WHAT GIRLS ARE GOOD FOR
BY DAVID BLIXT
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
Paperback & eBook; 535 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Nellie Bly has the story of a lifetime. But will she survive to tell it?
Enraged by an article entitled ‘What Girls Are Good For’, Elizabeth Cochrane pens an angry letter to the Pittsburgh Dispatch, never imagining a Victorian newspaper would hire a woman reporter. Taking the name Nellie Bly, she struggles against the male-dominated industry, reporting stories no one else will – the stories of downtrodden women.
Chased out of Mexico for revealing government corruption, her romantic advances rejected by a married colleague, Bly earns the chance to break into the New York’s Newspaper Row if she can nab a major scoop – life inside a madhouse. Feigning madness, she dupes the court into committing her to the Insane Asylum on Blackwell’s Island.
But matters are far worse than she ever dreamed. Stripped, drugged, beaten, she must endure a week of terror, reliving the darkest days of her childhood, in order to escape and tell the world her story. Only, at the end of the week, no rescue comes, and she fears she may be trapped forever…
Based on the real-life events of Nellie Bly’s life and reporting, What Girls Are Good For is a tale of rage, determination, and triumph – all in the frame of a tiny Pennsylvania spitfire who refused to let the world tell her how to live her life, and changed the world instead.
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
Praise for What Girls Are Good For“David Blixt pens a heroine for the ages in “What Girls Are Good For,” which follows the extraordinary career of pioneer newspaperwoman Nellie Bly. A pint-sized dynamo who refuses to stay in the kitchen, Nellie fights tooth and nail to make a name for herself as a journalist, battling complacent men, corrupt institutions, and her own demons along the way. This real-life Lois Lane had me cheering aloud as I turned the pages – simply a delight!” – Kate Quinn, author of The Alice Network
“Dramatic, engrossing, and spirited, What Girls Are Good For takes the reader straight to the heart of an unsung American hero–a feminist icon whose voice rings loud and true. This is a must-read for anyone who loves an underdog and celebrates justice; the perfect accompaniment for our present times.” – Olivia Hawker, international bestselling author of The Ragged Edge of Night
“With rich imagination and meticulous research, David Blixt has brought the hectic, exciting world of nineteenth-century journalism vividly to life. His Nellie Bly is determined, independent, crafty, irresistible — a heroine any reader would be delighted to get to know.” – Matthew Goodman, New York Times bestselling author
Elizabeth Cochrane has always been seen as a troublemaker, questioning why things are the way they are and standing up for what she believed was right. As an adult, Lizzie takes a stand after a newspaper column by the Quiet Observer defames women. After writing a reply to the column, Elizabeth is hired by the Pittsburgh Dispatch for her unique point of view. Given the pseudonym Nellie Bly, she quickly used her new found skills to tell the stories of women's issues that were not often discussed including poverty, divorce and the stories of factory girls. Nellie eventually finds herself in Mexico then New York to write the story of a lifetime after committing herself to an asylum.
I have of course heard the name Nellie Bly and her legacy, but never knew her whole story. Written with historical accuracy and the ability to dive into Nellie's head, Nellie's story is heartfelt, intriguing and raw. Learning about how Nellie grew up, I was able to see what drove her to be impassioned to fight for women's rights and those who are underserved. Throughout the story Nellie's passion and spirited personality shown through. Going undercover with Nellie was a treat as I saw snippets of factory life, Mexico City and the asylum through her eyes. I enjoyed being able to read her articles as well as how they came to be. I also was impressed by how many times Nellie was met by failure and still persisted, a lesson that still endures for many women today. Nellie Bly not only persisted, she learned, grew and honed her talent in order to become a better reporter. Overall, an intense story of one of the groundbreaking women in journalism.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
David Blixt‘s work is consistently described as “intricate,” “taut,” and “breathtaking.” A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS’D series) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY’S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history.
Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, he describes himself as “actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order.”
For more information, please visit David Blixt’s website. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.