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Park Avenue Summer

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Mad Men meets The Devil Wears Prada as Renée Rosen draws readers into the glamour of 1965 New York City and Cosmopolitan Magazine, where a brazen new Editor-in-Chief--Helen Gurley Brown--shocks America by daring to talk to women about all things off limits...

New York City is filled with opportunities for single girls like Alice Weiss who leaves her small Midwestern town to
Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: April 30th 2019 by Berkley
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Renee Rosen Hi Kathy,
Park Avenue Summer is a work of fiction based on fact. I did a lot of research, including talking to people who knew Helen Gurley Brown…more
Hi Kathy,
Park Avenue Summer is a work of fiction based on fact. I did a lot of research, including talking to people who knew Helen Gurley Brown personally. At the end of the book, I've included an author's note that states exactly where I've taken creative license. Let me know if you have further questions.
Renee (less)

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4.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  65 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Kate Quinn
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A book I was very happy to read for a cover quote, because Renee Rosen is my go-to for whip-smart heroines who love their work. Her latest is small-town girl Alice who arrives in New York in the glittering '60s and lands a job for Cosmopolitan's razor-sharp new editor Helen Gurley Brown, who sees in Alice the quintessential young career woman who is her new target audience. Alice dreams of becoming a photographer, Helen dreams of blazing a trail in the men's club of the magazine world which is r ...more
Colleen Oakley
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to get a early look at this one— it was fantastic! Such a fun insider look at Helen Gurley Brown's first year at Cosmo, when she turned it into a household name, told from the point of view of her assistant. If you love Mad Men, and everything 1960s New York, don't miss this book!
Pam Jenoff
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This wonderful book, out April 30, tells of Alice Weiss, a young woman from the midwest who move to NYC in the 1960s and finds herself working for Cosmopolitan's first female editor-in-chief, Helen Gurley Brown. Rosen puts you right in the middle of the scandal and subterfuge and you will find yourself rooting for Gurley Brown and Weiss in this fun and empowering romp.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
A captivating and enlightening look into the stunning late sixties - especially 1965 - when so much so much so much changed.

How would anyone born after 1965 or so know that? They might not. But the before-1965 years and the after-1965 years were like NIGHT and DAY. This book shows that in the story (fictionalized) of Helen Gurley Brown and how she changed Cosmopolitan Magazine, and thereby changed the magazine-reading world.

Remember, in 1965 there is no internet, no quick way to get information,
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Novel received courtesy of Berkley Publishing

I adore this novel! "Park Avenue Summer" tells the story of Helen Gurley Brown's first few months at "Cosmopolitan" magazine. I was born in the summer of 1965, the exact time in which this novel is set. I had no idea before who Helen Gurley Brown really was. The story is told from the point of view of Helen's fictional first secretary, Alice Wiess. We get to see the hell she went through to get "Cosmo" up and running as her magazine.

Alice who really w
Latanya (CraftyScribbles)
Fascinating look at 1965 Cosmopolitan at the helm of newly-appointed editor Helen Gurley Brown through the eyes of Alice, an idealistic secretary with dreams of becoming a photographer. At the heart of the story, self-determination, motivation, and gall lay at its front door. Given the era, readers can expect Mad Men-era sexism and mindsets. Women are told to look pretty and smile. They must leave gusto to men.

However, Helen and Alice challenge that notion daily in this tale. Furthermore, one wi
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You'll never look at a NYC newsstand the same way again!

Fabulous read. Sassy, Interesting, Emotional. Since it's hist fic I knew generally what what would happen to Helen Gurley Brown and Cosmo, yet thanks to Rosen's spot on storytelling I was holding my breath.

