CITY OF GIRLS ebook download

Download ebook City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

08/16/2019   |   by admin

From the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Loveand 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.

CITY OF GIRLS ebook download

Download eBook City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert in pdf, epub, mobi, rtf and docx

 


City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert details:

  • File Size: 972 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (June 4, 2019)
  • Publication Date: June 4, 2019
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07HYV7ND6

Book summary City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

An Amazon Best Book of June 2019: It’s 1940 and good-time gal Vivian Morris has just been expelled from Vassar, but she doesn’t much mind. Her parents, on the other hand, are less than thrilled, so they dispatch their dawdling daughter to New York to live with her aunt Peg—the charismatic proprietor of a past-its-prime theater that is home to a quirky, cobbled-together family of thespians and showgirls (whom you will genuinely miss when the last page is turned). Here, Vivian sets out to become someone interesting, and in short order commits a colossal youthful indiscretion that makes her interesting for all the wrong reasons. Elizabeth Gilbert has said that she wants City of Girls to go down like a gin fizz. (Mission accomplished!) But she slyly imparts some hard-won wisdom into this bawdy but bighearted novel, written as an antidote to the grief Gilbert was experiencing after the loss of her partner, Rayya Elias: “Life is dangerous and fleeting. And thus there is no point in denying yourself pleasure or adventure while you are here.” To that end, don’t deny yourself the pleasure of reading City of Girls—Erin Kodicek, Amazon Book Review

Review Praise for City of Girls:
“A novel as vibrant, sexy and wise as the author’s megahit Eat Pray Love.” – People Magazine
“The girls and women of the book don’t simply endure: they thrive, they dance, they live. Grab some champagne and toast…” – OprahMag.com”Gilbert’s new novel… is a pitch-perfect evocation of the era’s tawdry glamour and a coming-of-age story whose fizzy surface conceals unexpected gradations of feeling.” –New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)”Gilbert stays true to her pledge that she won’t let her protagonist’s sexuality be her downfall, like so many literary heroines before her. That may be the most radical thing about a novel that otherwise revels in the old-fashioned pleasures of storytelling — the right to fall down rabbit holes, and still find your own wonderland.” – EntertainmentWeekly.com”A breezy, entertaining read — and really, something better: a lively, effervescent, and sexy portrait of a woman living in a golden time… Passion, Gilbert never tires of informing us, that’s the stuff of life. Not money, not the Darwinian struggle for survival, certainly not the family you are born with — passion is our raison d’etre. It’s what makes us feel we are rocketing through the streets of New York City during the best days of our lives.” – NPR”Her story is rich with memorable characters… the larger-than-life leading lady… the alluring leading man—and a vibrant setting… Gilbert’s expert world-building, flawless dialogue, and attention to detail places you right in the middle of the action.” – Buzzfeed News

“The lush prose and firm belief in love that suffuses City of Girls will be a cool place to hide out as we enter a heated summer season of contentious presidential politics.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Glittering, hot, funny, and drenched in pleasure… Elizabeth Gilbert is one of the most dazzling and luminous writers of our generation. She invites us to challenge the rules, hunt down adventure, and bear hug the highs and lows of life.” – Marie Forleo, MarieTV

“A moving novel about one woman’s coming-of-empowerment… Gilbert wrote the kind of big-hearted historical novel you’ll burn through in a weekend, then pass on to a friend.” – Refinery 29

“[Elizabeth Gilbert’s] witty dialogue sparkles like diamonds in champagne.” – The Washington Post

“Of course, one could — and many will — read it on the beach, but consider instead staying up late to turn pages after midnight, next to an open window on a hot summer night, fireworks flaring in the distance. That experience would mirror this novel’s story and its style: intimate and richly sensual, razzle-dazzle with a hint of danger.” – USA Today

“A light, fizzy summer cocktail with a strikingly complex finish… Gilbert’s book is as deliciously refreshing as a fizzy summer drink, but truly, in its second half, it’s also more like fine wine, thoughtfully crafted to be savored for its benefits.” – The Boston Globe

