White Collar Girl by Renee Rosen

Renee Rosen's White Collar GirlSynopsis: 

The latest novel from the bestselling author of Dollface and What the Lady Wants takes us deep into the tumultuous world of 1950s Chicago where a female journalist struggles with the heavy price of ambition…

Every second of every day, something is happening. There’s a story out there buried in the muck, and Jordan Walsh, coming from a family of esteemed reporters, wants to be the one to dig it up. But it’s 1955, and the men who dominate the city room of the Chicago Tribune have no interest in making room for a female cub reporter. Instead Jordan is relegated to society news, reporting on Marilyn Monroe sightings at the Pump Room and interviewing secretaries for the White Collar Girl column.

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(Synopsis and image via Goodreads)

dividerNetGalley MemberBook Details:
Title:
  White Collar Girl

Author: Renee Rosen
Genre: Adult Fiction

Publisher:  Penguin Group Berkley, NAL
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Format: Kindle 
Pages:  448
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

White Collar Girl: A Novel

FTC Disclosure: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed are mine.

 

Growing up in the time period during which White Collar Girl is set, I was prepared for the struggle Jordan Walsh faced as she entered the City Room of the Chicago Tribune for the first time. Newspapers and publishing were male-dominated during those days. It was almost as if a woman walked in, the jokes started, and she began an uphill climb, or she quit.

Not Jordan Walsh. With a family background in the newspaper business, Jordan determines to rise to the top. Her character is well crafted, and a sense of some male respect comes through from time to time. However, it is clear Jordan will have to face dangers and criminals to get where she wants to be. This plot line keeps suspense moving and the reader engaged.

With a smattering of names those of us old enough to recognize, like Mike Royko, Nelson Ahlgren, and Ernest Hemingway, not to mention Mayor Daley, we get a sense of the history of the times. Chicago was a ruthless town politically in the 1950s. Jordan desperately wants to bring home THE story and thus improve her standing among the men, and not spend her time attending society weddings, writing recipe columns, and running down sightings of the elite at night. She takes chances despite warnings from her father, a former newspaper man himself, against the chances she takes.

These paragraphs describe the best of the book. I did have a few problems with it, as much as I would like to give it a topnotch rating. The language was not as reminiscent of the 1950s-1960s as I feel it should have been, but sounded a bit too up-to-date for the time period. Also, Jordan’s relationship with her boyfriend segues in and out too often, although Jordan’s profession places relationships on the line and needed to be treated in this book. Just not so often. And lastly, this work very well could be categorized as historical fiction. If so, it needed to give its reader greater authenticity when it came to place and the history taking place in Chicago, i.e. more than public figures and names.

 

And even after all that, I recommend this book to you because it is interesting for a certain level of reader, and Jordan’s character will make women who have struggled to the top proud, except for Jordan’s constant sacrificial state of mind. If you enjoy newspaper history and the role of male vs. female in a male-dominated industry in the 1950s, you’ll enjoy (or hate) some of the interactions between Jordan and her male cohorts. Renee Rosen has done a fine job of writing this story. It just needed some fine-tuning and ramping up in a few areas.

 

 Meet the Author:

Author Renee RosenRenee Rosen is the bestselling author of DOLLFACE and WHAT THE LADY WANTS. Her YA novel, EVERY CROOKED POT was published in 2007. Look for her new novel, WHITE COLLAR GIRL coming Nov. 3, 2015 (Penguin/NAL.)

Most people discover their love of reading first and then decide to try writing. For Renee Rosen, it was just the opposite. From the time she was a little girl she knew she wanted to be a writer and by age seventeen had completed her first novel, with what she admits was the worst opening line of all time. Her hopes of being the youngest published author on record were soon dashed when her “masterpiece” was repeatedly rejected. Several years and many attempts later, Renee finally became a reader first.

Since then she has been fortunate enough to study the craft of writing from such esteemed novelists as Michael Cunningham, Susan Minot and Carol Anshaw.

Renee now lives in Chicago where she is working on a new novel. You can find her online at https://www.facebook.com/ReneeRosenAu…, https://twitter.com/ReneeRosen1 or visit her website at www.reneerosen.com.

(Image via author’s website; bio via Goodreads.

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2 thoughts on “White Collar Girl by Renee Rosen

  1. I do get quite annoyed when books ignore the time-period and use modern language. *sighs* I just read a fantasy set in the BC era and the used the phrase “eligible bachelor” AGH. How can they do that?!? It kind of drags the authenticity of the book down. Boo.
    But otherwise, glad you mostly enjoyed this one! 😀
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    Like

    1. Hello Cait and welcome! So glad you stopped in read this review. Indeed! “Eligible bachelor in the BC era?? Big AGH! Not only does it drag down the authenticity of the book, it also shows how careless the writer is either in researching or just plain writing.

      Like

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