Nov 6, 2013

Blog Tour: Blythewood by Carol Goodman

Hey guys! Today I'm handing the blog over to Carol Goodman, author of the new novel, BLYTHEWOOD that debuted last month. 

Guest Post:
One of the main reasons I set BLYTHEWOOD in precisely 1911 was because I knew I wanted to use the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.  For those of you who don’t know or have forgotten it since your high school history class, the Triangle fire is one of the deadliest industrial disasters in New York History.  146 seamstresses and workers died, most of whom were girls ages 16-23.  At the beginning of the industrial age factory conditions were terrible, and one of the reasons so few people survived the Triangle fire is that the managers would lock all the doors and exits while people worked so the seamstresses didn’t take unauthorized breaks or ever step away from their machines.  The fire sparked a real change in how workers were treated.  The disaster brought to attention a lot of the terrible conditions that factory workers had to deal with before conditions were regulated.  It’s a disaster that could really only happen in 1911, and one of the reasons I started the book with it was to root BLYTHEWOODin all the issues triangle fire brings up.  So much about BLYTHEWOOD is about the progressive movement, feminism, and the class tensions of the industrial era. Ava is working class girl who has lived through the Triangle fire suddenly being transplanted into a world of privilege, and that’s very hard for her to deal with.

About Blythewood:
At seventeen, Avaline Hall has already buried her mother, survived a horrific factory fire, and escaped from an insane asylum. Now she’s on her way to Blythewood Academy, the elite boarding school in New York’s mist-shrouded Hudson Valley that her mother attended—and was expelled from. Though she’s afraid her high society classmates won’t accept a factory girl in their midst, Ava is desperate to unravel her family’s murky past, discover the identity of the father she’s never known, and perhaps finally understand her mother’s abrupt suicide. She’s also on the hunt for the identity of the mysterious boy who rescued her from the fire. And she suspects the answers she seeks lie at Blythewood.   

But nothing could have prepared her for the dark secret of what Blythewood is, and what its students are being trained to do. Haunted by dreams of a winged boy and pursued by visions of a sinister man who breathes smoke, Ava isn’t sure if she’s losing her mind or getting closer to the truth. And the more rigorously Ava digs into the past, the more dangerous her present becomes.    

Vivid and atmospheric, full of mystery and magic, this romantic page-turner by bestselling author Carol Goodman tells the story of a world on the brink of change and the girl who is the catalyst for it all.

About Carol Goodman:
Bestselling author Carol Goodman’s books have been nominated for the IMPAC award twice, the Simon & Schuster/Mary Higgins Clark award, and the Nero Wolfe Award. Her second novel, The Seduction of Water, won the Hammett Prize in 2003. Visit her at

Penguin is giving away a finished copy of Blythewood*! Enter below!

*Must be over 13 | Must be in the US*


  1. Ooh, loving the reasons behind the setting/time! I do remember learning about the factory disaster and having a real-life disaster like that as a plot point in your story really helps bring it to life.

  2. That sounds good! I'm a sucker for all things boarding school :)

  3. You ask the historian what moments in History interest her? I'm a big fan of the Tudors and also the WWII era.

  4. I am fascinated by Egypt and thus the day that Harold Carter discovered the entrance to King Tut's tomb is of interest to me 91 years later. I just read that a team of Egyptologists seem to have verified that the the injuries to the pharaoh’s body are consistent with a high-speed collision and that the body spontaneously combusted inside its sarcophagus because the mummification procedure had been incorrectly carried out, which led to a chemical reaction between oxygen and embalming oils that would have raised the temperature of the enclosure to over 400 degrees.

  5. I am so interested in what every country was going through during WWII. It was such a devastating, horrific time in history, and such a monumental thing when it finally ended.

    On a happier note, I would LOVE to win Blytheville. This book has been on my list for quite a while now!!

  6. I'm really fascinated with World War 2 and the treatment of Japanese American citizens during the war. I just finished Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet not that long ago, and I learned so much. Especially about the internment camps. It was horrible.

  7. I'm not really sure I have a specific moment in history that fascinates me, I think history in itself is fascinating. I am currently taking AP World History and I have to say that I love learning about all the ancient civilizations. Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. I am fascinated by Rasputin and the overthrow of Czar Nicholas in Russia.

  9. I love it when in history people gain rights, like the freeing of the slaves and women being able to vote!!


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