The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine

April 8, 2015 Whitney Review 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve ValentineThe Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine
Published by Atria on June 3, 2014
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: Netgalley

From award-winning author Genevieve Valentine, a "gorgeous and bewitching" (Scott Westerfeld) reimagining of the fairytale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses as flappers during the Roaring Twenties in Manhattan.

Jo, the firstborn, "The General" to her eleven sisters, is the only thing the Hamilton girls have in place of a mother. She is the one who taught them how to dance, the one who gives the signal each night, as they slip out of the confines of their father's townhouse to await the cabs that will take them to the speakeasy. Together they elude their distant and controlling father, until the day he decides to marry them all off.

The girls, meanwhile, continue to dance, from Salon Renaud to the Swan and, finally, the Kingfisher, the club they come to call home. They dance until one night when they are caught in a raid, separated, and Jo is thrust face-to-face with someone from her past: a bootlegger named Tom whom she hasn't seen in almost ten years. Suddenly Jo must weigh in the balance not only the demands of her father and eleven sisters, but those she must make of herself.

With The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, award-winning writer Genevieve Valentine takes her superb storytelling gifts to new heights, joining the leagues of such Jazz Age depicters as Amor Towles and Paula McClain, and penning a dazzling tale about love, sisterhood, and freedom.

Fond Of

  • I didn’t know much, if anything about The Twelve Dancing Princesses (of which this story is based on) and appreciated that my ignorance did not have to factor into the enjoyment of The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine.
  • The characters were fun and well-developed. Each sister had a unique personality that I got to know well. Although I enjoyed the dynamics between Jo, Lou and Tom most of all.


Not Fond Of

  • Jo was described as “showing her age” and had the beginnings of grey hairs. She couldn’t be more than thirty and the descriptions made her sound like the spinster aunt. Perhaps it is because I just turned thirty myself, but I found it a bit annoying.
  • I rarely say this but I wanted a Tom Hanks Meg Ryan ending. I wanted Jo and Tom to end up together and have that happy ending. To realize they were meant to be, and because I did not get Sleepless in Seattle I was a little disappointed.


Final Thoughts:

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine was a cute retelling in the era of prohibition and with a Jo/Laurie (aka Little Women) kind of love story was an entertaining book to read. 


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