“The perfect summer read.” – Hello Giggles

“A glamorous, sexy novel.” – PopSugar

“Packed with showgirls, playboys, and sex—lots of it…being a ‘good girl’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” – InStyle

“…pure, unadulterated entertainment.” – The Daily Beast

“The descriptions… of outfits, of drinks, of faces—are delicious, and the smart, snappy dialogue races along like a screwball movie.” – The Seattle Times

“Fiercely feminist, as well as jam-packed with uplifting truths about love and freedom, this phantasmagoria is both a feast for the senses and a balm for the soul.” – Esquire.com

City of Girls is smart and wise, and if you also want your beach read to speak to your sense of desire, longing, adventure, and coming of age, it certainly will not disappoint.” –goop.com

“A fizzy cocktail of a novel…” – The Wall Street Journal 

“Sparkling… City of Girls begs big questions about sex, chosen families, and being a woman.” – Marie Claire

“When Elizabeth Gilbert set out to write City of Girls, her goal was to tell a story of female promiscuity that didn’t end in death or misfortune—a direct and delicious rebuttal to the tragic, sexist fates of the Emma Bovarys and Anna Kareninas of the canon. The result is a wildly entertaining summertime romp.” –Elle

City of Girls tells the story of teenage Vivian’s discovery of the life she wants to live: one full of pleasure, fun, frivolity and even scandal among the charismatic people who populate her aunt’s midtown theater.” – Good Housekeeping

“[In City of Girls] there are some of the most brilliant and truthful evocations of youthful sexual exploration that you’ll ever read. Gilbert says in her foreword that she set out to write a novel about ‘promiscuous girls whose lives are not destroyed by their sexual desires’. She has triumphed.” – Spectator USA

“Elizabeth Gilbert—the best-selling writer, matron saint of divorced women, modern symbol of follow-your-bliss wisdom, believer in magic, and Oprah approved contemporary guru—has decided to go back in time… Ultimately, Gilbert wants us to question all the judgement society tosses at women like Vivian—and to question the nagging voice inside every girl telling her to be good.” –Cosmopolitan 

City of Girls embraces. . . the power of a woman breaking from a traditional path, and the wisdom of taking true, two-handed joy in the pleasures that life offers up… City of Girls is an unbeatable beach read, loaded with humor and insight.” – Newsday 

City of Girls is more than a love letter to New York—it’s a colorful portrait of what it means to be part of a theater company, or more accurately, to become a ‘theater person’… Gilbert brings the reader into every moment happening just behind the curtain.”  –Bust Magazine

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 working-class folk. Vivian has no interest in acting, but she adores fine clothes and she’s a whiz with a sewing machine. Always on the lookout for talent, her aunt makes her the theater’s costumer. And so what should have been a mere summer interlude became a whole life.

Unfortunately, what should have been a mere 300-page novel became a 470-page tome. The best and worst thing that can be said about “City of Girls” is that it’s perfectly pleasant, the kind of book one wouldn’t mind finding in a vacation condo during a rainy week. In exchange for a series of diverting adventures, it demands only stamina from its readers.

Not that it’s without charm. Gilbert definitely knows her way around the vintage dress shop. So many outfits are sharply described in these pages that rather than put this novel on a shelf, you should hang it in a closet. And she’s got a good ear for the arch repartee of 1940s comedy. In the best passages, her witty dialogue sparkles like diamonds in champagne.

But this is a story that takes a half-hour to travel a New York minute. And that leisurely pace pushes. . . .

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 saw low reviews by friends I respect – plus I’ve had my own up and down issues about past book written by Elizabeth Gilbert. So far- I seem to have extreme thoughts about Gilbert’s books – I either can’t stand them – or I’m ‘over-the-hill’ crazy in love with them. “A Signature For Small Things”, blew me away. Loved it!!! “Eat, Pray, Love”….not so much.

