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The Show Girl

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  39 reviews
It's 1927 when Olive McCormick moves from Minneapolis to New York City determined to become a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. Extremely talented as a singer and dancer, it takes every bit of perseverance to finally make it on stage. And once she does, all the glamour and excitement is everything she imagined and more--even worth all the sacrifices she has had to make along t ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: August 10th 2021 by St. Martin's Press
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  47 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Apr 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was immediately drawn to this gorgeous cover and title. I am attracted to reading books set in the 20’s and I was intrigued to read a story told by a Ziegfeld Follies Showgirl. It sounded like an original plot line, which I always adore.

The story is told through Olive’s perspective. She discovered at a young age that she loved the attention and accolades she receives when singing and acting. Her family is conservative, traditional and I would say extremely poor communicators. By that, I mean t
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
I adored Harrison's novel Montauk so when I was offered this ARC, I jumped at the chance. And it was lovely! Olive is a young performer who moves with her family to New York and joins the Ziegfeld Follies. She's dynamic and fans love her. When she meets suave and handsome Archie, she believes she has found the man of her dreams. But she's hiding a secret from her past that prevents them marrying and having children. There are lots of surprises and the book is deftly written, revealing the inequi ...more
Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Date reviewed/posted: February 5, 2021
Publication date: August 10, 2021

When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave is upon us, AND it is a loverly minus 26 degrees, snowy and icy where I am currently stuck living, so superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today.

I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader
Celia Kim
Mar 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Received an ARC via Goodreads, March 2021. Trigger warning for rape (it's not descriptive but enough of it is portrayed that made me think "hm, this probably would disturb ppl who have had a similar experience").

I went into this book with zero expectations other than (okay, so this is basically City of Girls but Zeigfeld), and despite it being exactly my parenthetical remark, this book easily won my heart.

I fucking love Olive, our main girl of the story. I thought I loved her when I was starting
Apr 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
It's the Roaring 20's, and after a rough year and much determination Olive McCormick is finally making her way to New York City to try her hand at being a part of the infamous Ziegfeld Follies. When she finally makes it, Olive is more than happy to see that it is exactly what she wanted and so much more! When she meets a swoon-worthy suitor, Archie Carmichael, she is even more thrilled. When new paths, information, and details come to light, Olive will have some difficult decisions to make about ...more
Anissa Telle
Mar 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Show Girl by Nicola Harrison is a riveting historical fiction book which features a star of the Ziegfeld Follies and Ziegfeld Frolic, Olive, in the years before the great stock market crash of 1929. While Olive is a fictional character she is based on the impeccable research of Harrison and you are transported into the life of a show girl in NYC. I am an a great lover of this genre as learning something while being entertained and inspired is my favorite pastime. I was unaware of much of the ...more
Jena Henry
Mar 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Come meet the modern girl of the Roaring Twenties, Olive Shine, in Nicola Harrison’s Historical Fiction, “The Show Girl.” The snazzy cover of this book features a show girl, with her twenty pounds of feathers atop her head. America was coming of age in the 1920’s and so were young women like Olive. But new times can mean new challenges.

Olive dreamed of being a show girl and the books begins with her barging into Ziegfeld’s office at the New Amsterdam Theater in New York City to present herself a
Mar 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Show Girl by Nicola Harrison takes us back to the 1920's and the world of Ziegfeld follies and showgirls set in New York City. Leading up to the Great Depression the country was seeing freedom like they had never known. Women were becoming stronger in their efforts to maintain independence. Prohibition didn't really seem to slow anybody down. To be a Ziegfeld girl was the height of Independence for young women. Scantily dressed and dancing in public in front of admiring audiences was not wha ...more
Karen M
Apr 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was always a fan of those old black and white movies about the Broadway shows with all the chorus girls and the elaborate costumes they wore. The unbelievable formations of girls created by the likes of Busby Berkeley and somehow filmed from above so we were treated to a kaleidoscope of females who glided in unison around the stage.

This book definitely brought back my memories of Saturdays as a kid spent glued to the TV watching George White’s Scandals and The Gold Diggers of 1933 and 1935.

