A Novel by the Author of Orphan #8
By Kim Van Alkemade
Read by: Corey Brill and Andi Arndt
Length: 12 hrs and 16 mins
Release date: 03-06-18
Publisher: Simon & Schuster | Simon & Schuster Audio
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
“Bachelor Girl plunges the reader deep into life during the Jazz Age…and the revealing of other secrets and confessions will keep readers up all night looking for answers.” —Booklist, starred review
From the New York Times bestselling author of Orphan #8 comes a fresh and intimate novel in the vein of Lilac Girls and The Alice Network about the destructive power of secrets and the redemptive power of love—inspired by the true story of Jacob Ruppert, the millionaire owner of the New York Yankees, and his mysterious bequest in 1939 to an unknown actress, Helen Winthrope Weyant.
When the owner of the New York Yankees baseball team, Colonel Jacob Ruppert, takes Helen Winthrope, a young actress, under his wing, she thinks it’s because of his guilt over her father’s accidental death—and so does Albert Kramer, Ruppert’s handsome personal secretary. Helen and Albert develop a deepening bond the closer they become to Ruppert, an eccentric millionaire who demands their loyalty in return for his lavish generosity.
New York in the Jazz Age is filled with possibilities, especially for the young and single. Yet even as Helen embraces being a “bachelor girl”—a working woman living on her own terms—she finds herself falling in love with Albert, even after he confesses his darkest secret. When Ruppert dies, rumors swirl about his connection to Helen after the stunning revelation that he has left her the bulk of his fortune, which includes Yankee Stadium. But it is only when Ruppert’s own secrets are finally revealed that Helen and Albert will be forced to confront the truth about their relationship to him—and to each other.
Inspired by factual events that gripped New York City in its heyday, Bachelor Girl is a hidden history gem about family, identity, and love in all its shapes and colors. http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Bachelor-Girl/Kim-Van-Alkemade/9781508253518#
This book is wonderfully written and covers a wealth of societal issues. It took a bit of time for me to love it. I felt having the two different narrators were solely based on the double first person points of view, which is not at all my favorite, but, because it wasn’t in the present tense ad because the writing was so good, it was tolerable. The narrators do a fine job – Arni in particular as I had only previously heard her narrate steamy romance.
I waited a little too long to write this and lost some of the immediacy of the book’s emotional impact.
Alkemade fits a lot of issues in here, sociopolitical, personal and romantic. This story is soooo NOT romantic.
How blind does a woman have to be to figure out, after ten years, that he might not be like the other guys? I felt the author used a sad first sexual experience to make Helen more amenable to a platonic romance. Or is he just a placeholder for her to get together with the guy she really wants but cannot have. Gay rights, women’s rights, assumptions, secrecy, and class-distinctions are patiently explored.
The central theme of the book is that people need to feel love, they need to feel they belong, to not feel lonely. Looked at over time, it is interesting to see how societal norms push people into molds into which they cannot fit. This is ultimately about living your own truth and how much of your life can be wasted in avoiding it. Also, the use of power — being dishonest with it, using it to control people, even those you care about. In this way it looks at even how dishonest we are with ourselves.
Covering a period between WWI and WWII, the story gives us a glimpse of how long it takes for societal understanding to change, and how it is two steps forward and, at least, one back. The Depression and happenings in Europe don’t especially seem to touch this story, although it seemed they should.
It was really worthy of the time I spent listening to it. At the end I was sad that situations prevented the characters from breaking free and being with the ones they truly loved.
It’s cool that the story is based on real people although I could not find pictures of either Alfred or Helen in the public domain, it was interesting to read the scant biographical material and see wat the people may have looked like.
I found the book thought provoking, engaging and entertaining. It gets my recommendation.