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Empire Girls

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  852 Ratings  ·  162 Reviews
The critically acclaimed authors of I'll Be Seeing You return with a riveting tale of two sisters, set in the intoxicating world of New York City during the Roaring Twenties.

Ivy and Rose Adams may be sisters, but they're nothing alike. Rose, the eldest, is the responsible one, while Ivy is spirited and brazen. After the unexpected death of their father, the women are left
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 27th 2014 by Harlequin MIRA (first published January 1st 2014)
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I have always thought I should have been born earlier. And if I had a choice- it would be a toss up between being in my twenties in 1960 (I would have made a grooooooovy flower child hippy)...or being in my twenties in 1920 (I would have made an even better flapper). No decade is perfect- but anything would have been better than being 20 in 1986...and I have the big-haired pictures to prove it.

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Rosemary and Ivy Adams life in Forest Grove New York is turned upside down af
Tara Chevrestt
I didn't love this book, didn't hate it either. There's nothing deep here, no major revelation, but it does pass the time.

It just isn't what I was hoping for after enjoying I'll Be Seeing You so much.

It's the twenties. There's a LOT of drinking. Except for all the drinking and the speakeasy and lingo, it doesn't have a twenties feel. It doesn't scream TWENTIES, if that makes sense. I wasn't really transported to another time and place.

Two sisters who start and end with completely different and s
This is the third book this year that I expected to love, should have loved, but then didn't. As with The Museum of Extraordinary Things, I had high hopes for this one. I mean, look at that cover! And it's about sisters! Sisters who have to find the brother they JUST found out existed after their father died and left them a letter saying, "Oh, by the way, girls, you have a brother. He lives in NYC. You should go find him." AND this takes place in the '20's! What is NOT to love?

I'll tell you what
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2014

Sisters + New York in the 20s? Sounds like an amazing combination right from the start! I certainly liked Rose and Ivy, and their relationship as sisters. I loved how there were perfectly written passages about New York, with tiny details that set me in the era (though I wish there had been even more). I also liked their journeys, but more particularly Rose's story.

What I'm not too keen on was the way the story was paced. I couldn't figure out a proper timeline, and it all seemed
Lisa Wolf
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Flapper-era New York is having a moment. The 1920s in Manhattan seems to be the setting of choice for novel after novel right now — not without good reason, of course. What could be more perfect than the glamour, danger, and reckless freedom of the era, with young women living large, gin flowing freely, and a country going a little bit crazy after the trauma of war years?

Fitting in nicely with this trend is the new novel Empire Girls, focusing on two sisters, Rose and Ivy, and their adventures i
Apr 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
Thanks to the publisher for the advance readers' copy. It's 1925, and sisters Rose and Ivy Adams are left penniless and homeless when their father dies and leaves his entire estate to Asher, an elder half-brother they never knew existed. Going on a clue in an old photograph of Asher, the sisters pack up and move to a boardinghouse in New York City to try to find their brother and make a living. What skeletons will tumble out of their family closet in the process? And can impetuous Ivy and practi ...more
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
review originally posted on my blog Inspiration in Creation

I was disappointed in this one. Two sisters in New York city in the Roaring Twenties has so much potential. I guess I enjoyed it, but it really didn’t blow me away. It’s a good lunch or beach read. It’s not going to make you deep think thoughts but it’s not un-enjoyable.

In the beginning Ivy and Rose are your stereotypical sisters, Ivy is the flight risk and drama queen who everyone likes better and Rose is the mature, level headed one wh
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Rose and Ivy Adams live in the country with their father. Rose is more reserved and takes care of the household since their mother dead years ago and Ivy is more of an outgoing dreamer with not much responsibility. When their father dies unexpectedly, Rose assumes he will leave the house to her as she is the one that has taken care of the family for years, but he surprisingly left it to an unknown man named Asher. This unknown man is actually their half brother, a brother they never knew existed ...more
Marguerite Kaye
Jun 22, 2014 rated it liked it
This was just okay read for me. Don't know why it didn't gel, maybe my mood, but it didn't. I think the biggest reason was because the two narrative strands told in first person, from Ivy and Rose's points of view didn't feel particularly different. It felt like one narrator telling the same story over from different perspectives rather than two narrators. And to be honest, I never really invested in the central story, of the search for the brother. As I said, it might have been my mood, but the ...more
May 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: write-a-review
I didn't think I'd like this book when I received it and as I started reading it, I soon changed my mind.

