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City of Girls

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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  147,900 ratings  ·  15,201 reviews
From the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don't have to be a good girl to be a good person.

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

Bel
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Kindle Edition, 480 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Riverhead Books (first published June 2019)
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Gail No, no, no! There's too much content that a child should not and could not understand. Why would a child need to read of the step by step systematic "…moreNo, no, no! There's too much content that a child should not and could not understand. Why would a child need to read of the step by step systematic "removal" of a young woman's virginity which she couldn't wait to be rid of? However, bravo to any ten year old who'd read a 470 page book. Get her going on the whole ANNE OF GREEN GABLES series and let her be a child.(less)

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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  147,900 ratings  ·  15,201 reviews


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Elyse  Walters
I just finish this book seconds ago - still soaking in the pool...,
I can fully understand a wide range of reviews but truthfully I absolutely loved it.
I still have tears in my eyes. I found the ending very moving....

It was often an Audiobook HOOT! But also something much deeper...

Vivian Morris is a women I’ll remember.

Review to come soon: I’m Back.....
UPDATE.....

Audiobook....narrated by Blair Brown - FABULOUS READER!!! Kudos to Blair Brown!!!

This is another book that I almost skipped because I
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Ron Charles
Gilbert’s narrator is an old woman named Vivian, looking back at herself as a naive 19-year-old who had just failed out of Vassar College. (She ranked 361 in a class of 362, surpassing only a girl who contracted polio.) Baffled by a daughter with no matrimonial or professional prospects, Vivian’s parents send her off to an eccentric aunt who owns a crumbling theater in New York. Light-years from Broadway, Aunt Peg’s Lily Playhouse offers cookie-cutter musical comedies written on the fly for work ...more
Justin Tate
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
City of Girls is a genre-bending, uniquely-structured, light-hearted, deeply-profound kind of novel, whatever that means. I'm honestly still in awe of it. The first half has zero conflict and yet never fails to engage. I devoured every moment of being young and careless in 1940's New York, amid showgirls and theater personalities. This glorious fantasy is so enrapturing it doesn't matter if nothing goes wrong. In fact, I prefer it that way. Arguably, when the complications do show up, the novel ...more
JanB
At 51% I’m done. I loved the voice and the writing but I’m growing very weary of hearing about Vivian’s sexual exploits. I loved the era and the setting. The audiobook narrator was incredible. But it wasn’t enough to save this book for me.

I’m all for women owning their sexuality but by the halfway point I’d like to see some growth and maturity. Promiscuity is not a step forward for women, it’s a step backward.
Vivian is rather a bore and this book is way too long given the subject matter.

Moving
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Cecelia
1) Elizabeth Gilbert has an excellent publicist.
2) Have sex and be happy.
3) Nothing happens during the first 50%. Then, there is mild drama, followed by more nothingness. And, it ends on a somber note.
Nilufer Ozmekik
Three joyful, glamorous time travelling to 40’s, but travel time was too long stars!!!

I really tossed around giving three to four stars, because I enjoyed the writing but not sure about the character development!

I really enjoyed some parts so much! Having fun to learn Broadway theater life and scandalous, marvelous but also nasty, controversy backstage life of the show girls!

As a narrator, I liked the old self of Vivian, she reminded me of a chatty grandma who has vivid imagination and sarcast
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Umut Rados
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites-2019
Before I start, I'd like to mention a few things Elizabeth Gilbert wrote at the beginning of the book, which attracted me to it, and also explains the book very well. She says:
"I've longed to write a novel about promiscuous girls whose lives are not destroyed by their sexual desires" , then she introduces Vivian Morris, who's our narrator and the main character of this book.
And Gilbert says: "My goal was to write a book that would go down like a champagne cocktail- light and bright, crisp and f
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Emma Giordano
3.5 Stars.
jessica
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
okay, first i want to say that if i sent someone a letter asking ‘what were you to my father?’ and they responded with a 450+ page answer, i would literally roll my eyes so hard, they would probably get permanently stuck.

but seriously, how in the world did elizabeth gilbert think that writing this narrative as a letter made any sense!?!? especially when its only in the last 80 pages that the MC even begins to answer the original question! i get that vivian is a very selfish and conceited charac
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Julie
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert is a 2019 Riverhead publication.

