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City of Girls (2019)

de Elizabeth Gilbert

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1,540799,026 (3.99)33
Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love. In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves - and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest. Now eighty-nine years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life - and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. "At some point in a woman's life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time," she muses. "After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is." Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection, City of Girls is a love story like no other.… (més)
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Anglès (73)  Alemany (3)  Neerlandès (1)  Hongarès (1)  Francès (1)  Totes les llengües (79)
Es mostren 1-5 de 79 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Great book! ( )
  RockinLibrarian23 | Oct 22, 2021 |
This is a genuinely charming book, in which an old woman recounts her life. She was born to a rich family, but when her parents sent her off to Vassar around the year 1940, she didn't have any interest in school or anything else her parents wanted her to do. Out of frustration, her parents sent her to live with an aunt in New York City. The aunt runs a theater that puts on cheap vaudeville shows. The narrator describes her coming of age among the flashy show girls, and the wild side of New York City, and then goes on to describe how she and her family fared in World War II and afterwards.

The plot is a little hard to describe because there isn't really much of a plot, but that's okay. The characters all feel so real, and even the unpleasant ones are loveable in their own ways. Gilbert paints a vivid picture of New York City in the 1940s. Vivian gains a lot of wisdom over the years, yet maintains sympathy for the mistakes of her younger self. Although Vivian talks at length about her numerous sexual exploits, the book is really about her friendships with other women, and how those friendships sustained her.

All in all, this is a charming and delightful read. ( )
1 vota Gwendydd | Oct 17, 2021 |
It is such a long time since I have read a book that spoke to me like this one did. It caused me to shrink in shame, puff up with pride, and to cry my eyes out. Vivian Morris could so easily be me, although the characters is about 20 years older than me. I too have suffered like Vivian. Youthful mistakes, irreconcilable differences, and regrets, unimaginable sorrow and great joy populate my past as is the case with most women my age. The book is written as a letter. We have 95-year-old Vivian Morris writing the story of her life to Angela, who we do not know until the end of the book. In it Vivian bares all, and offers a revealing look at her past from early 1940's New York in the theatre world when she is 19, to a time where she is banished to her home in shame at 22, and from there back to New York where she forges a life for herself doing what she loves. Vivian is a talented and gifted seamstress, and this work opens up the world of New York to a young woman. Like all of us she makes mistakes, falls down, and picks herself up to carry on. We see her through the war years, the 1950's to the 1960's and beyond. We grow and learn with Vivian. Elizabeth Gilbert's talent in storytelling is second to none to be sure, but her characterizations are absolutely amazing. I felt that Vivian, Celia, Aunt Peg, Olive, Uncle Jimmy and all the wonderful 3-dimensional characters that people this book were my friends and acquaintances. Looking back at a life well-lived is what this book is really about. Coming to terms with the mistakes and foibles that you have made in that long life is also so much a part of this story. The book moved me to tears, I'm not ashamed to say, and although there is a generation between the fictional Vivian and myself, I see myself in her over and over. Don't get me wrong, I never lived in New York although I've often dreamt about it. But the setting is immaterial to the message of this tremendous book. The same thing could happen anywhere - in cosmopolitan Paris, in free and easy California, or in the prairies in the middle of Canada. Vivian spoke to me as no other character has in all my long history of reading. Yes, it is sometimes uncomfortable to hear what happened to Vivian. I did listen to this book on audiobook, and that made it more meaningful for me. Blaire Brown is probably the absolute best narrator I've listened to, and definitely she is the only one that could be believable with this story. This book picked me up and threw me down over and over throughout. I was there with Vivian and her friends all the way. The end is sad, but so right. It brought me to tears. Definitely the best book I've read this year, and one of my most memorable reads ever. ( )
  Romonko | Oct 5, 2021 |
Me: I finished City of Girls so ready to talk about it. Are you coming to book club Sat?
Friend: Sends screenshot of the Golem and the Jinni...Wait...I thought the book was
Me: Yes, but a couple of months ago you told me to read City of Girls.
Friend: I did!?
Me: Elizabeth Gilbert?
Friend: No. Signature of All Things.
Me: Oh, Well City of Girls is good!
Me: Well dammit now I have to get that one.
( )
  auldhouse | Sep 30, 2021 |
Three and a half stars, really. ( )
  doryfish | Aug 20, 2021 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Elizabeth Gilbertautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Brown, BlairNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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You will do foolish things,
but do them with enthusiasm.

       ---COLETTE
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For Margaret Cordi---
my eyes, my ears, my beloved friend
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I received a letter from his daughter the other day.
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The secret to falling in love so fast, of course, is not to know the person at all.
This is what flirtation is in its purest form—a whole conversation held without words. Flirtation is a series of silent questions that one person asks another person with their eyes. And the answer to those questions is always the same word:
Maybe.
Asking no further questions is the song of my people.
The dirty little whores had been disposed of; the man was allowed to remain.
Of course, I didn't recognize the hypocrisy back then.
But Lord, I recognize it now.
After a certain age, we are all walking around this world in bodies made of secrets and shame and sorrow and old, unhealed injuries. Our hearts grow sore and misshapen around all this pain—yet somehow, still, we carry on.
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Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love. In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves - and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest. Now eighty-nine years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life - and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. "At some point in a woman's life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time," she muses. "After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is." Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection, City of Girls is a love story like no other.

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