Summary: NOW AN INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
“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.
*I received acopy of this book from Simon&Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion.*
To be totally honest, this book had me at “New York Yankees”. It’s not hard to convince me to read something that features baseball but pair it with Jazz Age New York and a formidable female and that’s a recipe for me to forget the word “no”. While the story itself didn’t turn out to give me quite what I was expecting from it and the characters I still really enjoyed it.
My number one fear with reading fiction that includes a sport is that it won’t do those parts justice. Bachelor Girl handles the sections pertaining to the Yankees wonderfully and they really added an extra level of excitement for me. From the first trip to the ballpark to the desperate pursuit of a certain big name player, the passages relating to baseball feel authentic and my my sports loving heart so happy.
I adored both leads in this story and was surprised to find it was told from both points of view. Shockingly, however, Albert stole the show from theatre-loving Helen in this one. While I enjoyed her passion for doing her own thing and her desire to be a ‘Bachelor Girl’ and stand up to men in her life who chose to doubt her ability to be a woman of her own, Helen’s shine was dulled a tad next to Albert’s parts. I can’t pinpoint what it was exactly that made him feel more compelling but I found the chapters from his POV had me much more engaged and completely lost within the pages.
The story itself was a quick read; before I knew it I was half-way through. Although it deals with a lot of day-to-day life events it never really feels like it drags or is telling me about things that don’t advance the story. The characters are also loveable enough that you feel like it’s one of your friends telling you about their day and their escapades (😉).
Technically, Bachelor Girl, is amazing. The writing style is another part of what had me flying through the pages. Kim Van Alkemade also weaves together her alternating POV chapters so smoothly that I had to stop and just admire it on a couple of occasions. The end of one scene and chapter would then be the launching point for the next chapter but on the other character’s end. For example, one chapter ends with Albert calling Helen and her not picking up and the next page is Helen fumbling to open a door as she hears the phone ringing on the other side. Little touches like this absolutely make the reading experience extra special for me.
Although not exactly the tale I was expecting going into the book, Bachelor Girl is a very entertaining read and is definitely going to capture the hearts of those who love all the historical elements it contains. Kim Van Alkemade stole my attention with romps around historic New York City of the 20s and 30s along with a nice sprinkling of New York Yankees baseball.