Bachelor Girl

Written by Kim van Alkemade
Review by Audrey Braver

The time frame of this novel spans 21 years from 1918 to 1939. The plot revolves around Jacob Ruppert, a real person, owner of the Ruppert Brewery in New York City and the New York Yankees baseball team. The heroine and hero are fictitious. However, some of the events portrayed actually happened, lending a tone of authenticity to the plot. The heroine is Helen Winthrope, a young actress whose career was cut short by unfortunate circumstances. She supports her mother and younger brother. Helen is rescued by Jacob Ruppert, a close friend of Helen’s late father; Ruppert was with Helen’s father when he died. Ruppert takes Helen under his wing to help her maintain financial independence. He guides her in a career which earns her the nickname “Bachelor Girl.” Albert Kramer, the hero, is an intimate friend of Helen’s and also Ruppert’s personal secretary. Every character has a secret that drives the plot.

Van Alkemade has chosen to relate the story through the eyes of both the hero and heroine. It is told in the first-person in alternating chapters – first from the heroine’s point of view, then switching in the succeeding chapter to the hero’s viewpoint. This is a brave concept on the author’s part, but a confusing one to the reader. The characters’ various and varying sexual relationships are integral, with even the heroine’s paternity being questioned. It is a good plot with interesting characters, but the story moves slowly.