City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. (2019).
**3.5 out of 5 stars**
In the summer of 1940, 19 year old Vivian arrives in New York with her sewing machine and seamstress talents to stay at her Aunt Peg’s revue theatre, the Lily Playhouse. The showgirls love her when they discover her sewing skills and take her out to enjoy life. But there are hard lessons to learn and regrettable mistakes to be made as Vivian soon finds out. One day Vivian sets forth her story, and that of the women around her – women who lived as they truly were, out of step with a century that could never quite keep up with them.
The bestseller author of this book is perhaps best known for her novel ‘Eat Pray Love’; I personally haven’t read any of her books as of yet so this is my first taste of her writing.
I’d have to be honest and say that while I was intrigued in the plotline enough to keep reading, by the end I was over it. I think that this book is just really too long and it could have been chopped down quite a bit. That being said, I most enjoyed the periods of the book that took place at the Lily Playhouse so I didn’t find the last third of the book as interesting as the first part. Vivian’s growth from a virginal young lady to an experienced woman was entertaining (she repeatedly mentions she’s good at two things: sewing and sex) and I liked that she had the strength to eventually just be who she wanted to be, no matter the judgements of others. The book was an easy enough read, just super long.
I would recommend it to those who find the synopsis appealing.