I cherish how I’m feeling from this book. I’m actually still digesting some of the essential insights.
In my thinking – Gilbert has crafted a fulfilling and important path to understanding and healing ourselves and finding peace….
She did this with dazzling storytelling- she didn’t have to write a ‘self-awareness’ – or ‘self help’ book, to have us face our humility, courage, compassion, and wisdom, either. It took the entire book for me to grow into the deeper messages.
Elizabeth Gilbert provided an opportunity for learning about ourselves. She does this by creating lead protagonist- Vivian Morris.
Maybe I’m the silly one – but for me – there was much more authentic spirituality in this book – naturally – than I experienced in Gilbert’s book called “Big Magic”.

The characters in this book live LARGE. The story itself is a huge sprawling chronicle – a life story about a lofty – supercilious – honest – and gracious character: Vivian Morris. She tells us several times that she is only good at two things: sex and sewing. NOT TRUE! I was able to see early on how gracious of a friend she could be- to both men and women.
We meet ‘the gang/ the family’…..at the Lily Playhouse…vaudeville theater in New York City…..with colorful show girls & actors. It’s a different era than today.
Besides Vivian, – we’ll meet Aunt Peg, Olive, Celia, British actress Edna Parker Watson – ( Star of the play called “City of Girls”), Uncle Billy, Marjorie, Frank, and Angela

Towards the end of the book – I was reminded of that powerful sentence I’ve heard a few times in my life….
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle”.

Not a book for everyone…
Read through many positive and critical reviews. There are many of both.

Some words from critical reviewers:
Too long
Boring
Didn’t hold readers interest
Too much sex
Quirky characters
Trash
Silly and predictable
Self Indulgent
Debauchery, sex, and alcohol
Shallow fluff

Positives words from readers:
Captivating
Entertaining
Like a tray of Champagne cocktails
Better than Harry Potter
I couldn’t put it down
All the feels
Great female characters
Champions independence
Weeping and can’t type
A beautiful story
A memorable story
Nostalgic
Lots of sex
Lots of sex
Lots of sex
Glitz and glamour
Intoxicating by freedom & a scintillating lifestyle
Thought provoking
Life lived to the fullest
Amazing characters

For me it was full of heart, thought-provoking, funny, sad, animated with gorgeous vibrant lush language with a rich connection to acceptance, forgiveness,…and love.

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 peters out. Writers are constantly taught that conflict is everything, but in a way Gilbert proves the experts wrong. Perhaps, as the novel suggests of the 1940s, this is a sign of the times. When the world is conflicted enough, we prefer pleasure over drama.

When the second half takes a more serious turn, it’s a little disappointing. Everything was so wonderful! Why did you have to ruin it? The answer, of course, is that real life isn’t all fur and feathers. Gilbert succeeds in the grittier sections by showing us that, even in the realm of adult consequences, it’s possible to move beyond mistakes, be true to yourself, and ultimately live a fabulous life.

Other than feeling a little long in places, I have no complaints. Full disclosure, I listened to the audio version which was so masterfully narrated that I have no doubt it enhanced the experience. Dancing through the streets of New York is a great distraction on the daily commute, but may struggle to demand my attention in bed after a long day. If anybody transitioned from book to audio, I’m curious to hear how the experience differed.

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 fun.”
So she did 🙂

This is a coming of age story of Vivian, a very likeable and vivid character. She’s 19 when we start following her, a college drop out coming from a wealthy family. She moves to New York to live with her eccentric aunt Peg, who owns a theatre, and then, her adventures begin. We follow Vivian until she’s very old.
I can easily say, Vivian is a character you’d want to follow, you’d want to listen to her stories because she’s very energetic, sassy, free and fun.
“I promise that I will try my best in these pages not to go on and on about how much better everything was back in my day. I always hated hearing old people yammering on like this when I was young. (Nobody cares! Nobody cares about your Golden Age, you blathering goat!) And I do want to assure you: I’m aware that many things were not better in the 1940s. Underarm deodorants, air-conditioning were woefully inadequate, for instance, so everybody stank like crazy, especially in the summer, and also we had Hitler.”

