Novel Approach: A showstopper of a read
“Style is a reflection of your attitude and personality.” — Shawn Ashmore
With age comes wisdom and a sense of understanding that often eludes youth, too deeply absorbed by the thick of the moment surrounding them. Our latest read transports us back in time to a pre-war period of showgirls and theater in New York City.
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
In her latest novel, Elizabeth Gilbert thrusts readers into the world of 1940s theater. As an older woman, Vivian Morris reflects on her life in a letter, allowing her fashion obsessed existence as a costume director at her aunt’s decadently crumbling theater to be unfurled with a rollicking commentary that adds a charming sparkle to the narrative. Readers will become so entranced by Vivian’s story they’ll completely forget why the narrator was writing it in the first place and tumble into her charming backstage stories. “City of Girls” is a crackling coming-of-age story rife with captivating characters, humor and an honest glimpse into womanhood and chosen families. As a young woman Vivian hurls herself headfirst into the glittering world of her showgirl friends, unabashedly seeking trouble at every turn until she collides with a ruinous scandal.
Vivian’s brutally honest depiction of her life and her snappy asides will endear her to readers as she shares stories about the family she has stitched together, in a version of New York that has been lost to time.
Gilbert’s latest read is a page-turner of the highest order, for those planning to read it at the beach, consider packing a flashlight as you won’t want to put down “City of Girls” until you’ve finished the final page.
From the book jacket…
“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.”
If you enjoy…
Readers who find themselves captivated by the clever characters in “City of Girls” might also enjoy Ronlyn Domingue’s “The Mercy of Thin Air.” Domingue’s novel spins the story of Razi, a young woman who tragically died in the midst of her grand love story, who chooses to live as a ghost as she narrates her life and that of the couple who purchased her beloved’s bookcase.