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Summary

Nellie Bly has the story of a lifetime. But will she survive to tell it?

Enraged by an article entitled "What Girls Are Good For", Elizabeth Cochrane pens an angry letter to the Pittsburgh Dispatch, never imagining a Victorian newspaper would hire a woman reporter. Taking the name Nellie Bly, she struggles against the male-dominated industry, reporting stories no one else will - the stories of downtrodden women.

Chased out of Mexico for revealing government corruption, her romantic advances rejected by a married colleague, Bly earns the chance to break into the New York’s Newspaper Row if she can nab a major scoop - life inside a madhouse. Feigning madness, she dupes the court into committing her to the insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island. 

But matters are far worse than she ever dreamed. Stripped, drugged, and beaten, she must endure a week of terror, reliving the darkest days of her childhood in order to escape and tell the world her story. Only, at the end of the week, no rescue comes, and she fears she may be trapped forever.

Based on the real-life events of Nellie Bly’s life and reporting, What Girls Are Good For is a tale of rage, determination, and triumph - all in the frame of a tiny Pennsylvania spitfire who refused to let the world tell her how to live her life and changed the world, instead.

Praise for What Girls Are Good For:

"With rich imagination and meticulous research, David Blixt has brought the hectic, exciting world of 19th-century journalism vividly to life. His Nellie Bly is determined, independent, crafty, irresistible - a heroine any reader would be delighted to get to know." (Matthew Goodman, The New York Times best-selling author)

"David Blixt pens a heroine for the ages in What Girls Are Good For, which follows the extraordinary career of pioneer newspaperwoman Nellie Bly. A pint-sized dynamo who refuses to stay in the kitchen, Nellie fights tooth and nail to make a name for herself as a journalist, battling complacent men, corrupt institutions, and her own demons along the way. This real-life Lois Lane had me cheering aloud as I turned the pages - simply a delight!" (Kate Quinn, author of The Alice Network)

"Dramatic, engrossing, and spirited, What Girls Are Good For takes the reader straight to the heart of an unsung American hero - a feminist icon whose voice rings loud and true. This is a must-read for anyone who loves an underdog and celebrates justice; the perfect accompaniment for our present times." (Olivia Hawker, international best-selling author of The Ragged Edge of Night)

©2018 David Blixt (P)2020 David Blixt

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Very engaging read

An unusual and quite engrossing book with many hours of twists and turns which proved impossible to predict. Would thoroughly recommend.

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  • Grammy Pammy
  • 29-09-20

Fascinating story

This recording did not completely match the written book which was a bit disappointing. The book was fascinating. I am unsure how much is fact and how much "story telling". I'll be doing more research now.