The book started very strong, I loved Gilbert’s note, I loved Vivian right away. She was so ready to throw herself out in the world and welcome all the experiences that was thrown back at her. I think her attitude for life was a good reminder of ‘life is short’ and we mustn’t forget to live it while we can.
Gilbert gave so much life and energy to her characters that it really impressed me so much. They were all different than each other, all flawed, but amazing. Peg, uncle Billy, Edna, and many more. It was a parade of interesting people that we got to know so well. I just could picture all of them in front of my eyes, and I wished so badly I could transfer there to meet them.
For me, the highlight of this book is definitely how real and how vivid Gilbert writes. It could be mistaken for a real memoir.
“I was long and tall, that’s all there was to it. And if it sounds like I’m about to tell you the story of an ugly duckling who goes to the city and finds out that she’s pretty, after all-don’t worry, that is not that story. I was always pretty, Angela. What’s more, I always knew it.”

Another thing is the historical time Vivian was in, 1940s. It wasn’t an easy period, when there was the war. Again, I felt like I was transferred to those times to New York. The amount of detail Gilbert put in her descriptions were so imaginative. The way she described the dresses, the society, the theatres, the effects of war on people, was just impressive. I loved it!

I wanted Vivian to be real so badly, I wanted her to be on TV so I could watch her telling her stories, even better, a friend so I could have coffee with her. It was also fascinating to watch her to get older and more mature. But, in any part of her life, she was interesting. I highlighted so many of her comments, and actually many more characters.

In my opinion, there’s one thing that could be better in this book. Sometimes the energy went down a bit too long, some periods that were rather un-eventful took more space than it should. But, it didn’t decrease my love for the book 🙂

But, all in all, I thought this book was fantastically written with interesting characters. Such vivid descriptions, a lot of energy, wit and wisdom. A surprise would pop out of the pages every now and then.
In some ways, it reminded me of Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but don’t get me wrong here. The stories aren’t even remotely similar. But, the way I wanted Vivian to be real so much reminded me how much I wanted Evelyn Hugo to be real. Because they were so well written, captivating characters.

I hope this was useful 🙂

City of Girls download ebook

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 cheap to adapt to the low income residents in the immediate neighborhood. The living quarters were located above the theater, its apartments often filled with down on their luck actors, actresses and dancers. Vivian was suddenly thrust into a sparkling world of dazzling, artistic people and life-changing experiences. Some themes explored are loss of virginity, sexual hunger and prowess, and same-sex relationships at a time when it was “under the radar.” Vivian was given an exquisite and spacious apartment in the building, which was actually meant for Aunt Peg’s flighty actor/writer husband Billy Buell. Although they never officially divorced, Billy was living the Hollywood/playboy life clear across the country. But, that was okay. Aunt Peg had her stalwart mate Olive that oversaw everything at the theater like an army sergeant.

This book lured me in from the first page with its beautiful narration by Vivian. Vivian is telling her life story to an unknown person named Angela, whom we don’t get to identify until almost the end of the book. Vivian’s story is told from 1940 to the present day, in epic fashion. An especially poignant and relevant time period discussed in the book is America’s involvement in World War II. I was often deeply moved throughout this tome, and had a fixed vision in my head of the beautiful Vivian. The writing style was easy, flowing, and the pages turned effortlessly. I highly recommend this wonderful book for a rich, quality read.

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 care of without a thought to how it happened. Then Vivian flunks out of her first year of Vassar because going to class didn’t interest her and she is shipped off to live with her Aunt Peg, in New York City. Peg owns a falling down theater and offers plays to the poor, two plays a day, everyday, and Vivian uses her sewing skills to make costumes for the plays.

Vivian also spends all her spare time with the showgirls and every night partying and having sex with men. One of her few regrets in life, at ninety five years of age, is that she didn’t have even more sex with men than she had. It’s 1940 and the fact that there is a war going on and that the US in getting involved in the war totally flies over Vivian’s head…she’s busy partying and sexing and nothing would have stopped this thoughtless way of life except she becomes part of a sex scandal that brings her NYC life to a halt. Vivian runs home in shame (although her parents think she came home because she was homesick) and spends the next year moping. Aunt Peg rescues her to have her help put on plays for those working to support the war cause in NYC and Vivvie actually begins to notice what is happening around her.

