Book Review: City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Looking for your next read? Check out City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, reviewed by Fulco Library staff, Anne A.

When Vivian Morris fails Vassar College in 1940, her parents send her to New York City to live with her Aunt Peg. Aunt Peg is an unconventional woman who owns a crumbling theatre in Manhattan. Vivian soon embraces the fast extravagant theater life style. By day she sews costumes for upcoming plays and by night she hits the town with showgirl Celia Ray. When Peg’s estranged husband returns and produces a hit play “City of Girls” for the struggling theater, it seems that nothing can go wrong in Vivian’s new life. However, things change overnight when Vivian makes a mistake causing a scandal that almost derails the play. Embarrassed and defeated, Vivian returns home to her parents. The rest of the novel tells how Vivian comes to terms with her error and learns to live her life as she pleases.

I didn’t love this novel, but I didn’t hate it either. It was way too long. The author could have condensed the second half the novel in to a few chapters. Vivian eventually returns to New York City to help her aunt produce lunch skits for the workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during the war. This part was interesting. The novel could have stopped there, but it keeps going. The reader wades through chapters of Vivian’s opinions about life and love in the following decades. If you are looking for a glitzy novel about New York City theater life in 1940s, you may be disappointed. However, if you want a thoughtful novel about a woman reminiscing about learning to live life on her own terms, then you may really enjoy this novel.

City of Girls is available on Overdrive as eBook and audiobook. Patrons can place a copy on hold and pick it up at any open branch. Borrow a copy today and take a peek into Vivian’s interesting life.

Check out City of Girls on Libby, or from your branch's shelves with your library card today!

City of Girls

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