This work of historical fiction spans several decades and follows the life of Vivian Morris. During the 1940’s Vivian threw away a golden opportunity at Vassar College, which prompted her parents to send her to New York to live with her eccentric Aunt Peg.

Aunt Peg owns a midtown theater and soon Vivian becomes enthralled with the thrill of live performances. She quickly strikes up a close friendship with a couple of the showgir
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 Teodora
*desperately searches for the feather boa and the good champagne glass*

UPDATE:
Maybe I was too drunk on the sparkling water I drank from the champagne glass, but I actually got a bit lost in the story to the point when it kind of got boring. But I don't categorize it as a bad read. It was very open-minded and well-documented.


Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review!
marilyn
Ninety five year old Vivian is telling her life story. She says she is good at two things in life and that's sex and sewing but another thing she excels at is focusing on Vivian. In the first twenty years of her life, the fact that there were other people out there, people who didn't have servants following them around, catering to their every need, never occurred to Vivian. She didn't even know she was rich, she thought everyone was as well off as her, all their monetary and other needs taken c ...more
*TUDOR^QUEEN*
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Riverhead Books / Penguin Publishing Group for providing an advance reader copy via Edelweiss.

It's 1940 and nineteen year old Vivian Morris is a Vassar College dropout. In the summer of that year, Vivian's parents sent her packing to New York City to stay with her Aunt Peg. Peg owned a dilapidated theater company called the Lily Playhouse which churned out revues sporting former burlesque dancers transformed into showgirls, with mostly forgettable storylines. The ticket prices were
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✨    jamieson   ✨
elizabeth gilbert has definitely read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and it shows


rtc maybe
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Beth
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hannah Greendale
Vivian Morris is an elderly woman recounting the days of her youth in this frolic through 1940's New York. She's a nineteen-year-old virgin when she journeys to the city to live in her Aunt Peg's crumbling theater, the Lily Playhouse. Hers is a tale of late-night carousing and rambunctious sexual exploration, followed by war, maturation, and the mundane trivialities of becoming an adult.

In the preview to this Advanced Uncorrected Proof, Gilbert writes that she wants this book to "go down like a
...more
Gabby
DNF @ 230 pages
I am really sad that I didn't end up loving this one. I really thought I would love it because of all the comparisons to Evelyn Hugo and the New York setting, but this book was honestly boring me to death. Historical fiction is always a hit or miss for me, and this one was unfortunately a miss. I DNF'ed it after a little more than halfway through because I realized I just don't care, and the main character was annoying the shit out of me.

This is a story about a young girl who mo
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The Artisan Geek
10/6/20
Had the pleasure of talking to Liz herself about the book: video interview



------------------VIDEO REVIEW------------------



21/5/19
I had so much darn fun reading this book, honestly. Going through Vivian's life was riveting, so utterly exciting! Loved it!! A review will up on my channel soon! :D

7/5/19
A sincere thank you to Riverhead Books for this copy of City of Girls!! I started this book off yesterday at the lake and can't wait to finish it! The setting is wonderful and I am having suc
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Stephanie Nicholas
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
Well! This was a rip roaring, light, keen read! I'm so glad I didn't miss it!

Vivian Morris recounts her days living in New York City during her coming of age years. To say too much about the story would only spoil it, and I certainly don't want to do that.

This book has been criticized as having "too much sex" in it, and even being " vulgar." Pahleease! It's a fun ride during the early 1940's, and it's honest but not lewd in any way. I loved the voice of the elderly Vivian as she recounts her vo
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Betsy
Jun 06, 2019 rated it liked it
3 stars--It's okay, but I had some issues with it.

The basic premise is that Vivian, the 89-year-old narrator, is telling her life story to someone named Angela in the form of a letter.

I did love the level of historical detail included in this (mostly) WWII-era novel. Although "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" took place a bit later, I vividly pictured the characters running around a New York that looked something like it did in that TV show.


I appreciated Vivian's sense of humor--you know she doesn't
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Gwyn
May 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was a mishmash of 2 different stories thrown together. Three quarters of the book was Vivian experiencing New York in her late teens and early twenties pre and during WW2. The rest of the book jumped ahead 15 to 20 years where someone she had only met once re-enters her life. Then the tone and story of the book totally changed and doesn’t match the writing style in the first part of the book. The final chapter then jumps about 25 years to try to pull it all together.