Don't miss this book.
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an early version of this book. IT IS FABULOUS!! Rosen sets the tone of the time period perfectly. The character development of a Helen Gurley Brown is masterful. Rush to read this one Pussycats!
Chanel Cleeton
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A timely behind-the-scenes look at the glamorous and cutthroat world of Cosmopolitan magazine in the 1960s, Park Avenue Summer is a smart and sexy homage to Helen Gurley Brown and her “girls”—a generation of women taking New York City by storm and inspiring those who came after them. Filled with wit, heart, and verve, Rosen’s novel dazzles and empowers. Simply wonderful!
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I will always and forever be a sucker for any book that features a young woman working at a magazine, so I had a feeling that I would enjoy Park Avenue Summer. But I especially loved its 1960's setting, and its focus on Helen Gurley Brown, one of the most famous and controversial figures in the industry. I loved the way the author melded together real facts about Cosmo and Brown at the time (references to writers like Nora Ephron and figures like Friedan and Steinem are a great touch) while full ...more
Denise Levendoski
Thank you to Renee Rosen and I won this book in a Giveaway.

Very interesting story about coming of age in the 1960's in NYC. These girls were on the brink of changing history on what everyone though girls wanted and should have. Eye opening on how much in one summer these girls and the HGB struggled to get that revolution started in mainstream and in their own lives.
Such an enjoyable book!

Small town girl moves to NYC in 1965. She dreams of being a photographer but ends up being the personal secretary to Helen Gurley Brown. We see the fictionalized version of the start of HGB's start at Cosmo.....very exciting time, for women & for magazines!

I loved Alice, the main character. She enjoyed the start of freedom women were gaining!

Thank you for the advance copy!!
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
1960's NYC, what's not to love? Ms. Rosen has created a real and likeable protagonist in Alice Weiss. Alice is a simple, straightforward Midwestern girl from Youngstown, OH, but she's got smarts and savvy in spades - enough to help her conquer gritty NYC. She lands a job at Cosmopolitan with the help of her deceased mother's friend. Alice finds herself working as the personal assistant/secretary to Helen Gurley Brown, of Sex and the Single Girl fame who has just landed at the helm of Cosmo.. Alm ...more
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
This was an good coming of age story. It was also interesting to see how the Cosmo that we have today came about. And while it isn't a biography of Helen Gurley Brown or of Cosmo, it's still a decent introduction to the history of the magazine and its editor in chief.

Alice was able to grow as not only a photographer, but as a person. She was able to try out different things (one in particular) and work out of a more conventional mindset. I liked how she was used as a storytelling vehicle and how
Kim McGee
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
An interesting look at one young woman's foray into the sexual revolution at the heels of the revolutionary herself, Helen Gurley Brown. We are privy to what the woman behind the office door was like as well as the fearless, smart and ready to kick some publishing butt woman we know. What the world didn't realize is that when the door closed after meetings or when the office was quiet, this courageous woman was often reduced to crying spells and long phone calls to her husband for support. Only ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
This book has a relatable protagonist in Alice. She was from Youngstown, OH and trying to find her way in New York City as a young, single woman on her own for the first time. She also was trying to do justice to her mother’s memory with help from her mother’s friend, Elaine. She unknowingly finds a boss and mentor in Helen Gurley Brown who champions for her girls and allows them to find themselves and teaches them how to follow their dreams. Including the real history of Cosmopolitan magazine a ...more
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such a fun book! I loved the forward-thinking depiction of Helen Gurley Brown, and this book reminded me a lot of a '60's version of the Devil Wears Prada. Alice Weiss is a young woman who moves to New York City to begin a new life away from the heartache she left behind in her home town. She begins work for Gurley Brown as her secretary just as Cosmopolitan is beginning its transformation from a respectable ladies magazine to one more in tune with the single girls of the 1960's. Weiss ...more
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I say this title as a possible read from #Netgalley, the most appealing descriptors were Mad Men and The Devil Wears Prada references. Alice is an incredibly charming and complex young woman, and learning more about Helen Gurley Brown as the editor of Cosmo is utterly fascinating. Be forewarned that she’s a very independent individual with great creativity, but I think that’s where the similarities between her and Anna Wintour. A fabulous read for anyone who likes historical fiction, New Yo ...more
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful story! I loved following Alice as she navigated New York, Cosmo, and her growing understanding of herself. I loved watching her learn how to see the world through her own eyes and truly grow confident in who she was. I cheered for her triumphs and cried as she struggled. The story of Helen Gurley Brown enthralled me. It made me see her as a real person rather than the icon that we see. She’s now three dimensional rather than the face behind Cosmo. You definitely need to read thi ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a great read about the women’s movement in the 1960’s. The story about Helen Gurley Brown was told through Alice Weiss, a young woman just starting out and was given the opportunity to learn the magazine business through the struggles of her employer. Renée Rosen excellent job capturing the time period with all her subtle details that really made it come alive. We also witnessed Alice struggle to find herself in the big city. Her career and over were all on display and you couldn’t help ...more
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To be published April 2019.
Park Avenue Summer is the story of two women: Helen Gurley Brown, the first female editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine and her assistant Alice Weiss, a fresh young Midwestern girl who moved to NYC with dreams of becoming a photographer.
Told from Alice’s perspective, Park Avenue Summer details the glitz and glamour of 1960’s NYC and is a perfect read for those who want stories featuring smart heroines and intriguing historical women.

