City of Girls - Elizabeth Gilbert

City of Girls

By Elizabeth Gilbert

  • Release Date: 2019-06-04
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4.5
From 1,984 Ratings



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.

"A spellbinding novel about love, freedom, and finding your own happiness." - PopSugar

"Intimate and richly sensual, razzle-dazzle with a hint of danger." -USA Today

"Pairs well with a cocktail...or two." -TheSkimm

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

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.


  • Vivian Morris is the voice of an era for young girls tasting freedom

    By Miss Jana T
    This story is written eloquently and clearly with so much love. Once you enter the mind of the main character, it is difficult to look away. The picture of Vivian’s life within the 1940s theater and beyond builds the right amount of tension and emotion to keep the reader interested.
  • Brilliant coming of age story that continues over a span of 50 years

    By kaykaybean13
    The intricate bonds and depths of each character were so intense and captivating that I couldn’t help to fall in love with them. I genuinely felt their pain, joy, grief, compassion, kindness, humility and longing to be accepted, to be their best selves and to be loved without conditions. Peg was a perfect role model and advisor for her niece Viv. Throughout the years of living together, she taught her Bruce that there were consequences for her actions, how to accept her mistakes, apologizing and being accountable for the way her actions impacted others and to gracefully admit that she was responsible for the actions whether unintentional or not, it was how she reacts when she is confronted about her actions. She learned to love without conditions, especially loving herself. She was a courageous independent woman during the 40’s and 50’s and she didn’t conform to societal standards of marriage, child rearing or make apologies for choosing her own way. I loved seeing her blossom from an ashamed and confused young women who never felt comfortable within herself or secure in her decisions into a strong independent woman who made the life she loved and needed and didn’t require anyone’s approval. In a world where the standards for men and women are so contradictory and standards are far from equal, Viv had learned that what was acceptable for men was not appropriate or acceptable for a women, particularly regarding sexual behavior or choices. As a young woman she often felt guilty ashamed and dirty for having a healthy libido and a voracious appetite for sex. As she grew into a confident woman who had successfully established her own business, made her own rules and lived her own lifestyle with her best friend and her friends child she had out of wedlock, Viv was certainly not a woman who conformed to anything that was socially acceptable or appropriate. She was a woman before her time and evolved much further and faster than most people of her time. She was a pioneer, made her own rules by listening to her instincts and her heart. She had a beautiful heart and profoundly impacted those who she loved.
  • City Of Girls

    By uhatereviews
    One of the most trivial books I have ever read. No plot. No character development. No story development. Narcissistic and trite.

    By Chynna.T
    So entertaining and engaging from beginning to end.
  • Couldn’t put it down!

    By Hfgbudtggdygvg
    The story that just keeps giving. I read this faster than any book I’ve read in a long time because I could not put it down!
  • Never wanted it to end

    By Peonies+Magnokia
    Wonderful story - I fell in love with the characters and hated to finish this book.
  • If you love story telling...

    By fpp221
    Then read this fabulous story!
  • Exquisitely spun tale

    By Blogcrazy
    Truly captivating story that sucked me in from the first page and kept my focus throughout the conclusion.
  • City oh Girls

    By No No Nannette
    Couldn’t put it down. That says it all.
  • Beautiful ❤️

    By okyl86
    Loved everything about this book!