City of Girls

City of Girls

Book - 2019
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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 a 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."
Publisher: New York :, Riverhead Books,, 2019.
ISBN: 9781594634734
Characteristics: 470 pages ; 24 cm
Summary: 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 a 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."

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Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Aug 19, 2019

I enjoyed the first half of this book considerably more than the second half, and here's why: the first half takes its time. It's 200 pages taking place over the course of a few months, and it really digs into characterization and period detail in a way that is interesting, but also part of a really fun and juicy plot. The second half of the book takes place over literal DECADES; I hate when authors make this choice, and I rarely find it successful. It's impossible for it to not feel rushed, when compared to the tighter time frame of the first half. I don't know how to rate this with stars; Vivian is self-centered and flighty, but this is entirely intentional on Gilbert's part as an author, and I personally thought she was a well-developed character. However, I finished the book not entirely sure what the point was, exactly. I don't think all books need to have a moral, of course, but I do feel like they should feel a bit less aimless than this one did. Read this for its page-turning first half and some gossipy, soapy shenanigans; just don't expect the ending to be quite as satisfying.

o
ownedbydoxies
Aug 14, 2019

A really, REALLY light read with a cheer-leading girl vibe that I just couldn't get past. I started, meant to finish, grew fed up, lost interest, actually actively disliked the atmosphere of the entire main character and then quit. Life's too short, too serious, too full of really interesting and important and fun reads, which, depending on your interest and involvement, make spending time reading truly worthwhile. This book was a total disappointment.

Since when do you get kicked out of Vassar for "lackluster performance"? {note: Aunt Peg=porno movie reference. I am not making this up. You can check Wikipedia.}

l
legalsec2504
Aug 04, 2019

On Tulsa World Best Seller's List - August 4, 2019

smfdenver Jul 23, 2019

I loved this novel! It’s the story of young woman who is sent to live with her eclectic aunt who is in the theater business. She experiences New York City for the first time during the 1930s and ending in modern day. It’s a detailed account of her coming of age in this wild and glamorous city and the friends she meets along the way. The character descriptions are brilliant and although not meant to be comical many parts are laugh out loud funny. It was unlike anything I have ever read and I couldn’t put this book down. With no reservations, I highly recommend this book!

a
ajzh1975
Jul 19, 2019

Elisabeth Gilbert's two works of fiction (this and the Scientist in the South Pacific book--whatever it was called) both struck me as so fresh, interesting and unexpected. I feel like they are stories I haven't ever read before and I don't know where they are going to lead.

I read this lightening fast and really enjoyed it. The main character makes some mistakes and lives a rather unconventional life, but those are the stories that are interesting and we live in a world of flawed people.

p
pms54
Jul 18, 2019

Vivian, main character, cared the least about her - the other characters carried the story and I wanted to know more about them.

1
1booknut
Jul 17, 2019

I love this book good from start to finish

m
maipenrai
Jul 15, 2019

I didn't really like Vivian Morris in the early portion of the book, but I grew to love her by the end. Recommend. Kristi & Abby Tabby

VaughanPLKim Jul 09, 2019

I enjoyed this book a lot more than Eat, Pray, Love. Vivian is a flawed character, to be sure, but I loved that she embraced her sexuality at a time when it was not considered moral for women to do so. The man who ends up being the love of her life was not who I expected, but it was a good twist.

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