“White Collar Girl” by Renée Rosen
Release Date: Nov 3rd, 2015
Genre: General Fiction, Adult
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.
Even with her journalistic legacy and connections to luminaries like Mike Royko, Nelson Algren, and Ernest Hemingway, Jordan struggles to be taken seriously. Of course, that all changes the moment she establishes a secret source inside Mayor Daley’s office and gets her hands on some confidential information. Now careers and lives are hanging on Jordan’s every word. But if she succeeds in landing her stories on the front page, there’s no guarantee she’ll remain above the fold.… (description from Netgalley)
Jordan, the main protagonist of our story, is an aspiring journalist who aspires to write real hard-hitting stories and not the society pieces she’s assigned at the Chicago Tribune. She’s spunky, fearless, inquisitive, smart, and confident making her a very likable character, but she’s not without faults. Through working at the Tribune Jordan learns some very serious lessons about life and the rules of journalism.
One of the things I enjoyed the most about Jordan’s character is that even though she is mostly assigned fluff pieces from her start at the paper she always tries makes the best of it. She soon figures out that news is news, and no matter how trivial the story may be (to her) she always puts out her best work. This fuels Jordan’s desire to strive for the day she’ll have her own big front page story.
Through reading this novel readers will get to see the real life workings of a 1950s newspaper which has its own similarities and differences to today’s press. It was interesting to see the newspaper from a historical aspect, especially at a time where women didn’t prominently work at newspapers. Jordan has to keep her guard up because of the gender inequality that occurs in her workplace. She constantly deals with crass comments and men who think women can’t write. This only pushes Jordan to work even harder.
The pace of plot throughout the entire story is pretty smooth and not once did I ever feel bored while reading this book. There are elements of mystery of what goes on behind the politicians doors, the suspense that builds every time Jordan takes on a big news story, and the drama that occurs in the newsroom. All of these things combined kept me constantly entertained and I never wanted to put down the book. Every character shows development over time and most of them benefit from their transitions for good. Rosen also did an incredible job of mixing historical events with fiction and it shows that she did her research. Overall, I ended up learning a little more of Chicago’s history from what I previously knew.
On added note, I could also see this novel being adapted as a movie or TV series that join the likes of other historical fiction adaptations that are currently on television.
A detailed and well written novel that is full of feminism, news writing, action, and more! Definitely recommended for readers who love historical fiction!
FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.