Charity Girl

Charity Girl

Book - 2007
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Houghton
Charity Girl examines a dark period in our history, when fear and patriotic fervor led to devastating consequences. During World War I, the U.S. government waged a moral and medical campaign, incarcerating and quarantining fifteen thousand young women who were found to have venereal disease.

Frieda Mintz is a seventeen-year-old Jewish bundle wrapper at Jordan Marsh in Boston; she struck out on her own in the wake of her mother's determination to marry her off to a wealthy man twice her age. Then she spends one impuslive night with "a mensch, a U.S. Army private, ready to brave the trenches Over There." Unfortunately, Felix Morse leaves Frieda not just with vivid memories but with an unspeakable disease. Soon after, she is tracked down and sent to a makeshift detention center, where she suffers invasive physical exams, the discipline of an overbearing matron, and a painful erosion of self-worth. She's buoyed, though, by the strong women around her -- her fellow patients and a sympathetic social worker -- who, in depending on one another, seek to forge a new independence.

In smart, unusually determined Frieda Mintz, Michale Lowenthal has deftly created a most winning heroine through which to tell this troubling tale. Charity Girl lays bare an ugly part of our past when the government exercised a questionable level of authority at the expense of some of its most vulnerable citizens; it also casts long shadows, exploring timely questions of desire, identity, and the balance between the public good and individual freedom.


Baker & Taylor
During World War I, after an impulsive night with an infected soldier, Frieda Mintz, a seventeen-year-old Jewish girl, is sent to a makeshift detention center for medical treatment with other "charity girls" in similar circumstances.

Blackwell North Amer
Charity Girl examines a dark period in our history when fear and patriotic fervor led to devastating consequences. During World War I, the U.S. government waged a moral and medical campaign, incarcerating and quarantining fifteen thousand young women who were found to have venereal disease.
Frieda Mintz is a seventeen-year-old Jewish bundle wrapper at Jordan Marsh in Boston. She's struck out on her own in the wake of her mother's determination to marry her off to a wealthy man twice her age. Then she spends one impulsive night with "a mensch, a U.S. Army private, ready to brave the trenches Over There." Unfortunately, Felix Morse leaves Frieda not just with vivid memories but with an unspeakable disease. Soon after, she is tracked down and sent to a makeshift detention center, where she suffers invasive physical exams, the discipline of an overbearing matron, and a painful erosion of self-worth. She's buoyed, though, by the strong women around her - her fellow patients and a sympathetic social worker - who, in depending on one another, seek to forge a new independence.
Charity Girl lays bare an ugly part of our past when the government exercised a questionable level of authority at the expense of some of its most vulnerable citizens; it also casts long shadows, exploring questions of desire, identity, and the balance between the public good and individual freedom.

Baker
& Taylor

During World War I, after an impulsive night with an infected soldier, Frieda Mintz, a seventeen-year-old Jewish girl, is sent to a makeshift detention center, where she is subjected to poor living conditions, invasive medical exams, and life-changing relationships with other "charity girls" in similar circumstances, in a novel based on a little-known chapter in American history.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, c2007
ISBN: 9780618546299
0618546294
Branch Call Number: FICTION LOWENTHAL
Characteristics: 323 p.

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IV27HUjg
Apr 13, 2014

IMO: The writing 'voice' seemed immature & I dreaded another disappointing romance type tale. I'd rather have read the ending comments before starting the book so I could look forward to fictional facts of US involvement in WWI. I skimmed a lot.

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