The Manhattan Girls

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Pub Date 18 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 28 Feb 2023



An impossible dream.
The war is over, the twenties are roaring, but in the depths of the city that never sleeps, Dorothy Parker is struggling to make her mark in a man’s world.
A broken woman.
She’s penniless, she’s unemployed and her marriage is on the rocks when she starts a bridge group with three extraordinary women – but will they be able to save her from herself?
A fight for survival.
When tragedy strikes, and everything Dorothy holds dear is threatened, it’s up to Peggy, Winifred and Jane to help her confront the truth before it’s too late. Because the stakes may be life or death…

A new novel from the internationally bestselling author, Sex and the City meets the 1920s in this sweeping tale of love, loss and the everlasting bonds of friendship. Perfect for fans of Fiona Davis, Dinah Jefferies and Chanel Cleeton.

Readers love The Manhattan Girls:

'TERRIFIC! Deadly one-liners and killer cocktails combine in this compelling portrait of three fascinating women. Unputdownable.' Veronica Henry, bestselling author of The Impulse Purchase

The Manhattan Girls completely stole me away… Paul slips inside her characters brilliantly, blending fact and fiction so seamlessly it’s impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins. A total treat… I loved it.’ Eve Chase, author of The Birdcage

A stunning tour de force. A potent cocktail of brilliant characterisation, pacy elegant writing, and mesmerising drama as four wildly clever, talented women negotiate the perils of Jazz Age New York. LOVED it!’ Tracy Rees, author of The Rose Garden

The Manhattan Girls pulled me into the dazzling world of prohibition New York and didn’t let me go… an utterly brilliant, entirely compulsive read. A seductive, heady triumph.’ Jenny Ashcroft, author of Under the Golden Sun

‘If ever we needed escapism it is now, and The Manhattan Girls does that perfectly, whisking you instantly away to the glittering world of 1920s New York… A sparkling read in so many ways!’ Liz Trenow, author of Under a Wartime Sky

‘I loved this funny and moving novel about the bonds of friendship.’ Fiona Valpy, author of The Storyteller of Casablanca

Oozing with passion and wit, and with Gill’s trademark talent for getting under the skin of her characters, this is a story for those who enjoy their novels with a side order of gin, jazz, and sass. An absolute treat!’ Hazel Gaynor, author of The Bird in the Bamboo Cage

Sizzling and compulsive… Gill Paul expertly conjures the brilliant and brittle world of Dorothy Parker and her contemporaries.’ Maggie Brookes, author of The Prisoner’s Wife

‘A riveting novel about friendship’s power to carry women through the grand highs and heartbreaking lows of 1920s New York.’ Georgie Blalock, author of The Last Debutantes

Wow, what an eye-opening story! Fascinating and riveting. Highly recommended!’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Well written… compelling… I couldn’t put it down.’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Five stars from me. A brilliant narrative about four unique and real women – I enjoyed every single page.’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wow! I loved this book so much. I can’t recommend it enough!’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Such a fun read… Don’t miss it!’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


An impossible dream.
The war is over, the twenties are roaring, but in the depths of the city that never sleeps, Dorothy Parker is struggling to make her...

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ISBN 9780008530952
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Featured Reviews

Gosh, this book really seems to transport you back to the Jazz era in the roaring 1920’s the detail in the narrative truly takes you back in time.
Really enjoyable read, especially for fans of historical fiction.
All the main women are based on real characters, the numerous storyline’s work together well. This group of unlikely friends go through thick and thin together, a real support group to each other in a so called ‘man’s world’.
I will now read more from this author, as this was my first.

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The Manhattan Girls
By Gill Paul

This book promises 1920s fashion, speakeasies, NY at the height of the Art Deco movement, gossip, literary discussions, romance and friendship. They say Sex in the City 1920s style. Well they are not wrong. I LOVED everything about this book. I could practically hear the jazz through the smoke filled Algonquin Round Table, the laughter and the witty repartee.

Told through four points of view we are fully immersed in the lives of the young women of Manhattan who are shrugging off the "little wives" roles of every women who ever preceded them. It's the roaring twenties and women are demanding more freedom, freedom to pursue their own careers, to shirk marriage and motherhood, to have and speak their own opinions. The men are not happy, they smirk and belittle and bully and enforce their entitled male power, because that's the way it has always been.

"Flirting is the gentle art of making a man think he's a swell guy"..."Most of them are off to a flying start"

But getting ready lads! The world is changing.

I love each of these women, they are all vulnerable in their own way, they each have flaws, but they are all so brave. Even the one I wanted to slap most of the way through the book redeemed herself by the end and I was rooting for them all.

There are some tough scenes in this book. Given the time and the struggle women of that time had to try and live equal lives, given the power imbalances that were prevalent, given the pushback against any breech of the patriarchy, you can imagine which trigger warnings apply. However it's not a sad story, the sparkle outweighs all and you will love to see how each woman grows and ultimately we get a very satisfying ending.

Publish Date: 18th August
Thanks to #netgalley and #avonbookuk for the opportunity to review this title.


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To read this is to immediately fall in love with this very eclectic group of women. Dottie, Winifred, Jane, and Peggy are unlikely friends, but find that together they can face anything that is thrown their way! I love the author's gift of describing scenes so you feel you are actually there, and you truly believe you are along with the ladies on their adventures. Simply a wonderful book!

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I have read a couple of books by this author but this may be one of my favourites. It was well written, with good characterisation and a compelling storyline.
I will admit I know next to nothing about the 1920's although it is a period I am discovering I like reading about so I hope that will change.
The book showcases how hard it is to be a woman in a mans world in the 1920's and I couldn't put it down.

