PDF/EPUB Jean Zimmerman Æ Æ Savage Girl PDF/EPUB ð

A riveting tale from the author of The Orphanmaster about a wild girl from Nevada who lands in Manhattan’s Gilded Age society Jean Zimmerman’s new novel tells of the dramatic events that transpire when an alluring blazingly smart eighteen year old girl named Bronwyn reputedly raised by wolves in the wilds of Nevada is adopted in 1875 by the Delegates an outlandishly wealthy Manhattan couple and taken back East to be civilized and introduced into high society Bronwyn hits the highly mannered world of Edith Wharton era Manhattan like a bomb A series of suitors both young and old find her irresistible but the willful girl’s illicit lovers begin to turn up murdered Zimmerman’s tale is narrated by the Delegate’s son a Harvard anatomy student The tormented self dramatizing Hugo Delegate speaks from a prison cell where he is prepared to take the fall for his beloved Savage Girl This narrative—a love story and a mystery with a powerful sense of fable—is his confession

10 thoughts on “Savage Girl

  1. says:

    I have a dilemma with this novel The writing is excellent and the story engaging Zimmerman brings this period to vivid life from the man tainted wastelands of Virginia City Nevada to the false glitter of Gilded Age New York City The characters aren't very sympathetic honestly and the longer the story went on the I disliked them However Zimmerman kept me guessing until the endOverall rating 3550 starsReviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine in the March 2014 issue

  2. says:

    The BEST Historical Fiction I’ve read in a very long time rich and rewarding I will write too much here but no big spoilers The Gilded Age years 1875 1876 come vividly alive as Hugo Delegate the fictitious troubled well educated son of an outrageously wealthy Manhattan family tells the story to his lawyers; it’s an intriguing mystery centered on a fictitious wild girl found in a side show act in Virginia City Nevada the rowdy silver rush town Self sufficient smart and determinedly independent she remembers that her name from her early childhood was Bronwyn and she is transformed into the brilliant star of the next debutante season in NYC But whenever she smiles at a man whether he’s a tuxedoed young waiter at Chicago’s Palmer House or a gypsy dancer in Central Park or a young member of society the man turns up dead soon after viciously murdered and mutilated Is Bronwyn in fact a perverted two faced killer? Everything is knitted into a solid fabric of historically verifiable details the elaborate twelve car private train the consist that transports the family between Nevada and NY and the Upper East Side mansion across the street from Central Park the horse mucked streets of the city the father’s financial schemes the amusements the food the high fashion French clothes the bustled dresses the cross dressing the debate pitting Nature against Nurture the use of opium the fascination with anatomy the influence of the Comanches Harvard and the Henry James family in Boston the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia with the torch of the Statue of Liberty these are not token morsels of fact scattered here and there but a solid historical fabric that wraps around the story and helps to tell it Students of ancient fable will be reminded not only of Pygmalion but also surprisingly of Romulus and Remus; anthropologists will tell other stories of feral children; fans of author Jean Auel’s series Earth’s Children will recall Ayala’s cave lion; students of the American West will remember the Comanches' superior horsemanship the presence of Chinese and the progress of the new railroad across the county; students of the economy will recognize the ups and downs of the markets in the Gilded Age; fans of language will enjoy the vocabulary and the pleasant style of the writing sometimes suitably formal and other times breezily succinct This author has studied New York City having lived there most of her life most recently in a log cabin not far north of the city From New Amsterdam to The Gilded Age to Current Happenings which she narrates in an on line blog jeanzimmermancom she knows her stuff; I’m convinced She’s fond of the macabre too; think Edward Scissorhands and think of a jar full of I won’t say what In her first fiction The Orphanmaster it was cannibalism Anyway though I shivered at times as I read Savage Girl I could PICTURE what was happening and I could HEAR the lines as I read; I think any reader will watch breathlessly as the scenes of Savage Girl unfold almost cinematically and I think any reader will listen easily to this well constructed narrative

  3. says:

    This book was uite confuzzling Despite an initial interesting premise wild child taken in by rich family to prove that nurture is superior to nature I felt like the book was trying to settle in the audience the entire time The character development left much to be desired For example the girl was able to learn English incredibly uickly the narrator was constantly hanging out in brothels etc etc but was in love with the girl and the narrator's friend Bev seems like a pretty nice guy even helping Bronwyn design a new wardrobe until bang it turns out he raped the narrator's ex fiancé? Resulting in her eventual death due to an abortion? What?Really the only character I liked at all was Nicky who seemed a much better fit for Bronwyn despite being twelve or so Of course he got basically no screen time the most character development was done on the Oriental who conveniently carries a shoto on her person that she handy dandily uses to kill a guy trying to kill Bronwyn and the berdache who well honestly I'm not even sure why he needed to be in the story at all SeriouslyThe love story itself was mainly about how awesome Bronwyn was and how insane Hugo was both before and while being in love with her can't even tell if he's the murderer is constantly sick probably from an STD from all those prostitutes faints uite often and is creepily obsessed with knives and the human body Here in the epilogue where they finally end up together is some of their dialogueHugo Then how did you know Charlie wouldn't go for me?Bronwyn Well that I didn't know but I figured at least one of you two would survive Delegate or Flenniken so either way I'd have a husbandFYI Charlie is a man eating Tigon from India Don't these romantic words send shivers down your spine?Lastly at the resolution of this mystery you find out who's been murdering and mutilating all these guys and turns out it's not Bronwyn or Hugo butsome random character you're supposed to remember from the beginning of the book who was in about ten pages Wow isn't that satisfying?So really the only reason this book isn't a one is because it did pull me in enough that I just kept reading in the hopes that it would get better and it never did but I did read the book So hooray for that

