City of Girls

City of Girls : The Sunday Times Bestseller

4.09 (42,609 ratings by Goodreads)
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A SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER
Selected as a summer read by the Independent, Grazia, Vogue, Cosmopolitan and ES Magazine

`Transcendent: art at its most carnal and healing. It is a love letter to love ... This book is, like its author, the most empathic and generous and wise and sensual and brave and stunning and luminous permissors of passion that has ever been created. The reason it was written doesn't merely save on a reading level, but on the level of the soul. As a writer and as a citizen of the world, Gilbert shines on and on and on...' Lisa Taddeo, author of Three Women

It is the summer of 1940. Nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris arrives in New York with her suitcase and sewing machine, exiled by her despairing parents. Although her quicksilver talents with a needle and commitment to mastering the perfect hair roll have been deemed insufficient for her to pass into her sophomore year of Vassar, she soon finds gainful employment as the self-appointed seamstress at the Lily Playhouse, her unconventional Aunt Peg's charmingly disreputable Manhattan revue theatre. There, Vivian quickly becomes the toast of the showgirls, transforming the trash and tinsel only fit for the cheap seats into creations for goddesses.

Exile in New York is no exile at all: here in this strange wartime city of girls, Vivian and her girlfriends mean to drink the heady highball of life itself to the last drop. And when the legendary English actress Edna Watson comes to the Lily to star in the company's most ambitious show ever, Vivian is entranced by the magic that follows in her wake. But there are hard lessons to be learned, and bitterly regrettable mistakes to be made. Vivian learns that to live the life she wants, she must live many lives, ceaselessly and ingeniously making them new.

`At some point in a woman's life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time. After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is,' she confides. And so Vivian sets forth her story, and that of the women around her - women who have lived as they truly are, out of step with a century that could never quite keep up with them.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 480 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 45mm | 854g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1408867044
  • 9781408867044
  • 941

Review Text

A glamorous, sexy, compelling romp of a novel about showgirls in New York in the 1940s. It is an addictive story, with vivid, brazenly drawn female characters, that brims with fascinating historical details of the time . Radical and refreshing to read Dolly Alderton Sunday Times
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Review quote

A glamorous, sexy, compelling romp of a novel about showgirls in New York in the 1940s. It is an addictive story, with vivid, brazenly drawn female characters, that brims with fascinating historical details of the time ... Radical and refreshing to read -- Dolly Alderton * Sunday Times * I adored this story, I fell in love with Vivian from page one, she has an utterly singular voice, and I was captivated by tcombination of glamour and grit - it's a dazzling escapist fantasy with characters and emotions that are thrillingly real -- Daisy Buchanan A glorious, multi-layered, emotionally astute celebration of womanhood ... An eloquently persuasive treatise on the judgment and punishment of women, and a heartfelt call to reclaim female sexual agency -- Sam Baker * Guardian * Breezily funny and vividly written, City Of Girls is a quietly radical celebration of feminine sexual inhibition that slips down as easily as a gin martini. Expect to see it on multiple beaches this summer -- Claire Allfree * Metro * A rollicking, beautifully rendered ride of glitter and fun ... Gilbert's novel is something of a masterpiece of flapdoodle itself ... Gilbert has a knack for storytelling and her plot doesn't so much twist as twirl, high-kicking all the way ... A rambunctious anthem to living a life joyous and satisfyingly full - and that deserves an ovation * Evening Standard * City of Girls will be a hit ... Readers will adore its bolstering message of hope * Sunday Times * Written with such wit, verve and emotional honesty that you feel you've washed down 100 life lessons within a vodka martini ... There are some of the most brilliant and truthful evocations of youthful sexual exploration that you'll ever read ... She has triumphed. City of Girls is an education in love, and an iridescent delight -- Rowan Pelling * Spectator * Brilliant on female friendship, desire and the influence a good mentor can bring to enrich a young woman's life * Grazia Summer Reads * Compelling ... works with themes of freedom, responsibility and empowerment that feel both timeless and timely. In a moment when women's desires are still being governed, this is a story about a woman who recognises - and embraces - hers * Time * There is so much to love in City of Girls. Vivian's voice is strong and leaves you yearning for more time with her * Independent * A romantic misadventure written with such wit, verve and emotional honesty that you feel you've washed down 100 life lessons within a vodka martini ... She has triumphed. City of Girls is an education in love, and an iridescent delight -- Rowan Pelling * Spectator * Joyous escapism and a brilliantly observed story about women's lives * Daily Telegraph * City of Girls is about women throwing off the shackles of marriage and convention in order to explore their desires ... What I loved about Vivian, is that she seizes the day * BBC Radio 4 * The self-portrait of a woman whose truest intimacy is with her own being ... It's the story of a woman who's made an independent life as best she can. If the usual narrative shapes don't fit most lives - neither she nor her creator seems to be worrying about it * New York Times * Expect to spot a copy on every beach towel come June * Vogue, Must-Reads * Hugely enjoyable and goes down with a smacking of lips while bringing a sparkle to the eye * i * Her wise, funny, ballsy voice is one that's given countless women the courage to change their lives... A glamorous romp of a tale that dazzleswith sequin-clad showgirls -- Clover Stroud * Red * Wherever Liz Gilbert goes, we'll follow * Oprah magazine, Best book releases, 2019 * Fizzy, fabulous ... As bubbly as a champagne cocktail but with a real kick in the tail * Sunday Express * Funny, bittersweet ... Explores female desire in a radically refreshing way * independent.co.uk * `For years, I have wanted to write a novel about women who have a lot of sex, and who like it, and whose lives aren't destroyed by it," says Eat Pray Love author Gilbert. This is that book, set across the glittering fabric of a lost New York * Red, The books we can't wait to read 2019 * I freaking adored this book. Its heroine, Vivian Morris, will absolutely steal your heart and probably do a good job of breaking it, too -- Sarra Manning The Eat Pray Love author transports us to New York in the summer of 1940 and a vibrant theatre scene studded with raucous showgirls * Net-a-Porter.com, Best Summer Reads * Young women come of age in war time New York, in the new novel from the author of Eat, Pray, Love * Guardian, 2019 in books: what you'll be reading this year * This cracker of a book manages to be funny, playful and thoughtful all at once ... A real joy to read ... A frothy sequin clad frolic ... a dazzling read * Good Housekeeping, `10 Books to Read Right Now' * Sensational * Cosmopolitan * A classic coming-of-age story * Daily Express * A fizzing portrait of a giddy young female hedonism * Irish Times *
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About Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert is the number one bestselling author of Eat Pray Love, which has sold over 15 million copies worldwide and been translated into over 46 languages, and several other international bestselling books of fiction and non-fiction. Her story collection Pilgrims was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award; The Last American Man was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her follow-up memoir to Eat Pray Love, Committed, became an instant number one New York Times bestseller. She has published two novels, Stern Men and The Signature of All Things, which was longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize. She lives in New Jersey. www.elizabethgilbert.com / @GilbertLiz
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Rating details

42,609 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
5 38% (16,023)
4 40% (17,038)
3 18% (7,484)
2 4% (1,546)
1 1% (518)
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