City of Girls, Elizabeth Gilbert | Book Review

"Life is both fleeting and dangerous, and there is no point in denying yourself pleasure, or being anything other than what you are."


City of Girls | Elizabeth Gilbert
Published: 4th June 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book is just a dream. From page one I was completely absorbed in the glorious world Elizabeth Gilbert has brought to life. I was so wrapped up in it all, that I felt like I'd open my front door and be on the bustling streets of 1940s Manhattan... needless to say I could not open said door because #lockdown but what a welcome escape from all the craziness.

In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, thanks to her lacklustre engagement in her studies. Her parents send her to New York to live with her flamboyant aunt Peg, who owns and lives in a crumbling theatre called the Lily Playhouse. It's here that Vivian's life changes as she's introduced to a host of charismatic and larger than life luvvies. Her life changes to a mile-a-minute wild ride that has it's fair share of highs and lows. Without giving too much away, this is a coming of age story and a love story that's a joy to read.

I inhaled this book for a few reasons, firstly because I love theatre and I love New York, so I just wanted more of the sumptuous descriptions of the wildly theatrical life Vivvie was living in the Big Apple. Secondly because of the writing itself; Gilbert gives so much life and energy to her characters that they really feel real. I actually cannot believe I can't google search them and endlessly find information about the stars mentioned. Each character is fantastically defined with differences, attractiveness and flaws that make them both vivid an truthful. 


With Mrs Maisel vibes in terms of the humour and boldness of it all, this is a dream for anyone wanting a bit of glamour in their life. If we weren't in lockdown I think I'd now be on the hunt for a whole new wardrobe and copious Gin Fizzes!

What's also miraculous about this book is that it manages to be utterly laugh out loud humourous and lighthearted, whilst also being profound and inspiring. I did find a few times when the story lagged and I certainly think I could have been cut down in length, but I still wolfed it down! 

This is a captivating, evocative, entertaining and moving read that I loved and would highly recommend for anyone wanting glamour, theatre and emotion.

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