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Bachelor Girl

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  2,829 ratings  ·  352 reviews

Bachelor Girl plunges the reader deep into life during the Jazz Age…and the revealing of other secrets and confessions will keep readers up all night looking for answers.” —Booklist (starred review)

From the New York Times bestselling author of Orphan #8 comes a fresh and intimate novel in the vein of Lilac Girls and The Alice Network about
Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Gallery Books
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,829 ratings  ·  352 reviews

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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
4 absorbing stars to Bachelor Girl! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Kim van Alkemade is back with another heartfelt, thought-provoking novel inspired by a millionaire, known as the Colonel, who owned the Yankees, hired Babe Ruth, and left a “friend” an heir to his fortune. The story begins with the will reading, told in alternating chapters and Helen, the heir, and Albert, the Colonel’s personal secretary, take the reader back in time twenty years, illustrating how their friendship was formed and how they were tied
Angela M

3.5 stars

Baseball, historic NYC - two things I always enjoy reading about. This was about more than baseball and NYC, though. This book was definitely a very realistic portrayal of the time 1918 - 1939 with an depiction of some of the taboos of the time - homosexuality was hidden, alcohol was prohibited, abortions were illegal and racial discrimination was the norm.

Based on the real person, Jacob Ruppert, an intriguing man , a wealthy man, owner of a brewery and owner of the NY Yankees, the ma
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
Overall I felt this novel to be a good read but I was somewhat disappointed in many aspects of the book. The book was quite long and I felt it dragged throughout most of the story. It just seemed to lack some kind of spark to make me excited to continue reading, but I did finish it and the ending was a good one. I had figured out the big secret about 75% of the way through the book.

The two main characters, Helen and Albert are very well developed. I felt in many ways that this was more Albert’s
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
3.5 stars

Set in New York in the 1920’s and 30’s, this is the tale of “Bachelor Girl”, Helen Winthrope, a young single woman hired by millionaire and family acquaintance, Jacob Ruppert. Throughout this novel, Helen holds various conventional and unconventional job titles for Jacob – manager/producer of his local theater, organizer of his parties, hostess of his mansion gala’s, decorator of his home, etc. Though they are not typical career choices for young women during this time, Helen is flatte
Nikki (Saturday Nite Reader)

Another great book cover, wouldn’t you agree?

I started reading Bachelor Girl on my trip home from vacation. After reading a little over 2 hours during my flight home I noticed I only got 13% of the way through. 1) Either I am a very slow reader, or 2) this is a long one. I am going to go with #2: the paperback is 416 pages.

I enjoyed this read and didn’t mind the length, its just not one of those you can plow through in two days. If you could, well then I change my initial answer to #1 – I am a s
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was interested in this book because I like stories about old New York. This book covers the period from 1918 to 1939. I was somewhat familiar with Jacob Ruppert, the wealthy owner of both the Ruppert Brewery and the New York Yankees, because I live near the site of the old brewery. Unfortunately, what I thought was going to be historical fiction turned out to be soap opera.

The book is written in alternating chapters from the points of view of Helen Winthrope, an actress, and Albert Kramer, Ru
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Passionate, evocative, and thoroughly absorbing!

Bachelor Girl is an intriguing interpretation about the life of Colonel Jacob Ruppert, the wealthy American brewer and owner of the New York Yankees who became known for his successful acquisition of the legendary slugger Babe Ruth, the construction of the iconic Yankee Stadium, and the unusually large endowment he left to a young, unknown actress upon his death.

