Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Genre: YA historical
Secondary genre: romance
Format read: audiobook
Series: Bright Young Things vol. 1
Rating: planchet-4

Cordelia’s small Ohio town chaffs her. Raised by her abusive aunt after her mother’s death, she’s been planning her escape almost since she could walk. So when her opportunity comes–on her wedding night, no less–she takes her best friend, Lettie, and makes a run for the train.

The two arrive in New York City the following day, but within short order find themselves out of money, kicked out of their boarding house, and with nothing but a shattered, life-long friendship between them. The girls go their separate ways, each determined to survive independently for the first time in their lives.

But Cordelia has an ace up her sleeve–her father is still alive, and he’s somewhere in New York. It doesn’t take long to find him, as he’s a notorious bootlegger frequently in the papers. Cordelia crashes a party, introduces herself, and holds her breath to see if her father will welcome her or reject her.

While I wasn’t fond of many aspects of this book, I did overall enjoy it a  lot. I have a soft spot for books about the 1920s, especially if they don’t focus on the vice of the era (let’s just say I’m not a fan of Jay Gatsby).

The book follows both Cordelia and Lettie on their journeys, as well as a third young woman, Astrid. While I didn’t care for Astrid at all, she had enough redeeming qualities for me to keep reading, and I will be picking up the next book in the series sometime soon.

Murphy’s Law by Rhys Bowen

Genre: mystery
Secondary genre: historical
Format read: audiobook
Content warning: attempted sexual assault
Rating: planchet-4

Molly Murphy is in trouble. After accidentally killing her landlord in self defense–he was trying to rape her–she flees her rural Irish town for England, hoping to get lost in a factory town and start a new life.

But the police are already looking for her. A chance encounter with a dying woman, however, might be just the chance she needs.

Kathleen O’Connor is supposed to sail for American in two days, but her health check revealed TB. She will not be allowed to enter the country.

But she has her tickets, her husband is in New York, and her children need a better life than one ill woman can offer. The women hatch a plan: Molly will take Kathleen place, impersonating her, and deliver the children safely to their father.

But things go sideways when a man who harassed Molly and others on the crossing is found dead, and Molly and her new friend Michael become the prime suspects.

The police won’t listen, so the only way to prove their innocence is to track down the real killer.

This book was a reread for me, and an old favorite. I love the narrator of the audiobook so much that I actually refuse to eye-read it. This is actually the audiobook that got me using that format regularly.

I love Molly so much. My one complaint about this series is that every man Molly meets except two either try to rape her or imply it is an acceptable form of payment for whatever she is trying to accomplish. This makes her best friend, Michael, and her love interest the only viable options for her closest circle because they are literally the only ones who don’t do this.

This book does have a lot of questionable content, but it is still a really good series made better by an excellent narrator.