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Bowery Girl Paperback – 6 Sep 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (6 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142409030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142409039
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 21 cm

More About the Author

My mission is to write historical fiction and romance that explores women's lives and brings their struggles and triumphs out of the shadows of history and onto the canvas of our American past. I wish to share the stories of women whose lives are untold, who don't exist in textbooks: the disenfranchised, the forgotten, those with double lives and huge hearts filled with weakness and courage.

My current novel, Under the Pale Moon, is due for release in Spring 2015. Set in post-World War II Monterey, California, it explores the relationship of a married woman breaking the bonds of conformity, and a combat nurse haunted by the ghosts of war.

My interactive historical romances The Very Thought of You and It Don't Mean a Thing, are out now on Kindle and SilkWords.com. I am also the author of the novels Bowery Girl, (Re-release 2015) and Cissy Funk, winner of the WILLA Literary Award for Best Young Adult Fiction.

I'm a member of the Historical Novel Society, Women Writing the West and Romance Writers of America. In addition to writing novels, I am a creative writing facilitator for PDX Writers in Portland, Oregon.

Product Description

About the Author

Kim Taylor Blakemore writes historical fiction and romance that explore women's lives and brings their struggles and triumphs out of the shadows of history and onto the canvas of our American past. She is the author of the novels UNDER THE PALE MOON (due 2015); BOWERY GIRL; CISSY FUNK, a Willa Cather Award winner; and the interactive historical romances THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU and IT DON’T MEAN A THING. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her family and really does love the rain. Visit www.kimtaylorblakemore.com. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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DOWN THE STREET STRODE a young woman, who could have been anywhere between thirteen and twenty. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
the plot doesn't stand up to the finely detailed setting 31 May 2012
By Miss Print - Published on Amazon.com
Pickpocket Mollie Flynn and prostitute Annabelle Lee are as much a part of the Bowery as any of the immigrants or local gangs that call the area home. Unapologetic and unafraid, Mollie has no qualms doing what she must to survive amidst the poverty that threatens to overtake her every day.

It's 1883 and things are changing in New York City. With the Brooklyn Bridge nearing completion and Annabelle Lee newly released from prison, Mollie dreams of crossing the bridge and finding a new life there outside the filth and tenements of the Bowery.

But getting to Brooklyn will take more than a few choice marks and johns can offer. With unexpected difficulties and unwanted meddling from a new neighborhood reformer named Emmeline Dupree, Mollie and Annabelle are forced to decide once and for all who they are and, harder still, who they want to be in Bowery Girl (2006) by Kim Taylor.

Bowery Girl is a wonderfully evocative look into life among the immigrant poor in 1883. Taylor brings this era of New York to life on the page with her careful descriptions of everything from Mollie and Annabelle's tenement rooms to the bath house where they bathe that eventually becomes a reform-era settlement house.

Bowery Girl is an informative story about New York City before the five boroughs consolidated with interesting details about the Brooklyn Bridge and daily life.

Unfortunately, the plot in Bowery Girl does not stand up to the finely detailed scene Taylor sets. There is simply not enough action to move the plot forward even at the slim 240 pages.

Readers hoping for action and excitement will be mollified by Mollie's raucous and violent Bowery lifestyle and the near-constant swearing throughout. WhereBowery Girlwill really shine is for readers hoping to find insight into this period in New York City's turbulent history.

Possible Pairings: Twenty-One Elephants by Phil Bildner and LeUyen Pham, Strings Attached by Judy Blundell, The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats, The Luxe by Anna Godbersen, New York: A Short History by George J. Lankevich, Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing by April Jones Prince, How the Other Half Lives by Jacob Riis, How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr, All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Women's Lives: The Bowery 1883 16 Jan. 2015
By T. T. Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
In 1883, as the Brooklyn Bridge nears completion, two women of little means design a dream for a better life. The relationship between Molly, a pickpocket, and Annabelle, a prostitute, is both warm and brusque. In a world where industrial progress and innovation were the apex of success, too many women were left unable to leverage their dreams to escape the poverty, the abuse and crime that made the Bowery area of New York so infamous. And Molly and Annabelle’s “career” complications prove adversity can make mere survival trump dreams.

In this expertly-crafted novel, with its tight plot and allegiance to the language and life of this era in this place, Blakemore has styled a memorable story of friendship, diffusively articulated love and a modified redemption that conjure up more reality than romance. And that’s how it should be for the mean streets of a city where lack of education led to lack of opportunity for the penurious populace, especially women. But Molly and Annabelle have their dream, a sad little determination to move to Brooklyn where they think life will be better. They don’t know much about getting there—they only know they want out of where they are. Extricating themselves from the depravity and danger of their tenement house, however, proves a challenge for two women unfamiliar with the niceties (and necessities) of power, rank and privilege.

