The Girls with No Names: A Novel
Not far from Luella and Effie Tildon’s large family mansion in Inwood looms the House of Mercy, a workhouse for wayward girls. The sisters grow up under its shadow with the understanding that even as wealthy young women their freedoms come with limits. But when the sisters accidentally discover a shocking secret about their father, Luella, the brazen older sister, becomes emboldened to do as she pleases. Her rebellion comes with consequences, and one morning Luella is mysteriously gone. Effie suspects that her father made good on his threat to send Luella to the House of Mercy and hatches a plan to save her sister—only for a miscalculation to throw Effie off her path.
The Girls With No Names was a wonderful read, from the unique stories of wayward children sent to live under the harsh control of nuns to the cruelty of young girls that find themselves there, even to the woman spearheading the suffrage movement, left to feel the judgment of a male-dominated society. Although the book covers some difficult topics, such as runaways, class divide, and poverty, I still found the story to hold my interest throughout. While The Girls With No Names started out as a slow burn, showing off the dynamics of life before the metaphorical storm hit, it slowly turned into a story that I did not expect in the slightest.
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