The character of V
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Katherine
Imagine writing a letter to one of your Father’s old friends, asking a question about how they knew your parent. And now imagine they write you back in the form of a nearly 500 page letter mostly detailing their vast sexual history. They finally answer your question within the final act, when your parent randomly becomes relevant to the story. That is my synopsis of City of Girls, or as I’d prefer to call it: “Weird Flex but OK: The Novel”

City of Girls has plenty of charm. I found myself becomin
...more
Amy
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I INHALED this book! It's an absolutely gorgeous novel about a woman figuring her life out before, during, and after WW2. It manages to be a fun, fast read, while also grappling with big messy issues like shame, grief, and how we live with our choices and mistakes. Read it!
Anne Bogel
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story hooked me from the opening line. I thought this was SO MUCH FUN, and adored the narrative voice, which is quite different from Gilbert's previous works.
Roman Clodia
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This definitely feels like a book of two halves: the first is a glorious rush of youthful hedonism, and is just so *joyous*. The characters leap off the page and the boho background of a slightly ramshackle neighbourhood theatre is rendered with loving detail from the stunning showgirls to the quiet songwriter, the English star who can't return to London during the Blitz to the Hollywood writer who creates the surprising mega-hit musical ' City of Girls'. The writing flows, Vivie is an adorable ...more
Brandice
City of Girls was a middle-of-the-road read for me. I enjoyed the premise and the setting: Now in her 90s, Vivian Morris receives a note from Angela who has asked, what were you to my father?

Vivian shares the story of her adult life beginning in the 1940s in New York City, where she arrives to live with her Aunt Peg following her expulsion from Vassar. Peg owns and runs Lily Playhouse, a theatre perpetually on the brink of closing. Vivian meets many new people here from all walks of life — Show
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Cathrine ☯️
4 👩🏾‍🦱 👩‍🦳 👩🏽 👩🏻
S E X

Early reviews I read noted there was a lot of it in these pages. It’s right up there with politics and religion at the dinner table in polite conversation. There are girls and women still schooled in the ‘you’re not supposed to initiate, enjoy, or have too much of it’ belief.
Elizabeth Gilbert is not one of them so she writes about it and other topics like satisfaction vs happiness, friendships that stand the test of time and circumstance, living and thinking outside the box
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Dennis
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dennis by: Jamie Rosenblit
I wanted to like this book soooooooooooooooooooo badly! While I've never read Eat, Pray, Love or any of Elizabeth Gilbert's previous works, but City of Girls was getting so much buzz that I just HAD to read it. While the writing was great—Elizabeth Gilbert really knows how to craft a story—I just couldn't connect with the narrative. Sadly, I was bored for a majority of the story and I couldn't wait for it to end. If City of Girls could've been condensed into 300 pages of the same plot, I ...more
Bianca
Oh, to think that had it not been for the library e-audiobook, I wouldn't have read this delightful novel. The fact that it was yet another "girl" book and that the reviews were quite mixed made me think I shouldn't bother.

Well, I'm so happy I gave it a go. Again, a million thanks to my wonderful library.

City of Girls is a masterclass in voice. It was like nothing I've read before. Blair Brown's delivery was stupendous, I can't emphasise that enough.

This was an original novel, about Vivian Morr
...more
Ceecee
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! Vivian Morris, 20, is banished to New York in disappointment by her parents after being sent down from Vasser after failing to attend a single class. She’s to live with her Aunt Peg who owns the Lily Theatre Company which performs something like revues with showgirls and dancers. Oh boy, does Vivvie have her eyes opened as she’s introduced to a hedonistic world by the showgirls, especially Celia. The story is told from 1940 onwards by Vivian to Angela who wants to understand wh ...more
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Elizabeth Gilbert is an award-winning writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Her short story collection Pilgrims was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award, and her novel Stern Men was a New York Times notable book. Her 2002 book The Last American Man was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award.

Her memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, spent 57 weeks in the #1
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Let’s be honest: It’s a lot of pressure to pick your book club’s next read. But never fear, readers are here! We combed through our data...
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“…at some point in a woman’s life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time. After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is.” 141 likes
“The world ain't straight. You grow up thinking things are a certain way. You think there are rules. You think there's a way that things have to be. You try to live straight. But the world doesn't care about your rules, or what you believe. The world ain't straight, Vivian. Never will be. Our rules, they don't mean a thing. The world just happens to you sometimes, is what I think. And people just gotta keep moving through it, best they can.” 73 likes
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