City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
What’s it about?
This novel is set up as a letter to from Vivian (towards the end of her life) to a mystery woman named Angela. In the letter Vivian recounts the story of her life. She begins in 1941 as she arrives home to her parents after flunking out of Vassar college. It is soon decided that she will go to New York City and visit her Aunt Peg (a woman rarely seen by young Vivian). Thus her real education begins. Vivian recounts the ups and downs of her unusual life.
What did it make me think about?
What an interesting time period to be alive. So much has changed for women in the last 75 years that it is almost hard to contemplate.
Should I read it?
Not sure how to proceed with this one, as I may be one of the only people I know that did not like "Eat, Pray, Love"- by the same author. This book was also an easy read- I would put it in the category of light, beach books. Sometimes I felt like it had a forced, breezy tone that got old for me. And Vivian was just not all that likable for a good portion of the book- which for me personally is hard to overcome. It takes an exceptional author to make me like a book when I do not like the main character. I thought the first 350 pages were okay, but I really liked the last 100 pages (surprise, surprise this coincides with me finding Vivian more compelling). So...that is a lot to read to get to a good 100 pages.
"The reason I don't remember any particular details about Bernadette is because I didn't pay much attention to maids back then. I was so very accustomed to them, you see. They were nearly invisible to me. I just expected to be served. And why was that? Why was I so presumptuous and callow?
Because I was rich."
If you liked this try-
The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye
The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
White Houses by Amy Bloom
some favorites of the last decade
best of winter 2020
best of summer/fall 2019
best of winter/spring 2019
best of summer/ fall 2018
best of winter/spring 2017-18
best of spring/summer 2017
best of winter
best of summer 2014
last spring favorites
on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!