City of Girls
Despite being one of the few people to not like Eat, Pray, Love (I know, but it just didn’t do it for me), I was so excited to get my hands on City of Girls. Elizabeth Gilbert described this book as her biggest creative challenge, and I think she really has smashed it. This book is simply fantastic! Vivian is ninety years old and is writing to younger woman to try and explain her relationship with her dad. Vivian starts at the beginning, when her parents take the decision to send her to New York to live with her aunt Peg. A wonderfully eccentric character who runs a small theatre. Here Vivian meets and becomes friends with showgirl Cecilia and together they take New York by storm. This outrageous pair romp through the city with wild abandonment. Their promiscuity eventually leads to them being at the centre of a scandal and at this point Vivian packs up her things and returns home to her parents intent on leaving her rebellious ways behind. I fell in love with Vivian, she is an absolutely extraordinary character; wild, witty and warm. The way she candidly tells her life story is beautiful and refreshing. This is a woman who dared to be different, she had an appetite for sex and wasn’t ashamed to admit it. She found a way to live her life and be okay with her choices and their consequences. What I thought it so brilliant, and unique, about this book is that Vivian’s lifestyle choices don’t ultimately become her downfall.
There are so many layers to this book I finished it days ago and I keep picking it up to read parts of it again. It is a brilliant story about love, female friendships, empowerment, breaking conventions and living a life that is true to yourself. If you’re planning your summer reads be sure to add this one, it’s glamorous and thought provoking and you won’t want to miss out. I loved it.