white collar girl book coverReviewed by Neriza Billi

Chicago, 1955. Jordan Walsh started working for the Chicago Tribune, but instead of writing hard-hitting news, she was assigned to write for society and advice columns. Since both her father and brother have worked in the same industry, she felt the need to prove her own worth. However, it was not that easy. In a male- dominated newspaper industry back in the 50s, Jordan and other female reporters were referred to as ’sob sisters’. Jordan did not back out easily though. She was ready to work twice as hard and to play the game as one of the guys. Jordan was forced to confront how far she was willing to go for a story and how much she was willing to sacrifice to be respected in the industry, both by her peers and her parents.

Today, with the TV series Mad Men still fresh in our minds, it is quite easy to visualize the kind of work environment that the protagonist, Jordan had to endure. She had me rooting for her from the get-go, though. Renee Rosen created a very relatable and still quite modern character. Jordan did not just blindly going after what she wanted–she struggled with each major decision that she had to make. Not because she was a woman, but because she knew what was expected from someone in her line of work.

The subplots in the story were all about the other female characters as well. Some readers might find White Collar Girl a bit feminist, but it was quite refreshing to read historical fiction where all the male characters were secondary players. The ending might not be agreeable for some, but I found it fitting.

Reading this book brought me back to the days when I was reading The Prodigal Daughter, a Jeffrey Archer novel from the 80s. Although White Collar Girl does not encompass the same length of history, both books have plotted abundant real events in their story lines smoothly, giving a compelling backdrop to their characters. Any reader who likes to read historical fiction with strong women will surely appreciate White Collar Girl.

Neriza Billi works on a regular 9-to-5 job in Stockholm where she resides with her husband. In addition to reading, she enjoys travelling and curling up with a glass of good wine.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by New American Library. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.