The prose is eloquent and fluid. The characters are genuine, well drawn, and endearing.
MaryBeth's Bookshelf
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a fantastic book! The Bachelor Girl is set in New York City 1919 - 1939 and is based on real events. The story is told from two different perspectives - Helen Winthrope and Albert Kramer. When Helen Winthrope suddenly falls ill and loses her job it seems as though her life is over. There are limited possibilities for a woman who does not want to marry. But then Colonel Jacob Ruppert, owner of the New York Yankees, hires her and her life is forever changed. Living the "bachelor girl" life ha ...more
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bachelor Girl by Kim Van Alkemade ( author of Orphan Number 8) is an historical fiction novel that transports the reader back to The Jazz Age of New York in 1918.
The book begins at the will reading of Colonel Jack Ruppert who died of phlebitis in 1939. Helen Winthrope, an ex actress inherits Eagle's Nest Estate, $300,000. and half of the New York Yankees. The stage is set for the mystery and secrets of why Helen.
"The novelist's job is to create a world that the reader can experience as real."
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

4 stars

This was a great historical fiction novel! I was completely absorbed in this story and finished this book pretty quickly, considering it is a long one.

The story is told in alternating viewpoints from Helen and Albert and each one had their own distinct voice and each story was engaging. I liked how the novel is inspired by true events and it really gives a realistic view of NYC in early decades of the 20th century.

Touchstone Books
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is causing a bit of a stir at Simon & Schuster! So many people are reading and falling in love—which is usually a good sign that you guys will too :)
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Colonel Jacob Ruppert was an icon in NYC in the early part of the 20th Century. An adept businessman, owner of the NY Yankees, and a Colonel in the National Guard. Despite his notoriety, he kept his personal life very private and had never married. He would occasionally be seen with Helen Weyant (Helen Winthrope in the novel), a young actress he took under his wing. Why did he leave the majority of his fortune to Helen upon his death?
Though based upon Helen Weyant and Albert Kramer, personal sec
RoseMary Achey
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Bachelor Girl presents a fascinating fictional portrayal of American male homosexual life during the 1920's. While the bachelor girl, Miss Helen Winthrope, is the title character-another character, Albert Kramer felt like the book's true focus. Albert and Helen were both employed by Colonel Jacob Ruppert. Ruppert a true historical figure was a well know millionaire and prominent in New York Society during the 1920s. Ruppert was responsible for the construction of Yankee Stadium and credited with ...more
Amy Bez
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A thoughtful take on homosexuality and female “bachelor girl” hood in the 1920’s, I enjoyed this novel and the portrait of a time when society curtailed one’s behavior immensely, making me happy I live in 2018, and the freedoms I am afforded.
Shirley Schwartz
Mar 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This book turned out to be nothing at all what I was expecting. Yes, it is historical fiction and set in New York City from 1923 to 1939. Yes, it is about the original owner of the New York Yankees - Colonel Jacob Ruppert; and yes it about the building of Yankee stadium, the signing of Babe Ruth, and the Yankees run for the pennant in those early years. But what I wasn't expecting, and what turned out to be the whole story behind this book is the LGBTQ lifestyle in the 20's and 30's in New York ...more
Books and tea
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I was actually disappointed in this novel. I was really looking forward to reading it and felt the description on the book didn't really offer an honest insight to the novel . For one there was a lot more sexual description than I thought there would be, particularly m/m. That's fine in novels when I'm expecting it but I thought this story would focus more on the lives of these bachelor girls and it didn't quite get there for me. In hindsight, I should have given up on the novel but I kept think ...more
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
When I first heard about Bachelor Girl, there were a few things that immediately grabbed my attention! The first was the fact that it was set between 1920-1940 in New York, which I was really interested in reading about! The second was that the description mentioned that Colonel Jacob Ruppert was the owner of the New York Yankees...since I'm a sucker for baseball, that little fact pulled me in right away! Finally, I was very eager to see just what secrets all of the characters had!

