City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (Mini Audiobook Review)

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

City of Girls

Format: Audiobook
Source: BorrowBox

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Genres: Historical Fiction

Narrator: Blair Brown

Length: 15 hours 8 minutes

Publication Date: 4th June 2019

Synopsis/Blurb (taken from Goodreads):

“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 ninety-five 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.”


My Thoughts & Review

Having read, EAT, PRAY, LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert and enjoying it a few years ago. I was really excited to pick this one up. Although I had seen this book on social media a few times and also having read a few spoiler free reviews raving about how good it was in all honesty I had no idea what it was about.

I originally started reading a physical copy of this book which I was lucky enough to find at my local library but after about a couple of chapters I started to struggle and decided to swap to the audiobook.

I really didn’t enjoy this book as much as I was hoping to. In fact, I found it quite boring. The majority of the book felt slow and just took way too long to get to anything interesting. I didn’t really care for the main character Vivian and actually thought there needed to be less of her, but at the same time that would have been quite difficult to do as she is narrating her own story and the book is basically about her.

Don’t get me wrong, I did love the writing style, but it was mainly the slow plot that I had trouble with. It felt like there was a mishmash of two separate stories that didn’t quite fit together properly. I really enjoyed reading the historical aspects that were covered and think I would have enjoyed it more if there was more of it. I also personally found that the side characters more interesting.

In all honesty I think if it wasn’t for the great job of the audiobook narrator Blair Brown, I would have probably DNF’ed this book very early on.

Sadly, this book wasn’t for me, but others have enjoyed it and I’m probably just one of a few who didn’t enjoy it. I do suggest if you really want to read this book you try to borrow a copy from either someone who already has it or from your local library.

My Rating


Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Share your thoughts in the comments and let’s get chatting.

Happy Reading Everyone!!!

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