BookBrowse Reviews Charity Girl by Michael Lowenthal

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Charity Girl

by Michael Lowenthal

Charity Girl
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2007, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2008, 336 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


Charity Girl lays bare an ugly part of our past, when the government exercised a questionable level of authority at the expense of its citizens’ rights.

The year is 1917, America has recently joined the War in Europe. Fun-loving Frieda is out on the town catching a few minutes downtime from her tedious job as a "bundle wrapper" in a department store, a job she has taken relatively recently after fleeing her mother's house to escape marriage to the deeply unattractive and hairy-eared widower Pinchas Hersch, who is twice her age and sees marriage to her as a cheap form of childcare for his odious children.

Young and fun-loving she might be, but she's not reckless. She knows just how far she's prepared to go for a few drinks and the occasional gift, but the balance changes when she catches sight of Private Felix Morse. A romance ensues and Frieda, believing this to be the "real thing", allows Felix to go further than she has been with any other man. As it happens her beau is not only handsome and apparently ...

The Story Behind The Book: Charity Girl was inspired by a line in Susan Sontag’s AIDS and Its Metaphors, in which she likens the incarceration of American women during World War I to the internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Lowenthal says, "The latter historical episode I had, of course, heard about, but not the first . . . I immediately had two thoughts: (1) how awful, and (2) what a great basis for a novel."

During World War I about 30,000 American women were rounded up on suspicion of carrying a venereal disease, of which about 15,000 were incarcerated in reformatories and detention homes—often for months at a time, with no charge of a crime, no trial, no legal recourse—while they received forcible medical treatment for venereal disease (keep in mind that the rights of women have changed dramatically in the past 100 ...

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and "beyond the book" articles are part of the many benefits of membership and, thus, are generally only available to subscribers, including individual members and patrons of libraries that subscribe.

Join Today


Member Login


Library Patrons

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.