City of Girls

City of Girls

A Novel

eBook - 2019
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AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! From the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don't have to be a good girl to be a good person. "A spellbinding novel about love, freedom, and finding your own happiness." - PopSugar "Intimate and richly sensual, razzle-dazzle with a hint of danger." -USA Today "Pairs well with a cocktail...or two." -TheSkimm "Life is both fleeting and dangerous, and there is no point in denying yourself pleasure, or being anything other than what you are." Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love. In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves - and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest. Now eighty-nine years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life - and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. "At some point in a woman's life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time, " she muses. "After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is." Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection, City of Girls is a love story like no other.
Publisher: [S.l.]: Penguin Publishing Group, 2019.
ISBN: 9780698408326
Characteristics: 480 p.
Additional Contributors: cloudLibrary

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CORI D. MORRIS
Apr 03, 2020

Let me preface this by saying, I love Elizabeth Gilbert and I didn't love her last book, The Signature of All Things. So I wasn't sure if I would love this but I really fell in love with Vivian and her girlish and naive ways, and I just love seeing the growth of a character over time like this. Gilbert's writing is just astounding and compelling. You can really see her masterful hand at work here and her characters are so beautiful and unique and the 1930s-40s were such an interesting time! Give this book a chance and it will surprise you!

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bookoflentil
Mar 06, 2020

Having really enjoyed Eat Pray Love, I was expecting to love this latest of Eliz. Gilbert's too. I made it to page 136, all the while thinking I'd rather be reading something else. Tried It, Didn't Love It, Returned It.

sjpl_rebekah Feb 28, 2020

This was a firm 3 star read for me. In other words, I liked it, but I did not love it. This book is billed as a "love story," however, I would hardly consider it a romance. In fact, I wouldn't even tag it as romance. In a lot of ways this story reminded me of the TV series How I Met Your Mother. Vivian, our protagonist, is writing the story to Angela, the daughter of her deceased love. Angela has reached out to Vivian to ask about the nature of her relationship with her father and Vivian answers in a very prolonged and roundabout way. She includes many details that are of no relevance to how she met Angela's father. For the most part, I found Vivian to be a rather unlikeable character, at least for about 60% of the book. Life circumstances make her grow as a character, but I never truly became endeared to her. The last 25% of the book was by far the most enjoyable part of the story, but after all the build up to meeting Vivian's father, I was a bit disappointed with how little page time he actually got. So as I said, this wasn't really a love story, but a story about Vivian. This is not to say that the book made no impression on me whatsoever. Gilbert is undeniably a gifted writer and there were enough things I liked about the book to keep reading it. For one thing, I was extremely envious of Vivian's skill with a sewing machine, and I almost want to take a sewing class as a result. I was fascinated by the way she talked about fabric and clothing and design. This book also had a lot of really good one liners sprinkled throughout and some very memorable characters, such as Aunt Peg. It was enough to keep me moving through the book at a steady pace, and certainly enough to inspire me to finish it. This book certainly has it's share of scandal, but it's not particularly graphic, and it really tackles the double standard that men and women are held to when it comes to sexuality.

j
jen319
Feb 17, 2020

I returned this book after giving it 100 pages. I was just not interested in the characters or finding out what happened to them. Very flat . I have appreciated "The Signature of All Things", so was disappointed.

a
artsyred1
Feb 13, 2020

I was disappointed in her latest.
I loved signature of all things .
Her story wasnt as compelling and her writing bit flat. Found myself skipping pages and by page 250.....just gave up.

o
odorisaan
Feb 02, 2020

After reading through so many full star reviews from others, I was very disappointed in this audiobook. I could not ascertain whether the author had wanted the story to be funny or sarcastic, as it did not find it to be either. I also found the reader's voice irritating and contrived as if she was 'over acting'. I listened to only one disc.

s
StoryAddict
Jan 27, 2020

Loved this book. Even as a naive, self-centered young woman, the protagonist is interesting in her fashion-centered skills and her determination to embrace life in a way very different from her wealthy parents before, during, and after WWII in New York City. Luckily in the theater world of her aunt, there are examples of strong woman. As Vivian matures and carves out her own unconventional lifestyle that's less self-centered and therefore has room for lots of interesting friends, she's even more appealing - as are other characters in this great read.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jan 23, 2020

Solid historical fiction set in the New York City mostly during the 1940s. Not quite as deep as it could have been...beachy but fun.

h
hollymsellers
Jan 20, 2020

unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love. In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager.

l
LulaJones
Jan 13, 2020

I enjoyed this book, other than the monotonous details at times, the story was fun and kept moving at a good pace. I loved the setting of New York throughout the 40s and beyond. I enjoyed the description of New York in war time and the toll it took on the city and those who stayed behind. I loved her alternative life choices and how she allowed herself to be who she truly was! Ultimately, this is a love story, but not in the traditional sense.

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Kristen MERKE
Oct 07, 2019

Kristen MERKE thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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janiedobbs
Dec 30, 2019

Vivian, looking back on her life, describes her experiences moving to New York as a wide-eyed nineteen-year-old in the 1940’s. City of Girls is about her adventures there as she becomes a costume director at her Aunt Peg’s theater, the Lily Plahouse.

Vivian is drawn into the glamour and excitement of stage life, but finds herself caught up in its excesses as well. When Vivian finds herself in a sticky situation, she’s forced to grow up and gain some perspective on her life.

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