My thanks to Goodreads. I'm so glad I won this copy of Empire Girls from Goodreads. It was a great read.

A great family story set in the 1920's, with 2 completely different sisters with 2 completely different ideas of what their life would be. Never expecting it to be what it was; different families coming together as one.
May 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
I really liked the idea of this book. Two sisters, very different in character, are forced to put aside their differences and travel to New York to find the brother they never knew they had when they discover that their father left him everything in his will. Family drama and New York in the Roaring Twenties sounded like a winning combination to me.

The success of a book like this one depends largely on the strength of its characters, and, unfortunately, I found the two main characters of the nov
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I wasn’t quite sure just where this story would lead when I started: two sisters, Ivy and Rose, who were struggling to survive through their own personal demons. What emerged is a lovely story of personal growth, redolent with the feel of New York City at the height of the 20’s, with language, dress and feel that brings the city to life.

I don’t know if Hayes and Nyhan intended the girls’ names to become a part of the transformation, but when the story begins Rose, the elder, is far more the hom
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Having just taken part in a collaborative novel, I'm quite interested to see how other people work together to produce joint works of fiction. Hayes and Nyhan take a character each and takes turns to tell the story of the Empire Girls.

Empire Girls refers to the residents of a boarding house in New York City in 1925, to which our heroines, Ivy and Rose, move after the death of their father. Rose is the eldest sister who took after her father and sister after their mother died. All she thinks she
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Empire Girls (click on book or see below for description)
By Suzanne Hayes & Loretta Nyhan
Released 6/1/14
Downloaded free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 4 bones

Finish Time: A few nights. Again I revert back to my favorite time period – the 1920′s. I’m so intrigued with flappers, speakeasies, and just the glamour that surrounds this time period (obviously not taking into account the depression.) This book did not disappoint. Full of vibrant characters, mystery, and ro
Mar 30, 2014 rated it liked it
*****This is a First Reads, Thank You Goodreads *****

Rose and Ivy Adams have just buried their father, found that their home is in arrears, and that they have a secret half brother in New York City. Rose, the eldest, who took the place as the adult long before her time once their mother passed, now sees the only hope of her life, the only home she has ever known going to an unknown - whereas, Ivy, the wild eyed, live in the moment, daughter who favored her father finds this as an adventure that
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
New York New York...

Ivy and Rose Adams traveled to New York City after their father passed away and left them penniless. They also had another mission which was to find a brother they never even knew existed and a brother that their father left everything to.

Ivy was excited to go to New York, but Rose was apprehensive because she was one who preferred staying home and taking care of domestic affairs, but was it fate that they went?

EMPIRE GIRLS is a fun, easy, entertaining read. Ms. Hayes and Ms.
Feb 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Empire Girls was the perfect book to read on my way to New York. Sisters Ivy and Rose descended upon the city after they learned that their father left his wealth to a brother they didn't know they had. They followed small clues to a boardinghouse in the heart of the busy city intending to find their brother and persuade him to allow them to remain in their family home. Unlike the first book by the authors, I'll Be Seeing You , the storyline here was a but superficial. Rather than seek out thei ...more
Nov 05, 2014 rated it liked it
This is the coming of age story of two sisters, Ivy and Rose, in 1920's New York. After their father dies they are shocked to learn that they had a brother that they never knew about and he has inherited the house they live in. They set off to find him and along the way enjoy many new experiences such as smoking, drinking, and falling in love for the first time. Ivy plays the part of the impulsive, reckless sister while Rose is the sensible one. Even though the sisters suffer from their share of ...more
Jul 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful book. Everything from cover to cover and everything in between was great. I loved Ivy and Rose equally. I can relate to Rose because she is like me...more mature. Yet by the end of the story, I would say that both Ivy and Rose were on even playing grounds. They rubbed off on one another. Ivy did a lot of growing up throughout the story. Rose on the other hand learned to let loose some. Both sisters showed that family shares a strong bond and had each other's back.

