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“Inspired by a true story, The Night She Won Miss America is part love story, part true-crime saga, written with spirit and panache.” —Vanity Fair
Betty Jane Welch reluctantly enters the Miss Delaware contest only to make her mother happy, but to her surprise, she’s the judges’ top choice. Just like that, she’s catapulted into the big time: the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City.
Luckily, her pageant-approved escort for the week is the dashing but mercurial Griffin McAllister, and she falls for him hard. But when the spirited Betty unexpectedly wins the crown and sash, she finds she may lose what she wants most: Griff’s love. To stay together, she impulsively agrees to run away with him. And then the chase is on: from the shadowy streets of Manhattan to a cliffside mansion in Newport, as the cops, a cunning socialite, and a scrappy young reporter secretly in love with the beauty queen threaten to unravel everything—and expose Griff’s darkest secret.
“Expect glamour, grit, and some truly unpredictable twists and turns.” —Town & Country
“A cinematic tale in the tradition of a Douglas Sirk movie, and the perfect book to pack away in your beach bag.” —Adweek
About the Author
MICHAEL CALLAHAN is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and the author of the novel Searching for Grace Kelly. A former deputy editor at Town & Country and Marie Claire, he has written for more than two dozen national and international publications, including ELLE, Departures, Bloomberg Businessweek, the Hollywood Reporter, and the New York Times. He lives in Philadelphia.
“Romance, intrigue, suspense—Michael Callahan’s latest has it all, and that’s not even counting the glorious, heady world of the Miss America pageant in its heyday. Loosely inspired by real events, The Night She Won Miss America grabs you from the first chapter and takes you on a wild journey beginning in Atlantic City and ending in a showdown on a rocky cliff worthy of Hitchcock. But the heart of the book always remains its remarkable protagonist, a naïve young woman whose passions come to the surface with remarkable ferocity the moment the crown is placed on her head and never really let her—or us—go.”—Melanie Benjamin, New York Times best-selling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue
“I can’t remember the last time I got so caught up in a novel. Michael Callahan’s gorgeous prose brings to life an intoxicating world of beauty queens and thwarted dreams that will sweep you away in a whirlwind of intrigue, passion, and secrets.”—Matthew Pearl, best-selling author of The Dante Club and The Last Bookaneer
“A heady whirl of gowns, gloves, chaperones, lipstick, escorts, cocktails, and romance. This engaging tale paints an evocative picture of a bygone era and the post-war ideal of young American womanhood."—Helen Bryan, author of the international bestseller War Brides