Modern Girls

A USA Today bestseller!

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How was it that out of all the girls in the office, I was the one to find myself in this situation? This didn’t happen to nice Jewish girls. 

In 1935, Dottie Krasinsky is the epitome of the modern girl. A bookkeeper in Midtown Manhattan, Dottie steals kisses from her steady beau, meets her girlfriends for drinks, and eyes the latest fashions. Yet at heart, she is a dutiful daughter, living with her Yiddish-speaking parents on the Lower East Side. So when, after a single careless night, she finds herself in a family way by a charismatic but unsuitable man, she is desperate: unwed, unsure, and running out of options.

After the birth of five children—and twenty years as a housewife—Dottie’s immigrant mother, Rose, is itching to return to the social activism she embraced as a young woman. With strikes and breadlines at home and National Socialism rising in Europe, there is much more important work to do than cooking and cleaning. So when she realizes that she, too, is pregnant, she struggles to reconcile her longings with her faith.

As mother and daughter wrestle with unthinkable choices, they are forced to confront their beliefs, the changing world—and the fact that their lives will never again be the same….

Working Girls

“In her debut novel, Brown deftly sketches the historical context of two Lower East Side women’s domestic tribulations, alternating between their stories, reflecting upon the social consequences faced by women in different generations…. A clear-eyed view of the sharp, difficult choices facing women on the cusp of equality.” —Kirkus Reviews

The Blog

Research, writing, baking, history, family, and more on Jennifer’s blog.

The Debutante Ball

In 2016, Jennifer blogged weekly at The Debutante Ball, a group blog that has been celebrating first-time authors and their books since 2007. You can read her posts from that year.