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Giving Elizabeth Gilbert Another Chance, City of Girls: A Book Review

Updated on July 24, 2019
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Brandy is an avid reader and loves to publish positive books reviews.

I have been seeing City of Girls advertised for a while now but I was not interested in reading it. The author, Elizabeth Gilbert, also wrote Eat, Pray, Love and it was not my cup of tea so I was giving this one a hard pass until a friend recommended it. I trust her opinion on books and since City of Girls is fiction and Eat, Pray, Love was nonfiction, I thought I would give it a chance, and I am glad I did.

Cover of City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
Cover of City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert


Vivian Morris is an older woman who is looking back on her life as a well-to-do young woman in 1940’s New York City working in a theatre owned by her aunt. Vivian is telling this story to a woman, Angela, who has asked her what her relationship was like with her father. This adds an element of mystery to the book because it takes a little while to reveal who Angela’s father was and what Vivian’s relationship was to him.

Anyway, at some point in a woman’s life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time. After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is

— Elizabeth Gilbert, City of Girls

What I Liked About This Book

I love books about the goings on of a theatre. I personally have a secret desire to be a theatre actress but considering I could not even get a part in my local playhouse, this dream might have to be deferred. (I promise I am not giving up though, that’s another story) Lucky for me, I love to read and I can experience what it is like to be part of a theatre company without the pancake makeup and the infighting.This book did not disappoint in that regard.

I also liked how honest the main character was. She was selfish, sheltered, and promiscuous and she owned it. She was telling her story but without trying to make herself look like a saint or a sinner. She was laying her story bare and this was very enjoyable for me because self-awareness is something that is not found in real life very often.

I also like that this book was about making mistakes and not beating yourself up about them. The main character makes a mistake that changes the direction of her life and she reflects back on it as an older woman. This is interesting to me because we have all made mistakes and it is how we react to those mistakes that determines the outcome they will have on our lives. I am someone who beats herself up over all shorts of small trespasses. Right now I as I write this I am beating myself up over losing my temper yesterday. In this book Gilbert writes that it is okay to see and fix mistakes you are making in your life but it is not okay to beat yourself up over them.

Beating yourself up over mistakes just makes things harder
Beating yourself up over mistakes just makes things harder | Source

Who Would Like This Book

People who likes books by Paula McLain, Taylor Reid Jenkins, Emma Cline, and Laura Moriarty would like this book. If you like characters who are strong women who do not fit into the cookie cutter mold of their times this book is for you. If you like historical fiction and books about World War II on the homefront and you want a backstage look at show business in the 1940’s, give this book a try.

If this image offends you, you might not like this book!
If this image offends you, you might not like this book! | Source

Who Should Pass

This book is very adult. It explores sex and drugs and there’s a lot of sin and bad behavior involved. If you are offended by this, you should probably pass on this one. Also, if you are in a He-man Woman Haters Club, you will definitely hate this book because the women in this book will enrage you with their independent streak.

Question of the Hub

If you dislike a book by an author are you willing to give them another chance?

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Let's Discuss This Book

Have you read any books by Elizabeth Gilbert? Did you like them? How much adult content can you handle in a book? If you hate it or can deal with it, let me know down below. Happy reading!

© 2019 Brandy McGhee Nelson


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