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New York City in 1921, America women are wearing flapper dresses, having their hair cut into shingle bobs, dancing to jazz music, and drinking hooch in speakeasies and during probation. Four friends decide to start a bridge club and have regular catch ups, Dorothy, Jane, Winifred, Peggy, and they will be nicknamed The Manhattan Girls.

Dorothy Parker is a poet, a member of the Algonquin Round Table, when her marriage to Eddie ends, and she struggles with her mental health. Jane Grant is the first female reporter for the New York Times, she’s determined to launch her own magazine, and her husband Howard has been keeping secrets from her. Winifred Lenihan is a beautiful actress, after growing up in a large Irish Catholic family, she likes her privacy, and has to constantly fight off seedy men trying to hit on her. Peggy Leech is a magazine assistant, she’s busy writing a novel, and her mother wonders if she will ever get married?

An unlikely group of friends, who are there for each other through thick and thin. They help each other and give advice, from what to wear to an important business meeting or on a hot date, when a relationship breaks down, on opening nights and book releases, making sure Dottie eats, and stopping her from hurting herself.

I received a copy of The Manhattan Girls by Gill Paul from NetGalley and Avon Books UK in exchange for an honest review. A well written and interesting novel about the challenges women faced during the 1920’s in New York City and in a male dominated world. The women had to juggle their careers and life at home, and fight to be respected at work. The story follows the ups and downs of their romantic relationships, friendships with each other, and their vulnerabilities.

Five stars from me, a brilliant narrative about four unique and real women, I enjoyed every single page, and it’s my favorite book by Gill Paul.

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Wow, what an eye-opening well written story about Dorothy Parker and her friends! Four unique woman attack the 1920s with their own flare and daringness. It is a time of positive moods, exuberance, jazz, fashion, money, new products and black market booze. The war has ended and life is revving up for Dorothy Parker, Jane Grant, Winifred Lenihan and Peggy Leach. These ladies come together in a bridge group and seal a friendship that lasts through thick and thin.

The novel gives each of the four ladies a chance to tell her story. How they rose, fell and intersected with each other but you always get the sense Dorothy (Dottie) is at the heart of the story: this witty New York poet, writer, satirist and critic who lived a dramatic and often tragic existence. One, who at times, danced close to the edge of danger – including two suicide attempts. Gill gets inside her mind and explores the possible reasons behind her sadness and struggles with love and life.

As mentioned, Dottie is not alone in her escapades and three other women are given a chance to share their viewpoints. They have their own troubles but they are always watching out for Dottie trying to protect her from herself. Making every effort possible to keep her safe. This tireless devotion rarely wavers— even during challenging circumstances, and this is what becomes a strong and steady thread in the story. These friendships are woven together so succinctly, they are Dottie’s lifeline.

Jane Grant is one of these friends. She is the first female reporter for the New York times. She has the smarts and skills needed in the industry to overcome the odds presented to women of the time. She is also able to help her husband launch a very important magazine The New Yorker. His bad habits, though, almost costs them everything but Jane is able to redeem the situation. When the magazine goes on to become a success, we cannot help but think of the saying, ‘behind every great man is a great woman.’

Next is Winifred Lenihan, an American actress known for her beauty and acting skills. She is applauded far and wide in her role as Joan of Arc in the American production Saint Joan in 1923. We get an interesting inside view of her life and how women were treated in the industry by the men in control. We see her moments of fear but also when she wields great victory over a forceful predator. There are some fantastic scenes that make you aware of her determination and resilience but also her vulnerability.

The third woman, Peggy Leach, is a brilliant novelist who understands human nature. She observes the challenges women face and the double standards that exist. Men can do anything they wish but women are more confined in their roles. Many women want broader experiences and to be more than a home fixture. She hopes to find someone who understands this in a partner. Will Ralph be the one to let her be herself?

These intelligent women come together to share their burdens, have fun and learn from each other but also to offer support when faced with difficult challenges and setbacks. But Dottie is always centre concern and their problems fade in the light of their friend’s. They surround her and buoy her—trying desperately to keep her anchored to this world. Dottie is the magnet that pulls them back together (during her dire events) when conflicts between them set them at odds.

While reading The Girls of Manhattan, you never forget you are in 1920s as Gill has done her research well. The atmosphere and activities are appropriate for the era. There are mentions of literary greats, too, like Hemmingway, Wilde and Shaw that place nice touches on an already colourful canvas.

I really enjoyed this lively novel filled with witty dialogue and intriguing characters. It was an engaging study of how these intelligent women made their way in the world—how they responded to what was set before them. Each one had her own style and path to follow and sometimes the journey threw up events that were both tragic and heartbreaking. It was a fast paced and often self-destructive lifestyle in the roarin’ 20s. But the story focuses on these ladies and their unforgettable mix of relationships, romances, creative careers, violations and victories.

The Manhattan Girls certainly left me with some memorable impressions and much to process but well done to Gill for creating such a fascinating and riveting story. It was hard to stop reading! I highly recommend The Manhattan Girls if you want to get an inside view of the genius female creative mind that can be both fragile and resilient. 5 Illustrious Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Many thanks to Gill, Avon Books UK (HarperCollins) and Netgalley for a review copy.

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Wow I loved this book so much. This historical fiction tells the story of 4 women living in Manhattan during the 1920s. All of them are writers of sorts, from poems, novels, and screenplays. Each of these four women are real life people (I spent way too long researching them online while I was reading). It is told in 4 POVs and spans quiet a few years. The story moves at a pretty good pace.

I can’t recommend this one enough and it will be a huge seller when it releases Mid-August.

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1920's after the war...the city...friendship...tragedy...keeping it together...this book was sent to me by Netgalley for review. I enjoyed this book. I liked this book. The characters are likable...a fun read despite some parts that were tragic...don't miss this book by such a talented author.

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