That is the first part of the book and it could have made a complete book. The parts I liked the most were the historical aspects of theater life in NYC and the part of living in NYC during WWII. We then enter the rest of Vivian’s life, where she uses her sewing skills to run a bridal boutique, all the while spending many of her evenings having sex with men. See Vivian is ahead of her time, she is the sixties sexual revolution before it ever happened and she’s going to tell us about how she and her friends have always been ahead of their times. But also, Vivian is going to use one instance in her life when she was being driven home, in shame after the scandal, where a young man insulted her concerning the scandal, to detail her entire life to a relative of his, seventy five years later. She claims she is telling her life story so that this lonely, hurt man can be known for the wonderful man he really was but I see it as a way to continue keeping the focus on Vivian…it’s always Vivian…Vivian is good at sex, sewing, and focusing on Vivian.

This is a long book and I kept waiting for Vivian to get to the point but she is the point. This book is about her, with part of the book focusing on the theater world and WWII, also. I could have used a lot less about Vivian but since she is narrating the story and she’s the star of her world, that was not going to happen. I enjoyed much of the book and wish I could have liked Vivian better but I must say that this story is true to the personality of Vivian and maybe shouldn’t have been written any other way.

Thank you to Riverhead Books/Penguin Publishing Group and Edelweiss for this ARC.

About author Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert was born in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1969, and grew up on a small family Christmas tree farm. She attended New York University, where she studied political science by day and worked on her short stories by night. After college, she spent several years traveling around the country, working in bars, diners and ranches, collecting experiences to transform into fiction.

These explorations eventually formed the basis of her first book – a short story collection called PILGRIMS, which was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award, and which moved Annie Proulx to call her “a young writer of incandescent talent”.

During these early years in New York, she also worked as a journalist for such publications as Spin, GQ and The New York Times Magazine. She was a three-time finalist for The National Magazine Award, and an article she wrote in GQ about her experiences bartending on the Lower East Side eventually became the basis for the movie COYOTE UGLY.

In 2000, Elizabeth published her first novel, STERN MEN (a story of brutal territory wars between two remote fishing islands off the coast of Maine) which was a New York Times Notable Book. In 2002, Elizabeth published THE LAST AMERICAN MAN – the true story of the modern day woodsman Eustace Conway. This book, her first work of non-fiction, was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Elizabeth is best known, however for her 2006 memoir EAT PRAY LOVE, which chronicled her journey alone around the world, looking for solace after a difficult divorce. The book was an international bestseller, translated into over thirty languages, with over 12 million copies sold worldwide. In 2010, EAT PRAY LOVE was made into a film starring Julia Roberts. The book became so popular that Time Magazine named Elizabeth as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

In 2010, Elizabeth published a follow-up to EAT PRAY LOVE called COMMITTED—a memoir which explored her ambivalent feelings about the institution of marriage. The book immediately became a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and was also received with warm critical praise. As Newsweek wrote, COMMITTED “retains plenty of Gilbert’s comic ruefulness and wide-eyed wonder”, and NPR called the book “a rich brew of newfound insight and wisdom.”

Her 2013 novel THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS is a sprawling tale of 19th century botanical exploration. O Magazine named it “the novel of a lifetime”, and the Wall Street Journal called it “the most ambitious and purely-imagined work of (Gilbert’s) twenty-year career.” THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS was a New York Times Bestseller, and Janet Maslin called it “engrossing…vibrant and hot-blooded.” The novel was named a Best Book of 2013 by The New York Times, O Magazine, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and The New Yorker.”

In 2015, she published BIG MAGIC: CREATIVE LIVING BEYOND FEAR—a book that encapsulates the joyful spirit of adventure and permission that Elizabeth has always brought to her work and to her life.

Her latest novel is CITY OF GIRLS — a rollicking, sexy tale of the New York City theater world during the 1940s. It will be published in June of 2019.

Elizabeth divides her time between New York City, rural New Jersey, and everywhere else.

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