I hope you know this feeling. It’s when a book just hits all the right notes that you need in your life at that moment. It’s the feeling that makes you want to tell everyone to read it, and you find yourself copying down passages. Well, City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert is that book I’m jumping on here to tell you about today.
Awhile back I read Big Magic, and even longer back, like 9 years ago, I read Eat, Pray, Love. One I tote as a favourite of all time, another I absolutely hated and didn’t even finish… both by Elizabeth Gilbert. But Big Magic, (see blog post here) absolutely lit me up. I was at a point with the blog that I thought, who actually cares about what I’m writing. But that book reminded me that I write because I love it. I write because it makes me feel whole, and creativity is something you need to continue to work on. Will I ever write a novel? Maybe not, but this little blog continues to be a big creative outlet for me.
City of Girls could not have come at a better time in my life to read. I’m currently 39 weeks pregnant now, off work, and feeling pretty restless without much of an outlet. But picking up this book, I was sucked into it immediately. Gilbert’s writing is next level. It’s a fiction novel, with big non-fiction takeaways.
In my experience, this is the hardest lesson of them all. 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.
It’s 1940, and 19 year old Vivian Morris, recently kicked out of College, is sent by her well-off parents to live with her Aunt Peg in Manhattan. Aunt Peg, owns a barely surviving theatre company, which she has apartments above. Upon arriving, Vivian is thrusted into the extravagant life of a showgirl vicariously through a friend she has met. From here starts a the revolution of Vivian, she starts to figure herself out through living this wild life. Told through the lens of Vivian as a 95 year old woman, reflecting on her whole life, this is a brilliant coming of age story of a young woman who learns hard lessons along the way. It’s also a beautiful, unlikely love story, on finding a true love at last.
This book is stunning. I think the writing is out of this world, and so vibrant, Vivian’s character is a naive, wild, young woman, and her voice is snarky, and sassy. So I’m totally here for it. In parts it’s laugh out loud funny, then breaks your heart, and then all the sudden extremely introspective. It’s truly what great fiction to me is. Her life story is beautiful, but also so poignant, and allows the reader to truly reflect on their own life this far.
I highly suggest this book and give it a 5 star rating all around. It is so far my favourite book of the year! Go out and grab it, and let’s chat about it.
Until next time, happy reading!!