I found Bachel
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel even though historical fiction is not usually my go-to genre! I liked the alternating viewpoints of both Helen and Albert as they work for wealthy Jacob Ruppert and become involved in a solid friendship evolving into an unusual loving relationship. There were many 1920's details that engaged me in the story as well, especially those involving attitudes and misconceptions surrounding the gay community and the treatment of women. But particularly interesting and lau ...more
Tara Chevrestt
Not what I expected at all. For some reason I thought it would be more about a woman inheriting and running the Yankees than what I ended up getting. Yes, it starts with Helen inheriting the Yankees but then it goes way back to everyone's younger days and from there takes forever to get anywhere in my opinion. And every other chapter is about a "Pansy". And before everyone jumps on me, this is what he calls himself. And frankly it felt too forced, as if he was trying too hard to be a pansy but i ...more
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! Right from the start I was hooked! It was everything I love! A strong independent woman, the theatre, sports (baseball), romance, tragedy and some true history thrown in the mix! I loved getting lost in this world and fell in love with the characters. I loved how the story was spread over several years, rather than a small section of the characters lives. Highly recommend this historical fiction!
Stephanie Morris
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved that the whole book went back and forth between Helen and Albert. Having each others perspectives was necessary to the whole story. Wonderfully written.
Thank you, Netgalley, for this arc! In Bachelor Girl van Alkemade pulls back the curtain of the early 20th century and shows a sad part of history when particular members of society weren't free to live out in the open with whoever they loved. She mingles fact and fiction into a heartbreaking and beautiful story. I found Bachelor Girl to be just as compelling as the author's previous novel, Orphan #8. I recommend both - they were wonderful! ...more
Paula Sullivan
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book had me in its grips in the first few pages and refused to let me go! The story is wonderfully moving and very tragic, you can't help but feel for the characters. This historical work of fiction is set in New York in 1918, the 1920s and 1939. The characters each have their own secrets, I was pleases with myself for guessing one of them early on in the novel (its not often I do that). I recommend this book, its an excellent read and a look back at an earlier time in our history. ...more
Susannah Carleton
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting story, but more fictional than factual. It’s a well-written and engaging account of the lives of three people—two men and one woman—living in New York City from 1918 to 1938.
May 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Great historical aspect to the story but both main characters underwhelmed me and left me annoyed with them. Very predictable ending.
In New York, everyone KNEW Jacob Ruppert: a successful businessman, owner of the Yankees and a touch eccentric is almost everything that the city celebrates. A brewer, a congressman, a colonel in the National Guard and a prodigious owner of the Yankees: acquiring Babe Ruth and building Yankee Stadium, there appeared to be no one who didn’t know him or those close to him. But when his will was read, there was a bequest to a Helen Winthrope that included half ownership in the Yankees – there was a ...more
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was a 2.5 star read for me.

I love historical fiction, so when I saw that this was available on Netgalley, I immediately requested a copy. Based on two real people who worked / knew Jacob Ruppert, Kim van Alkemade was very clear that other than using real people's names, and the fact that Helen Winthrope did inherit the majority of Ruppert's wealth when he died, this was very much a work of fiction.

The story revolves around Helen's friendship with Jacob Ruppert, as well as her relationship w
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars; 1/2 on Audio, which was a different and interesting experience for me.

This book was unexpected. Not sure what it was going to be when it started, but I didn't guess the plot line and it wasn't typical or formulaic. Two young people, who end up with a profound friendship orbit around a rich man and become like family to him and to each other. Set in the Jazz age, the woman is trying to make her way in the theater, and the young man is secretary to the older man. Who by the way is the on
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kim does it again! This is a fascinating book, with a clear-eyed and close look at both race relations and gay/lesbian issues in the 1920s and 1930s, and a story that will keep you guessing from one page to the next.

Using baseball as the framework, she tells the (mostly fictional) story of the (actual) bequest left by millionaire New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert in 1939 to an unknown ex-actress who claimed that she was never more than a friend. In fact, their relationship was far more comple
Bachelor Girl was a heartwarming story of love and secrets set in NYC in the 20's and 30's. The story touched on a lot of forbidden subjects, homosexuality, abortion, prohibition and racial discrimination. ...more
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Play Book Tag: Bachelor Girl; (LISTOPIA) 4 stars, by Kim van Alkemade 1 15 Sep 12, 2018 09:53AM  

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Kim van Alkemade was born in New York City and spent her childhood in suburban New Jersey. Her late father, an immigrant from the Netherlands, met her mother, a descendant of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, in the Empire State Building. She attended college in Wisconsin, earning a doctorate in English from UW-Milwaukee. She is a professor at Shippensburg University where she teaches writing. H ...more

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