Jennifer S. Brown’s debut novel, Modern Girls (NAL/Penguin), set in 1935 in New York City, is about a mother and daughter who must face the consequences of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies. She has published fiction and creative nonfiction in Fiction Southeast, The Best Women’s Travel Writing, The Southeast Review, The Sierra Nevada Review, and Bellevue Literary Review, among other places. Her essay “The Codeine of Jordan” was selected as a notable essay in 2012’s The Best American Travel Writing.
Jennifer has a BFA in film and television from New York University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington, Seattle. She lives, writes, and mothers in the suburbs of Boston.
In 1935, Dottie Krasinsky is the epitome of the modern girl. A bookkeeper in Midtown Manhattan, Dottie has a steady beau, close girlfriends, and an eye for fashion. Yet at heart, she is a dutiful Jewish daughter, living with her Yiddish-speaking parents on the Lower East Side. So when after a single careless night, she is in a family way by a charismatic but unsuitable man, she is desperate—unwed, unsure, and running out of options.
After twenty years as a housewife and the birth of five children, Dottie’s immigrant mother, Rose, is itching to return to the social activism of her youth. With strikes and breadlines at home, National Socialism rising in Europe, and a brother unable to escape Poland, she knows there is more important work to be done than cooking and cleaning. Yet when she realizes that she, too, is pregnant, she struggles to reconcile her longings with her faith.
Mother and daughter must confront their beliefs, the changing world, and the fact that their lives will never again be the same….
Awards and Recognition
- 2017 Housatonic Book Award finalist in Fiction for MODERN GIRLS
- 2016 Goodreads Choice semifinalist for Historical Fiction for MODERN GIRLS