Things change up a bit when the women meet a former resident of the Bowery, Emmeline Dupre, who establishes self-help classes in her own tenement house and encourages the young women to avail themselves of the books, the typing classes and other programs designed to help them become self-sufficient in legitimate ways. Ever suspicious of everyone’s motives, Molly becomes less than enthusiastic when Annabelle decides to take a class. By now, Annabelle has found herself in a “delicate” position, and Molly’s pickpocket fingers (and psyche) aren’t as nimble as they once were. We see that from the simplest dreams of the two women to the noble hopes of Miss DuPre’s programs, being there and getting there are two different things.

The authenticity of this book is its strong point, but being so, it’s not your dreamy-eyed romance; instead, we get a moving chronicle of life as it really was, penned by an author whose compunctions for detail are matched by her portrayals of the characters who embody that detail. We may not like who the two women are, but we feel empathy for their determination to be something better. Blakemore manages to allow us to see the simple dreams, raw instinct and drive of women who wanted out, even as we see the deck is stacked and the con artists are everywhere. Still, though the story ends in the way it must, we get a glimpse of where those lofty dreams of a better life led the lucky ones. Highly recommended for readers who want turn-of-the-century realism in a story that is eccentrically romantic without being Romance.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Gritty Realism 25 Aug. 2011
By Sadie - Published on Amazon.com
It's the 1880s, and the Brooklyn Bridge is just being completed. Annabelle and Mollie are teenagers and already hardened by life in the Fourth Ward, or the Bowery, on the Island of Manhattan. The Fourth Ward are the slums where people are crammed into small, windowless apartments with no running water. Annabelle is a prostitute who's in love with her pimp. Mollie is a pick pocket. They both want to move to Brooklyn, where they've heard they can have a better life. They want to make an honest living and have an apartment with a window to the outside. The thing that might help them get their wish is also the thing that might hold them back. A wealthy woman, Emmeline Dupre, has purchased the East Side Bath house, where they used to pay five cents to bathe in filthy water. She's converted it into a school to teach the uneducated how to read and learn how to use the new fangled typewriter so they can get a job. Mollie is jealous of Annabelle's involvement with the new establishment and wanting to better herself. However, she soon finds Emmeline captivating and decides to take typing classes. There's a secret surrounding Emmeline, like who she is and why she wants to help the poorest of the poor.

This is a realistic picture of what life was like in the Bowery. Not for the faint of heart. I have to admit the cover photo is what first attracted me to the novel. It turns out that photos of the period, place and people are what attracted the author to write about it. It's not a happy, little slice of life story. Like life amongst the poor, bad things happened with very little great things to look forward to.

I was most intrigued with the character of Emmeline and continued to wonder about her long after I finished the book. I think there's a second book in her story, which was never completely revealed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Setting and character drive this well written historical fiction 17 Jan. 2015
By J.Springsteen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Characters and setting star in Blackmore's historical fiction Bowery Girl. 1880's NYC is depicted in raw, succinct language, beautiful in it's gritty get-under-your-fingernails descriptions. The pace and rhythm of the book move quickly like the cadence of the dialogue, the movement of the "have or get had" lifestyles of Mollie Flynn and Annabelle Lee. The conflict is immediately set: prostitute Annabelle is fresh out of jail and pregnant. Money is scare and so are opportunities. The language is great, to period. (Blackmore is a master at dialogue!)

The whole style of this novel throws the reader into the time, (again, what great setting!) without any princess-tale nostalgia. Leaving us thankful times have changed.

If you are looking for shoot 'em up, this isn't the novel you want. The pace is quick and the novel is packet chapter after chapter: it can't be called "quiet," it falls somewhere in-between. But like all of Blackmore's work, the focus is on the women and their stories.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
” I felt like I was there 20 Jan. 2015
By kprice - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Sometimes I get distracted by historical fiction. I keep wondering, did that really happen? Would she have said that? Is this real?

This is not the case with “Bowery Girl.” Kim Taylor Blakemore’s book is impeccably researched, yet reads effortlessly. From the first line, “Down the street strode a young woman, who could have been anywhere between thirteen and twenty,” I felt like I was there, in the rough and tumble Bowery, in the year 1883.

The story and characters are engaging, and by the time I finished the book I felt like I had learned about an overlooked time in an overlooked place, from a master storyteller.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
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