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City of Girls: A Novel por Elizabeth Gilbert
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City of Girls: A Novel (original 2019; edição 2020)

por Elizabeth Gilbert (Autor)

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1,495799,359 (3.98)33
Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love. In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves - and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest. Now eighty-nine years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life - and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. "At some point in a woman's life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time," she muses. "After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is." Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection, City of Girls is a love story like no other.… (mais)
Membro:AllisonElizabeth
Título:City of Girls: A Novel
Autores:Elizabeth Gilbert (Autor)
Informação:Riverhead Books (2020), Edition: First Edition Thus, 496 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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City of Girls por Elizabeth Gilbert (2019)

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This is a genuinely charming book, in which an old woman recounts her life. She was born to a rich family, but when her parents sent her off to Vassar around the year 1940, she didn't have any interest in school or anything else her parents wanted her to do. Out of frustration, her parents sent her to live with an aunt in New York City. The aunt runs a theater that puts on cheap vaudeville shows. The narrator describes her coming of age among the flashy show girls, and the wild side of New York City, and then goes on to describe how she and her family fared in World War II and afterwards.

The plot is a little hard to describe because there isn't really much of a plot, but that's okay. The characters all feel so real, and even the unpleasant ones are loveable in their own ways. Gilbert paints a vivid picture of New York City in the 1940s. Vivian gains a lot of wisdom over the years, yet maintains sympathy for the mistakes of her younger self. Although Vivian talks at length about her numerous sexual exploits, the book is really about her friendships with other women, and how those friendships sustained her.

All in all, this is a charming and delightful read. ( )
1 vote Gwendydd | Oct 17, 2021 |
It is such a long time since I have read a book that spoke to me like this one did. It caused me to shrink in shame, puff up with pride, and to cry my eyes out. Vivian Morris could so easily be me, although the characters is about 20 years older than me. I too have suffered like Vivian. Youthful mistakes, irreconcilable differences, and regrets, unimaginable sorrow and great joy populate my past as is the case with most women my age. The book is written as a letter. We have 95-year-old Vivian Morris writing the story of her life to Angela, who we do not know until the end of the book. In it Vivian bares all, and offers a revealing look at her past from early 1940's New York in the theatre world when she is 19, to a time where she is banished to her home in shame at 22, and from there back to New York where she forges a life for herself doing what she loves. Vivian is a talented and gifted seamstress, and this work opens up the world of New York to a young woman. Like all of us she makes mistakes, falls down, and picks herself up to carry on. We see her through the war years, the 1950's to the 1960's and beyond. We grow and learn with Vivian. Elizabeth Gilbert's talent in storytelling is second to none to be sure, but her characterizations are absolutely amazing. I felt that Vivian, Celia, Aunt Peg, Olive, Uncle Jimmy and all the wonderful 3-dimensional characters that people this book were my friends and acquaintances. Looking back at a life well-lived is what this book is really about. Coming to terms with the mistakes and foibles that you have made in that long life is also so much a part of this story. The book moved me to tears, I'm not ashamed to say, and although there is a generation between the fictional Vivian and myself, I see myself in her over and over. Don't get me wrong, I never lived in New York although I've often dreamt about it. But the setting is immaterial to the message of this tremendous book. The same thing could happen anywhere - in cosmopolitan Paris, in free and easy California, or in the prairies in the middle of Canada. Vivian spoke to me as no other character has in all my long history of reading. Yes, it is sometimes uncomfortable to hear what happened to Vivian. I did listen to this book on audiobook, and that made it more meaningful for me. Blaire Brown is probably the absolute best narrator I've listened to, and definitely she is the only one that could be believable with this story. This book picked me up and threw me down over and over throughout. I was there with Vivian and her friends all the way. The end is sad, but so right. It brought me to tears. Definitely the best book I've read this year, and one of my most memorable reads ever. ( )
  Romonko | Oct 5, 2021 |
Me: I finished City of Girls so ready to talk about it. Are you coming to book club Sat?
Friend: Sends screenshot of the Golem and the Jinni...Wait...I thought the book was
Me: Yes, but a couple of months ago you told me to read City of Girls.
Friend: I did!?
Me: Elizabeth Gilbert?
Friend: No. Signature of All Things.
Me: Oh, Well City of Girls is good!
Me: Well dammit now I have to get that one.
( )
  auldhouse | Sep 30, 2021 |
Three and a half stars, really. ( )
  doryfish | Aug 20, 2021 |
Upping it to 3.5.

The beginning of the book started with Vivian writing to Angela telling her story to her in the present time. I didn't pick this up until I read someone else's review, but Vivian was 95 in the present time.

Vivian's life at 19 in the 1940s, started after dropping out of Vassar, when she started living with her aunt Peg who owned a small, dilapidated theater in NYC, where her parents sent her to go What a life Vivi lived with Peg, who was a strong woman and her assistant Olive. I loved all the characters in this book which included the showgirls, singers, etc. mostly all who lived in the theater. Vivian became the seamstress for the costumes. What a life for a 19 year old in the 1940s.

I loved how she became a grown up and opened her own bridal shop making the dresses with a girl who she bought fabrics from when she was sewing for the theater.

As time went by, I became engrossed in her life even more with her debauchery and the scandal she got into trouble with her Uncle Billy (who was married to Peg but never lived together unless he was in NY) and her best friend who lived with her above the theater when pictures were sold to Walter Winchell after a night out on the town. After that, Vivian went back to live with her parents which was not a good thing. She finally went back to NY to live with her aunt once again, helping the war effort at the Navy dock putting on shows. One more note about Uncle Billy, he wrote the play which became a smash hit and the title was.....City of Girls.

What brought this book together was how she met a cop who was on the ship where her brother was killed. He became her best friend and confidante. I don't want to spoil how they met originally but that was my aha moment as to why she was writing to Angela after hearing from her. ( )
  sweetbabyjane58 | Aug 8, 2021 |
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Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love. In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves - and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest. Now eighty-nine years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life - and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. "At some point in a woman's life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time," she muses. "After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is." Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection, City of Girls is a love story like no other.

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