City of Girls - Elizabeth Gilbert
City of Girls has enormous buzz as a super-hot bestseller that delivers super-hot reading.
And, I agree that a few sections will certainly have you longing for a good martini to sip slowly as you reminisce on your own “moments of awakening”…
Oh, sorry… I’m back now…
However, if this was all this book was… I would have forgotten it by the time I finished my nostalgic after-glow martini.
Thankfully, Elizabeth Gilbert delivers much, much more.
As I experienced in The Signature of All Things (an absolute masterpiece!), Ms. Gilbert has a fearless commitment to telling the truth.
No matter how vulnerable, raw, or exposed it leaves the character, Elizabeth Gilbert raises her hand and says “Yes. I will take you there.”
She takes out her mighty “literary machete” and bushwacks a path for all of us to follow along behind her.
As I read City of Girls, I felt myself physically drawing inward as she bravely moved the character forward into the often cruel light of harsh reality. In doing so, I gratefully got to move forward with the character to learn a truth of my own self that was beyond my current threshold of courage to face so truthfully on my own.
You may wonder… What could this level of reflection provide me?
And, I offer… It provides the door to mercy. And, that door, my friends… It is everything.
This is the treasure of City of Girls…
It is a spectrum journey within the landscape of mercy. Mercy for ourselves. Mercy for others.
And, as I turned the final page, I found that I had a new simple prayer to begin each day…
Mercy me… Mercy you…
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ABOUT THE BOOK:
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
"A spellbinding novel about love, freedom, and finding your own happiness." - PopSugar
"Intimate and richly sensual, razzle-dazzle with a hint of danger." -USA Today
"Pairs well with a cocktail...or two." -TheSkimm
"Life is both fleeting and dangerous, and there is no point in denying yourself pleasure, or being anything other than what you are."
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.