  4. says:

    Savage Girl tells the story of Hugo Delegate who blinded with the love for the titular character confesses to a series of murders he may or may not have committed The novel is told in flashback as Hugo relates the story of the savage girl to his lawyers whilst in prison awaiting trial for murders he may or may not have committed The Delegates are old money the aristocrats of New York envied for their wealth and lineage Freddy and Anna Marie Hugo’s parents have the wealthy penchant of taking in people and taking up causes that catch their attention and engage their interests Savage Girl is one such person She is a substitute daughter for Anna Marie whose own died in infancy and for Freddy she’s a way to definitively prove the nature versus nature debate So they spring the savage girl from her captors who use her as a spectacle with which to rake in money from voyeurs and welcome her into the fold of their family Hugo however finds himself kept at a distance from his new sister who is followed by a series of murders – in fact every man she looks at or interacts with in a platonic manner is found dead and literally emasculated This novel is epic in scope and wondrously researched The writing is beautiful and perhaps the one true strength of the story The sentences are woven with such precision and delicacy that reading them out is a pleasure As for the characterization the novel is limited in what it perceives and narrates due to the first person point of view and Hugo is an unreliable narrator but almost overly so The reader is led in turns to suspect Hugo or Bronwyn the savage as the true murderer but if the reader is familiar with these types of novels the reader will be well aware that these are merely red herrings and the true story lies in the hints sprinkled throughout the narrative The novel gives a glimpse of high society in the early days of New York and I loved the casual mention of the statue of liberty then in pieces that Hugo makes The first half of the novel is strong if slow and as the story gained momentum I readied myself for something stunning I expected the denouement to leave me swooning but alas that was not to be The problem here is that there is already a distance between the reader and Hugo because well he may be the murderer and he’s not easy to sympathize with at least not for me Then Bronwyn as the savage girl has a name is touted by Hugo as universally irresistible and I could not fathom her attraction She is beautiful yes as Hugo once and again reiterates but he also states that she has a magnetic appeal and everyone seems to love her but I don’t understand or I was not able to see that elusive uality of hers that bewitched everyone From what Hugo narrates and what I could glean from the story was that she was remarkably complex rather cold and a blank slate That is allThe climax when it came was still puzzling and there is a love story but that too left me wondering I was not convinced of the love that everyone spoke about And in fact I am still puzzled It would be interesting to do a feminist reading of this piece and chart the savage girl’s growth though I fear it might be a bit difficult to do as the novel isn’t focalized on her We see her through the lens of patriarchy and she’s often objectified as a sexual object Though Zimmerman writes Bronwyn’s attempts to distinguish herself from other ladies who are born into and accept willingly their position as women expressing gender as defined by high society ultimately Bronwyn does act in ways that point towards her induction into the patriarchal society she appears to rebuff initially When all is said and done I did enjoy the glimpse of the train the luxury and lifestyles of the rich and famous I will definitely look up this author’s other titles just to see if I like them better than this one because as I said the writing is beautiful

  5. says:

    Jean Zimmerman's Savage Girl has so much going for it right from the get go1 It's set in New York City during the Gilded Age my absolute favorite setting for novels in NYC2 The cover art is FIERECE I mean look at Savage Girl3 Our narrator is delightfully unreliable incredibly wealthy and has a family that can only be kindly described as eccentricWeighing in at a solid 400 pages Savage Girl is a little slow to start but soon you'll be flying through it From the silver mines of the west to the debutante dance halls of the east what sounds like a re telling of the “Pygmalion” story uickly turns into a fast paced mystery While on a cross country trip with his “old money” family Hugo Delegate Harvard student and current drop out encounters Savage Girl—a teenaged girl “raised by wolves” and barely domesticated The Delegate Family with intentions that cannot necessarily be described as selfless bring Savage Girl into their world of luxury and excess But far from being the docile pet that they expect it soon becomes clear that Savage Girl whose name is Bronwyn actually may have her own agenda In addition it appears she seems to leave a trail of bodies wherever she goes As Hugo finds himself becoming involved dare I say obsessed with his “sister” Bronwyn it also becomes clear that he may also not be what he seems The highlight of this novel has to be Zimmerman’s characters They are beautifully fleshed out and vividly fill the pages Hugo is self interested a little bit whiny and makes for a fun narrator as the reader is never uite sure what to believe Bronwyn is surprising strong and uite believable despite her outlandish origin story My only complaint is that I felt like the ending was a bit rushed we spend roughly 350 pages on a wonderful adventure only to have everything be wrapped up and tied with a bow in the last 50 Don’t get me wrong the ending is satisfying but it did not feel like it had the same depth and richness as the rest of the novel I’m sure people will be of divided opinion re the epilogue and I’m eager to hear the discussion Disclaimer I received an advance copy of this book via the publisher for review This review was also posted on our blog bookbirdblogcom

