Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The Trial Mrs. Rhinelander by Denny Bryce


New York, 1920s. Born to English immigrants who’ve built a comfortable life, idealistic Alice Jones longs for the kind of true love her mother and father have. She believes she’s found it with Leonard “Kip” Rhinelander, the shy heir to his prominent white family's real estate fortune. Alice, too, is white, though she is vaguely aware of rumors that question her ancestry—gossip her parents dismiss. But when the lovers secretly wed, Kip's father threatens his inheritance unless he annuls the marriage.

Devastated but determined, Alice faces overwhelming odds legally and in the merciless court of public opinion. But there are two people who can either help her—or shatter her hopes for good: In the 1940s, her estranged niece, Roberta Brooks, must put aside her disdain for her infamous aunt to combat an unexpected new Rhinelander legal assault. And in the 1920s, reporter Marvel Cunningham lives to chronicle social change and the Harlem Renaissance's fiery creativity, but when Alice’s story dominates the headlines, Marvel's job is to cover it.

At first, Marvel and Roberta, in different decades, see Alice’s legal entanglements as tabloid sensations generated by a self-hating woman who failed to “pass.” But the deeper they investigate, the more they will learn about the reasons behind Alice Jones’s behavior and what the three women have in common. The Trial of Mrs. Rhinelander will bring to light stunning truths that will force these women to confront who they are and who they can be in a world that is all too quick to judge.

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Denny S. Bryce is the award-winning author of historical fiction novels including Wild Women and the Blues and In the Face of the Sun. A former professional dancer and public relations professional, she now is an adjunct professor in the MFA program at Drexel University, a book critic for NPR, and a freelance writer whose work has been published in USA TodayHarper’s Bazaar, and FROLIC Media. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and Tall Poppy Writers. Originally from Chicago, she now resides in Savannah, Georgia and can be found online at