Nellie Bly has been in my peripheral for a while, but I haven't done much to delve into her story. This book, a fictional recounting of her groundbreaking news story when she committed herself to a mental institute, was the historical, feminist story I needed to read. Maya Rodale, a typical romance author, does the main character justice by depicting her scrappiness and empathy in a midst of a practically unlivable situation. I appreciate that there is a potential love triangle brewing for the future books (yes, this book is kicking off a series), but the focus of this story was the marginalized women of Gilded Age New York. A surprisingly light read for the topic -- bring it to the beach with you this summer!
“Gloriously recommended.” —Historical Novel Society
A gripping and compelling novel based on the true story of fearless reporter Nellie Bly, who will stop at nothing to prove that a woman’s place is on the front page.
In 1887 New York City, Nellie Bly has ambitions beyond writing for the ladies pages, but all the editors on Newspaper Row think women are too emotional, respectable and delicate to do the job. But then the New York World challenges her to an assignment she'd be mad to accept and mad to refuse: go undercover as a patient at Blackwell’s Island Insane Asylum for women.
For months, rumors have been swirling about deplorable conditions at Blackwell’s but no reporter can get in—that is, until Nellie feigns insanity, gets herself committed and attempts to survive ten days in the madhouse. Once inside, Nellie befriends her fellow patients who help her uncover shocking truths about the asylum. It’s a story that promises to be explosive—but will she get out before rival reporters get the scoop?
From USA Today bestselling author Maya Rodale comes a witty, energetic and uplifting novel about a woman who defied convention to become the most famous reporter in Gilded Age New York. Perfect for fans of hidden histories about women who triumph.
About the Author
Maya Rodale is the best-selling and award-winning author of funny, feminist historical fiction and romance. A champion of the romance genre and its readers, she is also the author of Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels, Explained. Maya has reviewed romance for NPR Books and has appeared in Bustle, Glamour, Shondaland, Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post and PBS. She lives in New York City.
“Rodale crafts an adventure yarn worthy of a 19th-century bildungsroman, but there’s still heaps of her signature wit and banter.”—Entertainment Weekly
"A riveting piece of Herstory, told in Maya Rodale's gripping, witty, observant voice that makes Nellie Bly come alive on the page and kept me by her side from the first chapter to the last—highly recommended for every reader interested in Women Who Dared."—USA Today bestselling author Evie Dunmore
“Rodale’s whip-smart and compelling story, rich in Gilded Age detail, takes us along on Nellie Bly’s incredible crusade to shine a light on injustice and make her mark in a male-dominated world.”—USA Today bestselling authorJoanna Shupe
“Rodale’s trademark sass and charm showcase Bly’s willingness to take risks and to save a soul. Rodale will endear Bly to a new generation of readers.”—Bestselling author of Island Queen, Vanessa Riley
"A lively reimagining of Nellie Bly’s first and most famous “stunt”: infiltrating the infamous Blackwell’s asylum—as an inmate. If it sounds mad... well, it just might have been. Rodale vividly portrays the desperation and the daring, the determination and the sheer terror of Nellie Bly's bid to force her way through the male-guarded doors of New York journalism, as well as the heart-wrenching conditions she brought to light. A tale of the dark side of the Gilded Age and the women who wouldn't take no for an answer."—New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig
“The talented Rodale does full justice to intrepid girl reporter Nellie Bly and her trail-blazing exposé in this lively fictionalization. … Rodale’s Nellie is bold, inventive, and quick on her feet, remorseless in her ambition but tender in her empathy. Rodale breathes vivid life into Bly’s biography and incredible spirit as she battles her way into a publishing scene that barely offers a toehold for females. Combine crack writing and nail-biting suspense with humor, pathos, a dash of mystery, and a hint of romance, and you have an entertaining, intensely imagined glimpse into the making of Bly’s Ten Days in a Madhouse and the life of women in New York’s Gilded Age. Gloriously recommended.”—Historical Novels Review
“Rodale’s affinity for writing about powerful women is clear, and she aptly records the lengths they would go to in order to overcome their societal boundaries….An energetic and bold tale of one of history’s most enterprising journalists.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Based on a true story, the latest from romance writer Rodale offers gripping details of the treatment of women in the asylum and in New York City at large. Readers will eagerly turn the pages to see if Nellie will escape the prison she willingly entered, all to prove herself worthy of a story.”—Booklist