Than there is
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love the chemistry of these 2 authors. Together they tell us the story of sisters Rose and Ivy who travel to New York City to search for their half brother, and how they find themselves, and each other in the process. It's the 1920's, and that means prohibition, and speak easys and bootleg gin. They live at the Empire House and begin their adventure. Ivy works as a gin slinger and Rose becomes a seamstress. They search for their brother, a surviving casualty of WW1, and along the way they disc ...more
Mary Anne
Jul 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Maybe a 3.5 star rating. This book was a little different look at the relationships between sisters. The story followed sisters Rose (the responsible one) and Ivy (the beautiful, fun one) through their discoveries after the death of their father. Their father had sheltered them from his past and they were shocked to learn aspects of his life they never knew about including the fact that they had an older brother they never knew about. The embark to the city to search for this brother. The facts ...more
Meg Ulmes
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Goofy, dumb, shallow. The three adjectives that came to mind when I finished this book early this morning. I struggled to finish the book or to take it seriously. It never truly involved me although some of the characters were interesting and the pseudo-mystery at the heart of the plot could have and should have been a real one of consequence to the characters and the readers--but it wasn't treated as such by the authors and so it wasn't treated as such by this reader. I won't be picking up a bo ...more
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was sucked in immediately with the premise and setting of 1925 country girls coming to New York for the first time. I was surprised to discover they would embark on a mystery while there and would be looking for more than just themselves and a good time. The twist on the sister's relationship added another layer to this beautiful story that took me from laughter to tears more than a few times.

Nyhan and Hayes dynamic writing kept me wavering my allegiance with the sisters, but pulling for both.
Heidi Potenza
Jan 30, 2015 rated it liked it
I really wanted to love this book. A story taking place in the late 1920's in NYC. The one place I would love to "time travel" and really experience! I simply couldn't understand the relationship between these two sisters. I get that they were opposites and would be connected but not understand each other. I just feel like their relationship progressed as the story did, but that by the end the authors were in such a rush to tie all the storylines up that we missed out on the true connections. I ...more
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story of two sisters in search for a long-lost brother they never knew they had, following the death of their father. They find themselves on a wild ride set in NYC on their own paths to self-discovery. From buried family secrets to what sisterhood truly means, the girls learn the ever-lasting consequences our decisions have on others and the lives we create. In their uniquely, poignant way, Hayes and Nyhan bring their characters to life in an exquisitely-crafted tale.
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Well now I just want to move to Greenwich Village ...
This was a really sweet story and like all of Suzanne's writing, the pictures she paints are vivid and romantic. I appreciate this story for delivering the happy ending I was craving from the start.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
Following the sudden death of their father, Rose and Ivy Adams – as unalike as two sisters can be – discover that not only has their father left them in financial ruin, but he’s left their beloved family home to a brother they never knew existed. Determined to find this mysterious kin, pay off their inherited debts, and reclaim the only home they’ve ever known, Rose and Ivy set off for New York City with nothing more than an old photograph to lead the way. But, finding themselves on the outskirt ...more
Elizabeth Bober
May 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Just okay. The story of two sisters hunting down the brother they didn't know they had in 1920s New York is a great premise but the execution falls flat. Disappointing as this setting is such catnip for me.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
The pacing was all wrong, first too slow and then the end was like they couldn't wrap it up fast enough.
Sep 11, 2017 rated it liked it
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Book Club discussion kit available 1 2 Oct 07, 2014 11:52AM  
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  • The Impersonator (Roaring Twenties Mystery, #1)
  • How It Happened in Peach Hill
  • Blue Stars
  • The Spark and the Drive
  • Eyes Like Mine
  • The Year It All Ended
  • One for the Road
  • Home is Where the Bark Is
  • Not Without You
  • Breaking the Bank
  • The Day I Met Jesus: The Revealing Diaries of Five Women from the Gospels

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“She'd come running up the driveway and into the kitchen, bringing the spring morning behind her like a trail of hope.” 9 likes
“It occurred to me that grief is like a tunnel. You enter it without a choice because you must get to the other side. The darkness of it plays tricks on you and sometimes you can even forget where you are or what your purpose is. I believe that people, now and again, get lost or stuck in that tunnel and never find their way out.” 5 likes
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