City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
After that ridiculous Eat, Pray, Love, I removed author Elizabeth Gilbert from my reading lists, forever. But on the recommendation of a friend, I (reluctantly) read City of Girls, which I (surprisingly) enjoyed.
In 1940, nineteen-year-old college dropout Vivian Morris is sent by her exasperated parents to live with her Aunt Peg, owner of a rundown Manhattan theater called the Lily Playhouse. (What were her parents thinking?)
Vivian takes to theater life in a way she never did to Vassar! She puts her dressmaking skills to work at the theater during the day and parties all night. And with the resilience of the young, she gets up and does it all over again the next day and every day. Inevitably Vivian’s exuberant but thoughtless behavior catches up with her, and she is banished back home.
The story would appear to end there, but the formerly foolish Vivian gets a second act that is more interesting, if less carnival-like, than the first.
Breezy and entertaining.
What Other Reviewers Say
The New York Times Book Review: “Gilbert’s new novel…is a pitch-perfect evocation of the era’s tawdry glamour and a coming-of-age story whose fizzy surface conceals unexpected gradations of feeling.”
Who Wrote It
Elizabeth Gilbert is the bestselling author of The Signature of All Things and Eat, Pray, Love, as well as several other internationally bestselling books. She has been a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the PEN/Hemingway Award.