Review – The Girls with No Names by Serena Burdick

**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review from the publisher via NetGalley.**

Title The Girls with No Names

Author Serena Burdick

Release Date January 7, 2020

Description from Amazon

Growing up in New York City in the 1910s, Luella and Effie Tildon realize that even as wealthy young women, their freedoms come with limits. But when the sisters discover a shocking secret about their father, Luella, the brazen elder sister, becomes emboldened to do as she pleases. Her rebellion comes with consequences, and one morning Luella is mysteriously gone.

Effie suspects her father has sent Luella to the House of Mercy and hatches a plan to get herself committed to save her sister. But she made a miscalculation, and with no one to believe her story, Effie’s own escape seems impossible—unless she can trust an enigmatic girl named Mable. As their fates entwine, Mable and Effie must rely on their tenuous friendship to survive.

Initial Thoughts

I really enjoy historical fiction and I was really excited when Harper Collins reached out and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing this title. It was not on my radar before that email but I’m so glad I was able to add it to my TBR.

Some Things I Liked

  • Realism. This story really didn’t pull any punches. It was dark, tragic, and difficult to read at parts. My heart bled for these characters and I have to appreciate the emotions the writing stirred.
  • Multiple POVs. I loved the points of view this story utilized. We got to hear from multiple generations and multiple walks of life. It gave the story a rich and well rounded feeling.
  • Gripping storytelling. I couldn’t put this book down. I started and finished it all in one sitting.

One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About

  • Effie’s story. While I applaud the emotional spectrum in this book, I was truly saddened reading Effie’s story. I don’t know if it could have been changed in any way that I would have liked better, but, I just know I didn’t love it.

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book. It was tragic at parts but overall, it was an empowering story which made me reflect on how lucky I am to be a woman born today, instead of 100 years ago.


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill – if you enjoyed the setting of a big American city at the turn of the century and you enjoyed the realism of this story, try this mystery by Stephanie Morrill.
  • Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Antsey – if you like historical fiction, definitely check out anything by Cindy Anstey.  There is a Jane Austen feel to Cindy’s work that I definitely appreciate.  
  • Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon – while this story is not a murder mystery, it is another historical fiction with a strong female lead.  Set in a similar time period in London (instead of New York), many core themes are shared between these two books.

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