BKMT READING GUIDES



 
Interesting,
Informative,
Dramatic

5 reviews

My Notorious Life: A Novel
by Kate Manning

Published: 2013-09-10
Hardcover : 448 pages
0 members reading this now
35 clubs reading this now
1 member has read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 5 of 5 members
“Exquisitely written and richly detailed, My Notorious Life is a marvel. Kate Manning’s rags-to-riches Dickensian saga brings to vivid life the world of nineteenth-century New York City, in all its pitiful squalor and glittering opulence. I loved this novel.” —Christina Baker ...
No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to

Introduction

“Exquisitely written and richly detailed, My Notorious Life is a marvel. Kate Manning’s rags-to-riches Dickensian saga brings to vivid life the world of nineteenth-century New York City, in all its pitiful squalor and glittering opulence. I loved this novel.” —Christina Baker Kline, New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

A brilliant rendering of a scandalous historical figure, Kate Manning’s My Notorious Life is an ambitious, thrilling novel introducing Axie Muldoon, a fiery heroine for the ages. Axie’s story begins on the streets of 1860s New York. The impoverished child of Irish immigrants, she grows up to become one of the wealthiest and most controversial women of her day.

In vivid prose, Axie recounts how she is forcibly separated from her mother and siblings, apprenticed to a doctor, and how she and her husband parlay the sale of a few bottles of “Lunar Tablets for Female Complaint” into a thriving midwifery business. Flouting convention and defying the law in the name of women’s reproductive rights, Axie rises from grim tenement rooms to the splendor of a mansion on Fifth Avenue, amassing wealth while learning over and over never to trust a man who says “trust me.”

When her services attract outraged headlines, Axie finds herself on a collision course with a crusading official—Anthony Comstock, founder of the Society for the Suppression of Vice. It will take all of Axie’s cunning and power to outwit him in the fight to preserve her freedom and everything she holds dear.

Inspired by the true history of an infamous female physician who was once called “the Wickedest Woman in New York,” My Notorious Life is a mystery, a family saga, a love story, and an exquisitely detailed portrait of nineteenth-century America. Axie Muldoon’s inimitable voice brings the past alive, and her story haunts and enlightens the present.

Editorial Review

The Big Fall Books Preview 2013: A historical novel of Dickensian sprawl, My Notorious Life is loosely based on the experiences of an infamous midwife in late 19th century New York. While sheâ??s eventually dubbed Madame X by a rabid press. our heroineâ??s strength is that for all her success at self transformation, she remains forever the orphaned guttersnipe Axie Muldoon--a pioneer for womenâ??s rights before anyone much knew that such rights could exist. But this novel is never pedantic or preachy, just compelling, assured and irresistible. --Sara Nelson

Excerpt

No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Children's Rights; Women's Health Care - then vs. now
Quackery vs. Regulation
Bird in a gilded cage syndrome (Dutchie) vs. the self-made woman (Axie)
by CleoM (see profile) 07/01/14

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by cookie57 (see profile) 10/08/18

 
by bmedvid (see profile) 04/13/18

 
by [email protected] (see profile) 06/25/17

Loving this book so far and I'm only a couple of chapters in. It pulls you deep into the story. Good choice Kaz ????

 
  "My notorious life"by swholley (see profile) 02/24/16

Fast moving. A love story intertwined with women's issue of abortion and the right to giving birth safety during the mid 1800s. Historical novel that will leave you thinking about many issues.

 
by gingerperkins (see profile) 01/21/16

 
by Ctrichardson (see profile) 11/05/15

Rate this book
MEMBER LOGIN
Remember me
BECOME A MEMBER it's free

Join the leading website for book clubs with over 35,000 clubs and 20,000 reading guides.

SEARCH OUR READING GUIDES Search
Search




FEATURED EVENTS
PAST AUTHOR CHATS
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...