City of Girls

City of Girls

Book - 2019
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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: New York : Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2019.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781594634734
Branch Call Number: GILBERT
Characteristics: 470 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

LPL_LeahN Jun 17, 2019

This was a scandalous romp through the 1940s New York City theater world, a fascinating time and place that Elizabeth Gilbert captured perfectly. She not only painted a vivid portrait of the era, she also writes characters with such depth and polarity. I fell madly in love with each and every one... Read More »

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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.

Jul 17, 2019

I love this book good from start to finish

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.

Jul 08, 2019

LOVED this book! Read it in one weekend--could not put it down.

Jul 06, 2019

120 pages in and I'm done....BORING! Long drawn out conversations between characters about nothing which lasted for pages!

Jul 05, 2019

I usually don't read fiction but this book was decent. Had some interesting thoughts.
I did not like the Eat, Pray, Love book but her other books seem more coherent.
In general she's a competent writer and it's believable. Well at least I got sucked into the environment of this book which has a few nuggets of wisdom about love.

liljables Jul 04, 2019

Elizabeth Gilbert's non-fiction is reaaaally not for me, but I quite enjoyed The Signature of All Things - I like historical fiction with women at the front, leading lives that were atypical for the time. City of Girls offers those same broad strokes, but it's quite a bit more fun than Signature!

Vivian Morris looks back on her storied life, starting in 1940 with her dismissal from Vassar College and her banishment from home to live in New York with her eccentric, theatre-managing aunt. Vivian's unapologetic pursuit of pleasure in its many forms is so entertaining, and refreshing for a book about this era. Vivian makes mistakes and learns some very hard lessons, but she's never made to feel ashamed of her promiscuity.

My only small complaint is that the latter third of the book slows down a bit compared to the break-neck speed of the first two-thirds.

Jul 04, 2019

As I trudged my way through this book I can only give it one star. So incredibly boring. I actually fell asleep while trying to read. I kept hoping it would get better, it didn't!

Jul 04, 2019

I guess the motto is, "Be yourself, whoever you are!" Gilbert takes a different path with "City of Girls" which is the title of a play put on by a mix of rag tag and well knowns. The main character Vivian reflects on her life, triumphs and tragedies that contain 1940's - later time that contain elements of misogyny, sexual orientation through the lense of the time of war and life in New York city. Compelling and captivating.

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