) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY’S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history.
Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, he describes himself as “actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order.”
For more information, please visit David Blixt's website. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Blog Tour ScheduleMonday, December 10
Review at Bookish Rantings
Thursday, December 13
Review at Bri's Book Nook
Monday, December 17
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Tuesday, December 18
Excerpt at Donna's Book Blog
Wednesday, December 19
Review & Guest Post at Clarissa Reads it All
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective
Thursday, December 20
Review at Passages to the Past
Friday, December 21
Review at Just One More Chapter
Review at Tar Heel Reader
Saturday, December 22
Interview at Passages to the Past
Thursday, December 27
Review at A Bookish Affair
Friday, December 28
Review at Coffee and Ink
Interview at Reading the Past
GiveawayDuring the Blog Tour we will be giving away 4 paperback copies of What Girls Are Good For! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
What Girls Are Good For