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City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (Audio Book Review)
Related: Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
Her latest book is City of Girls, a Bestseller and runaway success based in 1940s New York.
What is City of Girls about?
City of Girls is written as a letter from Vivian Morris, a well-heeled 19-year-old girl who’s been kicked out of the esteemed Vassar College and is sent to live with her aunt, the black sheep of the family, in 1940s New York.
Arriving with nothing but her sewing machine Vivian learns to navigate love, life and stunning betrayal as she shares her memoirs in a letter to a young woman who asks her who she was to her father.
Vivian shares her coming of age story as well as how the production City Of Girls changed her life irrevocably and caused a huge scandal that sent her fleeing back home in disgrace.
What Works In City Of Girls?
Listening to it on Audiobook, it’s very fast paced not only with the 1940s New York dialect but the descriptions of New York at that time.
You can almost feel you are there.
The characters are lively and well thought out, even the peripheral ones and they help keep the story moving.
I didn’t see the twist in the book coming at all.
What Doesn’t Work In City of Girls?
What starts out at break neck speed turns into something very slow in the last quarter of the book, almost as if Gilbert needs to explain what happened to Viv after the betrayal.
The twist in this book is well researched and catches you by surprise but when we get to the bit about Angela who Viv is writing this memoir too, it gets a bit long.
Gilbert could have cut those chapters down and made a much tighter book rather than go into a sojourn of what Viv did after World War 2.
I’ve had an Audible account for a long time, and at various times tried to get into it but with an attention span of a goldfish and this challenge looming over my head, I knew I wanted to get through this book but I’m not able to read as much now.
So, I decided to try listening to Audiobooks on my commute into work and so far I really enjoyed it!
Would I recommend it?
I listened to this on Audio Book through my local library.
The narrator Blair Brown sounds exactly like Elizabeth Gilbert and has managed to encapsulate some sort of transatlantic accent that I image Vivian would have had.
While I liked the book, and it kept up a good pace with exciting twists and turns, I felt it was 2 chapters too long and the plot point of who Vivian was to Angela was kind of lamely explained and didn’t feel true to this firebrand of a character.
It almost felt like Gilbert wanted to wrap the ending up in a neat little bow to give the reader the whole picture rather than leaving things to our imagination.
There are a lot of graphic descriptions of sexual activities so if that triggers or upsets you then this is not the book for you.
Overall, I liked it, but I didn’t love it.
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