Kristin F
Mar 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
When I saw the description for The Show Girl, I jumped at the chance to request an ARC. I spent the better part of my early 20s living in New York and working in theatre. The Ziegfeld girls have always been fascinating to me, the life of what I affectionately call "show trash" is endlessly nuanced and mysterious - who are these people who inhabit this fantasy world on stage after they've stepped out of the footlights? The setting of the late 1920s just added more intrigue.

When Olive, our main c
Kim Shepherd
Mar 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Show Girl ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It's 1927 when Olive McCormick moves from Minneapolis to New York City determined to become a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. Extremely talented as a singer and dancer, it takes every bit of perseverance to finally make it on stage. And once she does, all the glamour and excitement is everything she imagined and more—even worth all the sacrifices she has had to make along the way.

Then she meets Archie Carmichael. Handsome, wealthy—the only man she's ever met who seems to acce
Janet Fiorentino
Mar 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
“The Show Girl” was a great historical novel by Nicola Harrison. I adored the book “Montauk” so was excited to read this novel set during the Roaring Twenties.

Olive arrives in New York with aspirations of becoming a showgirl. While working at an event in California, she was approached by Mr. Ziegfeld who asks her to look him up if she ever makes it to the east coast. Yet, Olive’s road to stardom is more than Mr. Ziegfeld merely granting her a wish. Instead, she faces an unwanted pregnancy, estra
Apr 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Olive wants to be a performer. She wants to sing and dance and put on a show. So when her family moves to NY for her father’s job, she sets her sights on being a Ziegfeld girl - one of the most prestigious shows on Broadway in the 1920’s. At first, it looks like she will not succeed but apparently, success follows Olive... who becomes Olive Shine as she needs a good show girl name. So much more will happen for Olive as she sets out on this adventure. There are friends to be made, routines to lea ...more
Dr. Barb
Mar 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
All Olive ever wanted to do was perform. She sang and danced in small towns but when she arrived in Los Angeles to make it big, she wound up getting pregnant by someone guy she did not even know. Scared and ashamed, she went to live with her Aunt May. Only her mother knew why she was there. She had the baby, left May's house, and went to New York to be a Ziegfeld girl. She sang and danced her heart out and gathered quite a following until Archie, a successful businessman, claimed her heart. They ...more
Apr 14, 2021 rated it liked it
What I liked:
The Show Girl is a classic tale that stays true to the old-timely feels in the best way. It is reminiscent grandma’s spunky stories of alluring times, glamorous speakeasies, romantic drama, & family secrets driven by an avant-garde woman trying to find her own voice.

What I didn’t like:
I considered the first half of the book to be very plot-driven, which kept the pace fast, but it lacked sufficient character development. I enjoyed the conversations between characters but the most i
Mar 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved The Show Girl! The combination of the historical background of the Roaring 20's and the Great Camps combined with the "rags to riches' story of Olive and her success on "The Great White Way" as a Ziegfeld girl was very entertaining and endearing.

Successful show girl Olive is romanced by Ohio millionaire Archie whose over the top lifestyle blinds her judgement and their romance's conclusion -- which takes place just after the Crash of '29 kept me engaged and enthralled.

I don't want to g
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Again, Harrison has written a beautiful, rich novel that details tge life of a young woman during the 1920’s. Her earlier novel, MONTAUK, was a favorite of mine. The protagonist is Olive who comes to NYC for a career in the theater after dealing with tumultuous experiences earlier. She represents the suppression of women and the totality of a woman’s dependence on husbands and fathers.

Olive is successful and rises to fame as a ZIEGFELD GIRL. Despite her success, she faces censure from her famil
Mar 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC from Net Galley for my review

What if your family was against your dream? What if your family was ashamed of your dream? What if you felt like you could never live up to expectations?

