City Of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Here is what the QBD crew thought…

Historical fiction or 50 Shades of Grey with just a little less rope?

I’m a young soul, born in what has probably been the perfect era for my interests – modern politics, technology, colour picture and books set entirely within the span of my life – which I suppose means they’re pretty much present tense. I do not read historical fiction. Yet, in my usual attempts to circumnavigate and promptly avoid any texts set southward of the 1990s, I found myself rudderless, yet gleeful and as I was pulled hopelessly into the giant iceberg of literary fiction that is ‘City of Girls’. And I call it an iceberg because as I sank into my couch cushions for what would become two blissful days of uninterrupted reading I had no idea what kind ‘impact’ it could have on me.

It’s the 1940s and 19-year-old Vivian Morris has just flunked out of the prestigious private university Vassar. Vivian is good at three things; sewing, sex and focusing on Vivian, anything outside of that draws little focus. The war is quite literally flying right over her head. And after an embarrassing sex scandal, her world is only turned further upside down. Then, what starts as an innocent escape, sewing theatre costumes for her aunt in New York, becomes an exhilarating romp of sex, sparkles and showgirls and Vivian learns how to grow up, see outside of herself and really get an understanding of the world around her.

Told through the eyes of 95-year-old Vivian, ‘City of Girls’ is the heart-warming, poignant and often hilarious story of one woman’s growth and sexual awakening, with the little reminder; you only get one life so live it the best way possible and have much, much more sex.

If I had to describe it in one word it would be; ‘beautiful’. – Isabelle, QBD Northland

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