• Ms. Coffey

"City of Girls" by Elizabeth Gilbert


"…at some point in a woman's life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time. After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is." 
― Elizabeth Gilbert, City of Girls

In the early 1940s, Vivian Moris ventures to NYC to live with her aunt after she gets kicked out of college. Her aunt is a theater director, and she puts Vivian to work as the show's costume designer. While living in a playhouse, Vivian meets new friends, sleeps with men, and gets drunk almost every night. 


Gilbert uniquely tells the story of Vivian's young life. Writing in letter format, Girlbet illustrates the most critical events in Vivian's life. For most of the story, I found myself questioning the purpose of Vivian's narrative. When I got to the end of the novel, Gilbert effortlessly ties everything together with a satin bow. 


The writing is elegant and straightforward. Overall, the organization is perfect, and every event has a purpose. 


With sassy undertones, Gilbert vividly writes compelling and lovable characters. Chapter after chapter, I found myself respecting Vivian more and more. I enjoyed watching her grow up and develop as she discovered herself. As a young woman in my twenties, I found her character to be very relatable. 


I am struggling to come up with a negative quality about the book. The plot is slow, but I did not see that as a problem. 


Reading this book was like drinking a glass of bubbly champagne, and that is precisely what Gilbert intended. I thought the writing was light, fun, and playful. I rate City of Girls 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys reading female leading characters, 1940s New York, or letter format books. I thought this was a great summer book! 


Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of Eat Pray Love and Big Magic. She is a New York Times Bestselling Author, and her novel Eat Pray Love spent almost 200 weeks on the NYT Bestseller list. 


To find out more information, check out her website here.

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