The Girls with No Names - Serena Burdick

The Girls with No Names

By Serena Burdick

  • Release Date: 2020-01-07
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4.5
From 388 Ratings



A beautiful tale of hope, courage, and sisterhood—inspired by the real House of Mercy and the girls confined there for daring to break the rules.

Growing up in New York City in the 1910s, Luella and Effie Tildon realize that even as wealthy young women, their freedoms come with limits. But when the sisters discover a shocking secret about their father, Luella, the brazen elder sister, becomes emboldened to do as she pleases. Her rebellion comes with consequences, and one morning Luella is mysteriously gone.

Effie suspects her father has sent Luella to the House of Mercy and hatches a plan to get herself committed to save her sister. But she made a miscalculation, and with no one to believe her story, Effie’s own escape seems impossible—unless she can trust an enigmatic girl named Mable. As their fates entwine, Mable and Effie must rely on their tenuous friendship to survive.

Home for Unwanted Girls meets The Dollhouse in this atmospheric, heartwarming story that explores not only the historical House of Mercy, but the lives—and secrets—of the girls who stayed there.

“Burdick has spun a cautionary tale of struggle and survival, love and family — and above all, the strength of the heart, no matter how broken.” — New York Times Book Review

“Burdick reveals the perils of being a woman in 1913 and exposes the truths of their varying social circles.” — Chicago Tribune


  • Worth the read!

    By Katelyn0419
    It was not what I expected to read in the least, but I’m glad to have finished it anyways!
  • An accurate story of the laundries and human slavery by the church

    By kaykaybean13
    Until reading this, I had no knowledge that these kind of institutions existed. While it is a fictional story, I know much of the information was based directly off of the truth and infractions that women and children were penalized for working like slaves and making a fortune for the church. Another gross abuse that has come to light at the hands of the church and hasn’t been held accountable for or made reparations to the victims families.
  • Yes!

    By Promise316
    I really connected with the characters and couldn’t put it down. Great historical fiction and intense writing. I would definitely recommend this book!
  • The Girls With No Names

    By Readingbythesea
    It’s hard to believe that the cruel and unusual punishment went into the early 20th century. There was up to a 3 year stay for women of ill repute, petty crimes, runaways, abandoned women, working in a slave laundry. The story covers love between sisters and the comparison of the wealthy to the less fortunate. It was a very interesting story.