Bachelor Girl by Kim Van Alkemade

(Last Updated On: June 25, 2019)

About the Book

Publisher: Gallery Books  |  Release Date: March 6, 2018  |  Pages: 416
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction  |  Format: eARC  |  Source: Publisher via Netgalley


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.

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My Review

Bachelor Girl is a compelling piece of historical fiction inspired by the January 21, 1939 New York Times article that an unknown former actress had received quite a large inheritance from the owner of the New York Yankees, Colonel Jacob Ruppert.  

The novel is told from two points of view: Ruppert’s secretary Arthur Kramer and Ruppert’s friend Helen Winthrope, spanning 21 years (with some jumps along the way) and the friendship the threesome developed over the years. From the signing of Babe Ruth to the building of Yankee Stadium, this tale weaves in the known historical record into a story that is largely character driven. 

Issues of race, sexuality, female ambition are intertwined are the undercurrent of the novel. At times I did struggle with remaining engaged with the book, hence the 4-star rating, but the book overall was an interesting read, and I appreciated the different viewpoints that the book provides so that I could get a glimpse into the Jazz Age. 

Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher, Touchstone, for giving me an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review. 

spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!

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