Book Review: The Girls with No Names by Serena Burdick

Title: The Girls with No Names
By: Serena Burdick
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 336
Release Date: January 7th, 2020
Publisher: Park Row
Rating: ★★★★★

Summary from Goodreads:

The Girls with No Names pulls readers into the gilded age of New York City in the 1910s, when suffragettes marched in the street, unions fought for better work conditions—and girls were confined to the House of Mercy for daring to break the rules.

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.


I originally picked up this book for my mom's birthday, hoping it would be a fantastic read for her. I was overjoyed when my mom recommended this read to me, being one of the best books she's read this year.

There were so many layers and mysteries to this story that I wondered what had happened to the older sister. It took me no time at all to read through this suspenseful story and then in the end to still feel sad but satisfied with how the book wrapped up. To think that this was a reality back in the day, its unimaginable now.

This was a great historical fiction that should be made into a movie for sure.

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