City of Girls

City of Girls Summary


From the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don't have to be a good girl to be a good person.

"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.

Book Reviews


Absolutely perfect.5 star



engaging and fun4 star

Engaging writing. Loved how NYC history and culture is part of story - as well as American/world history. I recommend but it’s not a “top ten” book for me so it’s not a 5 star book.45

glad to let you know

City of Girls5 star

I loved this book. Her writing is so satisfying and her characters teach so much as you get to know each one.55

Geralynn conkey

Very interesting4 star

Colorful characters45

d tu cdrc

Sweet story3 star

It was a sweet story. Sometimes I will get boring and long but I was a nice reading35


A delicately woven tale.5 star

Captivating from beginning to end. Gilbert is a storyteller of all storytellers.55

alexandra scarlet

Good book!3 star

I definitely liked this book and the story it told. It shown light to growing up in the 40’s-60’s and all of the “rules” of society then. I wouldn’t say this is extraordinary book but it’s worth the read !35


It’s not what you think until you have read the entire book5 star

Such a great story of a girl who went to New York and lived a very unpredictable life starting pre WWII and after. Never expected the beautiful ending. You never disappoint Melissa Gilbert.55


Amazing5 star

I have not been hooked on a book in years. I loved every minute of the journey through NYC and life55


Complex characters. A female protagonist worth reading about.5 star

Excellent understanding of women. Outstanding book.55

Other Books by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat Pray Love


Eat Pray Love
4.5     2472
The Signature of All Things


The Signature of All Things
4     1400
Big Magic


Big Magic
4.5     832

   Users Online