Mollie glared at Emmeline DuPre, who had been given everything, who came down here to give out scraps. This woman with her beautiful dresses, and rules, and power. “What did you say to Annabelle?”
Emmeline sighed heavily. She neatened her light hair, repinning it, missing a few wisps. After straightening her collar, she sat in the chair behind the desk, the shards of remaining window glass like an angry halo. “I told her I knew of a family in Buffalo that would take the child.”
“I’ve talked to them—”
“You already talked to them?”
“They have money. They have things—”
“You talked to them? She loves that baby. Jesus, she loves that baby more than anything in the world. Why do ya think she came here? For her own amusement? You think she can’t be a good mother?”
“I think she has no idea how hard it’s going to be. I don’t think you know how hard it’s going to be.”
“As if you know. I don’t see none of your kids running around.”
“I’ve seen what happens.”
“She trusted you to help her.”
“I am,” Emmeline said.
“By taking away the one thing she loves? By saying she ain’t as good as some rich family in Buffalo?”
“I am giving the baby—and Annabelle—a chance. My God, there’s no father. Neither of you have any idea—”
“She trusted you.”
“She still can.”
“No—you’re just like the rest of them. Playing God. Deciding who’s worth it and who’s not. Annabelle Lee saved my life when I didn’t want to save it myself. She fed me, bathed me, and gave me a name, and I will never, ever forget that. And anyone that hurts her hurts me, you get it? No rich family in Buffalo will ever give that baby half the love Annabelle’s got to give.”
“Don’t throw everything away because of her.”
“Go to hell, Miss Emmeline DuPre. And I hope that gets me dismissed, ‘cause I ain’t never coming back, either. Wish I’d been the one to throw that book, ‘cause I swear to God it would have hit.”
“My name was Caroline O’Leary. I came from the same streets you did. I never forgot them. Because these streets can be better if one person does one thing to change them. Think of what would happen then. Think of the difference.”
“It ain’t gonna happen.”
“One thing. That’s all.”
“Like taking Annabelle’s baby.”
“No. Like showing you there’s more to this world than stealing. Don’t you see that? I am trying to help.”
“I don’t want your help. I don’t need your help. And Annabelle don’t need the kind of help you want to give, so like I said before, go to hell.”
Title: Bowery Girl
Author: Kim Taylor Blakemore
Genre: Women’s Historical Fiction
From WILLA Award winning author Kim Taylor Blakemore…
“…inspiring and poignant historical fiction novel that will engage readers that are looking for an insightful, yet entertaining read. ” 5/5 stars, Luxury Reader
“lends credence to the millions of historical and contemporary girls who dare to dream in the face of extraordinary challenges.” – Starred Review, Kirkus
“Gang violence, raucous carousing, sex, accidental pregnancy, and crime–not what most will expect from Victorian-era historical fiction. But that’s exactly what they’ll find in this tightly plotted novel…” – Booklist
NEW YORK, 1883: Gamblers and thieves, immigrants and street urchins, Do-Gooders and charity houses, impossible goals and impossible odds. The Bowery is a place where you own nothing but your dreams. And dreams are the only things that come cheap for pickpocket Mollie Flynn and prostitute Annabelle Lee.
Pleasure is fleeting – and often stolen. Nights at Lefty Malone’s saloon, sneaking into the Thalia Theatre. Then it’s back to their airless, windowless tenement room and the ongoing struggle to keep a roof over their heads and bread in their stomachs.
The Brooklyn Bridge is nearing completion, and things are changing in New York City. The two women fantasize of starting a new life across the East River. Nothing but a flight of fancy, perhaps, until wealthy Do-Gooder Emmeline DuPre, who has opened the Cherry Street Settlement House, steps into their lives with her books, typewriters, and promises of a way to earn a respectable living. Despite Mollie and Annabelle’s fascination with the woman and what she offers, is Emmeline helping or meddling?
Is it really possible to be anything other than a Bowery Girl? Mollie and Annabelle will have to decide exactly who they are, and what sort of women they want to be.
Kim Taylor Blakemore writes women’s historical fiction and romance that explore women’s lives and brings their struggles and triumphs out of the shadows of history and onto the canvas of our American past.
She is the author of the novels Bowery Girl, and Cissy Funk, winner of the WILLA Literary Award for Best Young Adult Fiction. Her interactive historical romances The Very Thought of You and It Don’t Mean a Thing, are out now on Kindle and SilkWords.com.
Her current novel, Under the Pale Moon, is due for release in Fall 2015. Set in post-World War II Monterey, California, it explores the relationship of a married woman breaking the bonds of conformity, and a combat nurse haunted by the ghosts of war.
She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Women Writing the West and Romance Writers of America.
Bowery Girl (Amazon): http://amzn.to/1EVyoxs