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White Collar Girl by Renee Rosen | Book Review

White Collar Girl by Renee Rosen

In 1950s Chicago, female reporter Jordan Walsh is trying to take over her world.  She grew up in a family that was laden with journalists and authors, including her parents and late brother.  When Jordan gets a position at the Chicago Tribune, she quickly learns that it is still very much a man's world.  In fact, everybody seems surprised that "Jordan" is a woman- exactly the reason why her mother gave her such a "masculine" name.  White Collar Girl by Renee Rosen is the story of Jordan trying to navigate a male-dominated profession at a time when women were meant to get married, have babies, and keep the house clean in between.

That is the quickest and most to-the-point summary that I have ever written, and it has nothing to do with the quality of the book.  It's one of those "if I say anymore, I'll give away too much of the story" situations.  White Collar Girl  was a great read, and I feel like it was pretty en point to the culture of the 1950s and early '60s.

I liked:

The breaking/ big news stories that Jordan and her coworkers reported on were either events that actually happened in Chicago at this time, or based on them.  I love books that do that, because (if I remember enough of my history classes in school) I can remember learning about such events, which makes the story more "real" to me.

Rosen did a great job writing Jordan in such a way that she was a strong female lead, but not super hero-ish.  She had issues, she had problems, and she made bad decisions from time to time that couldn't always be fixed.

The story didn't end with Jordan finding a boyfriend/husband and living happily ever after.  Jordan was happy and fulfilled at work, but she wasn't in any hurry to settle down.  Nor did the author try to paint the picture of Jordan having the best of both/all worlds.

I didn't like:

The period of time covered in the book.  Not the 1950s, but the amount of time covered.  Months and years would pass in the course of a few pages or a couple chapters, and it was hard to grasp the timing of some of the not so well known events.  It also felt like Rosen was rushing through secondary events (ie- things in Jordan's personal life) to focus on big deals.

Some characters weren't so well developed- mostly the male characters.  I believe some of that has to do with Rosen wanting to maintain focus on women's issues and struggles during this time.  But I would have loved more development of Jordan's (ex)fiance and her almost-boyfriend.

Speaking of the ex-fiance, since his father/family was involved in one of the scandals in the papers of the day, I would have loved more background on them.  Especially the ex's mother, who seemed like she drank waaay too much of the housewife Kool-Aid.


White Collar Girl by Renee Rosen will be available November 3.  You can preorder it here! (affiliate)

This book was provided to me free of charge from Net Galley for me to review.  All opinions are my own!

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