Book Review: The Manhattan Girls by Gill Paul

“Why does anyone drink?” Dottie asked, slurping her own drink, then shuddering. “It tastes like vile, turns you into a moron, and poisons you so you feel like death the next day.”

“Ah, but it shows you’re a free thinker,” Peggy said. “A nonconformist. I’m all for that.”

Gill Paul, The Manhattan Girls

Title: The Manhattan Girls: A Novel of Dorothy Parker and Her Friends
Author: Gill Paul
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 416 (Kindle)
Publish Date: August 16th, 2022

My Rating: ★★
Read: 6/14/2022 – 6/19/2022


Let me start off by saying the atmosphere of the story is superb. Gill Paul illustrates the era well through witty writing. I’ve only heard of Dorothy Parker by name and I was completely unfamiliar with the other main characters (Winifred Lenihan, Jane Grant, and Peggy Leach). This was a good exploration of their world, especially the ups and downs of friendship.

My reason for giving two stars: Content. I can’t articulate the exact reasons why without giving potential spoilers. People familiar with these women’s lives will not be surprised, so that’s on my end for being in the dark. I’ll leave it by saying certain events and themes were upsetting to me. If I’d picked this up on my own I would have stopped reading. Because this is an ARC review, I wanted to follow through. Given some of the parts I didn’t like weren’t isolated (and told in detail), I ended up skimming the later part of the book. Under other circumstances, this would be a book I would enjoy. Although, I did not find myself particularly attached to any of the characters, but again, I was unfamiliar with them and sometimes that influences my taste when reading about real-life characters.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a free ARC copy in exchange for my honest review.


I’ve listed the content warnings in my StoryGraph review. It takes a lot for me to put down a book for this reason. It was an unfortunate mix for me, especially where there was a lot of detail.

I haven’t read this author before but some of her other titles sound interesting. I’d certainly try another book, I just know now to do more research.

Where to buy the book:

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