Thursday, April 28, 2022

Brief Book Review - The Mad Girls of New York; Maya Rodale

Berkley - 2022

Set in 1887 New York City, The Mad Girls of New York is a work of fiction. It is based in part on Americas most famous 19th century female reporter - Nellie Bly.  She was just in her early 20s when she left he job at the Pittsburg Dispatch and headed for New York City determined to make a name for herself as a reporter.  Nellie met with many obstacles in this male dominated field but, she wasn't about to give up without a fight. After speaking with several other professional females she comes up with an idea that only a female would be able to handle. Her stunt is to go under cover at an insane asylum on Blackwell Island but, first she had to get herself committed.  

This is the first book of a new series and I thought it was pretty good but, it took a while to get going.  The other women she meets along the way were interesting, the conditions at the asylum horrific.  Many of the reasons other women found themselves there were tragic but not surprising. Some were committed by spouses because they were inconvenient to have around. Other women did not fit into what men expected of them, a conformist kind of behavior of no personal desires outside of marriage and motherhood.  This book wasn't perfect but, I would still be interested enough to see what book #2 in the series has to offer.

Rating - 4/5 stars

NOTE: I received an eGalley download of this book from the Berkley Publishing and Edelweiss in exchange for my unbiased review.


  1. Well that sounds very different indeed. Horrible to think how little control women had over their own lives back then.

    1. I enjoyed it but, it felt like a light read and wish there had been a bit more depth.

  2. I bought a copy of Ten Days in a Mad-House by Bly and still haven't read it. Your review makes me want to start reading it.

  3. I still like the sound of this one. Mostly because I really like Nellie Bly. :)

  4. The premise is interesting and Nellie sounds like a great character, too. Will keep this book in mind.

  5. Nelly Bly is one of those historical figures that I keep hearing about but have never read anything on. I'm glad this was mostly good.

  6. Really good review - the description is super intriguing and I will be adding this to my tbr.


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