BOOK REVIEW: The Girls with No Names by Serena Burdick

Title: The Girls with No Names
Author: Serena Burdick
Publication: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Park Row
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 336

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

Not far from Luella and Effie Tildon’s large family mansion in Inwood looms the House of Mercy, a work house 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.

But her rebellion comes with consequences, and one morning Luella is mysteriously gone. Effie suspects her father has made good on his threat to send Luella to the House of Mercy and hatches a plan to get herself committed to save her sister. But she made a miscalculation, and with no one to believe her story, Effie’s escape from the House of Mercy seems impossible—unless she can trust an enigmatic girl named Mable. As their fates entwine, Mable and Effie must rely on each other and their tenuous friendship to survive.

The Home for Unwanted Girls meets The Dollhouse in this atmospheric, heartwarming story that explores not only the historical House of Mercy, but the lives—and secrets—of the girls who stayed there.


**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

Historical Fiction have been really jumping out at me lately and, when I saw The Girls With No Names by Serena Burdick, I knew I had to read it.

The story focuses on two sisters. One is adventurous and hates the restrictive life she leads, and the other was born with a rare heart defect and wants to be just like her sister. One ends up going off and the other ends up getting herself into trouble looking for the other.

This story was heart wrenching because one sister gets herself into a jam just for looking for her sister. The things she has to endure are terrible and I cannot even fathom anyone going through that. Burdick gave us interesting characters and was very true to the historical aspects of the House of Mercy.

My only issue with this book was that sometimes it seemed like it was dragging. The life before the plot of the story picked up was a lot of the same thing for chapter after chapter. I found it hard to keep reading at times and had to put it down before I forced myself to keep going. If those small sections where the story lagged were removed, I think this book would have gotten a five star.

I was almost going to give this book a three star rating, but the last 1/3 of the story really picked up pace and was written so well. I was completely surprised by how it ended. While it was a happy ending of sorts, it was also very sad, so if you don’t like books that aren’t sunshine and rainbows at the end, then be prepared this may upset you.

Aside from the small parts that seemed to lag, I found this story to be great. The fact that it is based on a true story is both shocking and interesting. The writing was smooth and the characters were well written. I would definitely read more from author Serena Burdick and look forward to it.


Pick up your copy of The Girls With No Names by Serena Burdick on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or pick it up at your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. Make sure to check out author Serena Burdick and her other works on her website HERE!

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