Olive is a talented singer and dancer. While she was on what she promised her father would be her last performance tour, Olive finds herself in a difficult situation. Sent to live with her Widowed Aunt when her family moved to brooklyn from the midwest. When she returns to her family, she pursues he
Jennifer Moore
Apr 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
The Show Girl by Nicola Harrison is a delightful ride through the world of a Ziegfeld girl in the 1920s. Olive McCormick Shine takes us along as she experiences the ups and downs of a stage performer. She works her way up to earn the recognition of her talents from Mr. Ziegfeld to get her own starring appearance in The Follies as well as The Frolics. Along the way, readers are introduced to her fellow performers and their dancing the night away fun after they finish on the stage for the night. O ...more
Bethany McGill
Apr 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
I love historical fiction, so I was very intrigued by this story. The book is about Olive, who comes to New York City with dreams of becoming a show girl. During her journey to become a successful show girl, she is faced with sexual harassment, an unwanted pregnancy, and a rift between herself and her family.
The author did an incredible job with describing the beautiful costumes and glamour of show business. The imagery was so vivid and the story was quite realistic. Nicola Harrison writes hist
Leigh Ann
I loved Nicola Harrison's style in Montauk and The Show Girl may have managed to top it! The story of aspiring show girl, Olive, it captures the ups and down of life in New York City in the Roaring Twenties. Ziegfried Follies is such an iconic show for New York at the time and I loved the fictionalized struggle of the girls who populated this show. The writing is lush and full of great imagery and I found myself wanting to read more a learn where Olive's career, love life, and family drama would ...more
Mar 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
I received a complimentary copy of The Showgirl from NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

As historical fiction, this was a great read! The characters were believable and the setting was pretty amazing. The main character, Olive begins as a reliable narrator, but somewhere in the middle, she lost her bearings. She made some terrible decisions to the point where parts of the novel were more difficult to get through than others! Great book, overall and now I would love
Apr 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Having read Montauk by this author and loving that book, I went into this book with high expectations and boy did she deliver! I devoured this book!
I absolutely loved Olive through it all, she was spectacularly written! The author did an amazing job not only with time period, but with Manhattan, the Adirondacks,
the Ziegfeld Follies, The New Amsterdam Theater , Speakeasies, the Village ....I felt like I was at every place and not just reading the words!
I highly recommend this book! I look forwar
Sara Jo
Apr 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A great look at show girls of the 1920s! I wanted give this book a higher rating but I just couldn’t like the character. Olive wasn’t remotely relatable and most of the time she was a terribly selfish idiot. Her push of feminism and flying the face of tradition was admirable but generally poorly done. The added “secret” drama and the love interest were intriguing at first, but she ruined all of that with her immature behavior.

I was provided with an ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for a
Jenny Buchta
Mar 05, 2021 rated it liked it
The story of Olive “Shine” McCormick started out in the typical “small town girl moves to the big city” fashion. With a few twists a turns thrown in, like an unplanned pregnancy and a millionaire fiancée, Olive comes out on top. While this story was fairly well-written, it was just an “okay” read. Olive’s character was a bit immature and I found myself rolling my eyes and thinking, “Just get your sh!t together already so I can be finished with this story.”
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Show Girl is an extraordinary, fast moving, and heart tugging book. The relatable characters come alive and into your life with their very human qualities, struggles, and yes, the triumphs. The story takes place during the 1920s which provided an interesting historical background. This is a ten star book! Highly recommended.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley.
Mar 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a lovely novel with some twists thrown in to keep it interesting. Olive is quick on her feet (both literally and figuratively) and manages to mostly come out on top. I enjoyed reading about the showgirl life with all the sparkle and class and the speakeasys during Prohibition.

Kindly received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Andria Sedig
Mar 30, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2021
I really enjoyed the overall premise and plot of the book. Olive was a feisty and determined protagonist. I loved watching her growth and the friendships she developed with the other Follies girls. I personally felt the middle section of the book dragged a bit and the ending felt incredibly convenient, but I ultimately enjoyed the read.
Carol Dass
Apr 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, netgalley-read
Olive is a very talented singer and dancer and her dream is to become a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. She is from Minneapolis, it is 1927 and her family do not approve at all. This is a story of determination and perseverance . It is also a story of love and sacrifices. I just loved it!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Mar 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An unputdownable historical novel which follows Olive in 1929 NYC . This novel was clearly fastidiously researched as the details were incredibly accurate . This book was graciously provided by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Hi, Thanks for stopping by to visit. I'm the author of two works of historical fiction, MONTAUK (June 2019) and THE SHOW GIRL (August 2021). I'm originally from Hampshire, England, and moved to California when I was 14. I studied Literature at UCLA and received an MFA in creative writing at Stony Brook University. Soon after college I moved to NYC and worked in magazine publishing. I was the fashi ...more

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