Janilyn Kocher
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an engrossing excellent read! Rosen allows a glimpse into the 1965 world of women's magazines and the new editor of Cosmo Helen Gurley Brown. Told through the eyes of a new NYC transplant, Alice, readers experience life as a single girl and the struggles Brown experienced. I loved the story, the author's insight in the afterword, and the cover. Dreamy read! Thanks to Edelweiss for the super advance read!
Chris Markley
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Alice Weiss has dreamed of New York City for years and now she is taking a chance and leaving Ohio behind. With the help of her mother's friend she land a job as secretary to Helen Gurley Brown as she takes over Cosmopolitan. As a single girl it seems like the perfect fit as Alice embraces New York City and the single life but who can she trust? Will Alice have the courage to pursue her dream?

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an arc for my honest review.
Becky S
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Well written historical fiction based on real life characters. If you are a fan of historical fiction, especially this time period you'll definitely want to pick this up! The cover is what initially drew me in, and the contents didn't let me down. I'm a fan of this author's other work, and all of the customers we recommend her to have enjoyed them as well. I have no doubt this will be another winner for them!
Lucy Meeker
I really enjoyed the way this was written. Beautifully done with setting and characters perfectly described. What a delight to get an advanced copy in a goodreads giveaway! I highly recommend this to anyone who likes historical fiction.
Robbie White
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fantastic story about a young lady coming of age with a dream in her eye and just enough fire to make it happen. This book was very interesting and i highly recommend it to fans of historical fiction.

i received an ARC of this book. All opinions are my own.
Catie Abbott
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved every minute of this book! Helen Gurley Brown is an inspiration and Renee Rosen did a fantastic job telling her story!
Linda Woodfin
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great story told by secretary's view of behind the scenes look into the first few months that Helen Gurley Brown took over Cosmo Mag.
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Helen Gurley Brown was a force and Renée Rosen captured her essence!
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Renee Rosen and her writing so I was really excited to read her latest book Park Avenue Summer. This historical fiction novel takes place in 1965 in New York City. Helen Gurley Brown became the editor-in-chief to help revive the then failing Cosmopolitan Magazine. No one realized that she would try to change the entire look of the magazine to focus on what women really wanted to read. Unfortunately, the male executives through curveballs to fight against her success.

Helen hired Alice to
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Renee is the bestselling author of historical fiction including: WINDY CITY BLUES, WHITE COLLAR GIRL, WHAT THE LADY WANTS and DOLLFACE, as well as the YA novel, EVERY CROOKED POT.
PARK AVENUE SUMMER: a Novel of Helen Gurley Brown and Cosmopolitan Magazine will be published in April 30, 2019 from Penguin Random House / Berkley.

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