  6. says:

    The premise of Jean Zimmerman's Savage Girl is gripping What would happen if a wealthy couple with everything they could possibly imagine came across a so called feral child in a tawdry Nevada sideshow and decides to bring her back to New York and convert her into a society belle? With shades of Pygmalion crossed with the darker hue of Edith Wharton Savage Girl posits this theory and adds another layer What if all the men who show an erotic interest in the girl start to turn up dead and the disturbed son of the wealthy couple begins to suspect the girl may be a brutal killer even as he sees disturbing signs within himself that he might be to blame?There is no uestion that Ms Zimmerman is a masterful writer; her prose is beautiful and she brilliantly captures the unreliable voice of the couple's son Hugo Delegate who narrates the story Hugo is both repelled and fascinated by Bronwyn the savage girl whose past is slowly revealed as Hugo's suspicions and attraction to her deepen The world of Gilded Age New York also comes to vivid detailed life; we feel the hypocrisy and emphasis on lineage and social position as the curiosity obsessed Delegates seek to put one over on their peers by turning Bronwyn into something she is not Bronwyn fascinates in her contradictions alluring yet remote with a tendency to slip out after hours to roam the streets wearing a glove fitted with claws However her distance from the narrative voice and Hugo's preoccupation with a variety of other concerns dampen the plot's thrust as he's distracted both by his own torment and his family's foibles At times there simply is too much story in this heady brew diluting the lethal mystery at its heartNevertheless the experience of reading it turns compulsive as the underside of the Gilded Age is torn asunder by the introduction of the wild within us all a metaphor for how we seek to curb our baser instincts forcing our repressions to find other unsavory ways to erupt Hugo's confession turns chilling as we realize how far his family has gone and the terrible price exacted of them while Bronwyn's own secrets lead to an excellent denouement In the end we find ourselves uestioning Who is truly the savage here?

  7. says:

    Savage Girl has obviously been very well researched and I really wanted to enjoy the book as it intrigued me The book to me was very long winded There was so much detail filling the story that it interrupted the narrative in a very bad way There where so many asides and so much pointless information that I found myself bored struggling to carry on reading and annoyed Don't get me wrong the story was fantastically researched and was interesting as well as intriguing But I found the pace slow and it was a hard slog to read I was kept guessing until the end and the world was brought to life for me but the pure amount of over detail ruined the book for me Then we have the characters The characters weren't verysympathetic They came across as very inhuman to me As the story went on I disliked them and and found myself having the book ruined for me from another angle I couldn't connect with either of the two main characters and I had no emotional attachment to either They seemed detached almost and I just couldn't find myself caring about them all that much The flow of the book along with the pace is another bad mark against it We'd have it slow to start then alot of hype around the first murder then back to the story being calm and nothing really happening for uite a while before the next murder Zimmerman is obviously a skilled writer her plot twists and ability to keep you guessing until the end where fantastic but there where so many things that let the book down

  8. says:

    Historic detail horrific acts of violence intriguing romance and so well written What could you want?

  9. says:

    Sometimes when I see a review and the person starts with I received this book in exchange for an unbiased review and then the reviewer froths at the mouth at how wonderful it was I have to giggle It doesn't sound so unbiased any At any rate I did receive this book through First Reads and I really truly did enjoy it The historical context is fascinating I never knew a thing about private trains before this just to give an example This period of time is also very interesting overall between the end of the Civil War and beginning of WW1 seems to have been such a time of exciting growth and change in the US I am nearly embarrassed to admit that I never did figure out the mystery I must be in a slump but that only made it better The book was lengthy but I was never bored Very entertaining I was sure that I did not care to read The Orphanmaster but now I will have to give it another look

  10. says:

    I was surprised to find myself loving this book from the start since the author's previous book had been so jolty The writing has improved amazingly This book still has a few issues the central character is distant and unknown throughout not merely enigmatic; the narrator's chemistry with her never comes to life; and the end of the plot is slapped on out of nowhere rather unsatisfyingly Yet I loved this book I found it captivating with notes of the Gatsby myth and a Helprin like deification of Manhattan alongside the Poe ish gore