City of Girls: A Novel

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After an inglorious dismissal from college, teenager Vivian Morris is sent to New York City to live with her Aunt Peg in rooms above the decrepit Lily Playhouse, which Peg runs with her office manager, Olive. Vivian, a gifted seamstress thanks to her grandmother’s tutelage, immediately makes herself useful sewing costumes for the Lily’s second-rate productions. At night, she and Celia, a gorgeous showgirl, indulge in every tantalizing bit of Manhattan available to them, and Vivian feels happier than she ever has.

When the Lily’s fortunes begin to rise with the arrival of a bona fide star and a standout new show, Vivian goes many steps too far and finds herself banished from the only place she’s ever considered home. Life in New York City was an impossible dream, and rebuilding it seems worse than impossible.

Told from the point of view of an aging Vivian, as she explains the highs and lows and twists and turns of her life to a woman named Angela, City of Girls creates an intoxicating portrait of New York in the 1940s, when it was a city of showgirls and theatre, when war was rumbling and then engulfing the country, when a little luck and a little real estate could turn a wayward life exactly right. The pages of Gilbert’s novel fly by, and though Vivian’s story encompasses a generous lifetime, it ends much too soon.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 480 pages
Publisher Riverhead Books
Publish Date 2019-06-04
ISBN 9781594634734 Buy this Book
Issue December 2019
Category Popular Fiction


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