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.

Elizabeth Gilbert brings us to 1940s NYC in her latest work of Fiction, City of Girls. Here we meet 19-year-old Vivian Morris as she is thrust out of the only life she’s ever known and takes on the big city. Our reviewers Jody and Palo follow her on this wild ride of discovering human desire, connection, and the idiosyncrasies of true love. Read their thoughts below.


Meeting Vivian

Jody says: The story is set in the 1940s and follows the life of one Vivian Morris, who has just been kicked out of college [and] shunned to New York to live with her eccentric aunt. She thrusts herself into the glitz and glamour of the new world she enters—getting horribly smashed, pushing her creativity to its limits, and loving all sorts of people. She lives her life unhinged the way she wants to, relishing in all the soaring and starry successes but also suffering the crushing defeats against the backdrop of show business and a brewing war.

Palo says: Set in the 1940’s, 19-year-old Vivian Morris, a Vassar kick-out of WASP origin, is sent to New York to live with her bohemian aunt in a crumbling theater called the Lily Playhouse. Determined to go off the script written for her by being born into a wealthy family, Vivian dives head-first into an adventure that many a suburban girl only dreamed of.

Vivian in New York

Jody says: The motley crew that become part of her daily life are just the people she has always dreamed of meeting and being around. […] There are characters that make you laugh out loud, characters to love to bits, and characters to scorn all the way to hell. They don’t remain static either—you might love one person in this chapter, but hate him/her in the next or vice versa.

Palo says: She meets a lot of interesting characters along the way—as well as a lot of trouble. It is in this dizzying array of characters that City of Girls truly shines. […] As Vivian forms unlikely friendships with—or gain a better understanding of—these characters, you’ll get drawn in to what seems to be the book’s thesis: that this city brings these bold yet vulnerable, experience-hardened creatures together.

The Verdict

Jody says: I have always appreciated books that are able to fully immerse its readers into a whole new life. City of Girls allowed me to explore the city of New York through the voices of its characters and showed me what it means to truly be alive.

Palo says: City of Girls might seem like your next beach read or something to tote along to your next flight, but it’s more than that. It has its enjoyable parts (especially when I read all the dialogue in my head in an Atlantic accent—try it!) that provide great amusement for the moment, but its bold heart will stay with you long after you finish it.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert is now available at Fully Booked branches and Fully Booked Online.


Jody is currently an undergraduate student taking up Education and is discovering everyday the greatest bits about reading and learning that fuel our thinking.
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Palo is a writer by trade and a book hoarder at heart. She hopes to one day conquer the behemoth that is her to-be-read pile.
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[Thoughts and views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Fully Booked. Then again, we love our authors anyway.]


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