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City of Girls

Narrated by: Blair Brown
Length: 15 hrs and 8 mins
5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The blazingly brilliant new novel from Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the international best seller Eat Pray Love: a glittering coming-of-age epic stitched across the fabric of a lost New York. 

It is the summer of 1940. Nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris arrives in New York with her suitcase and sewing machine, exiled by her despairing parents. Although her quicksilver talents with a needle and commitment to mastering the perfect hair roll have been deemed insufficient for her to pass into her sophomore year of Vassar, she soon finds gainful employment as the self-appointed seamstress at the Lily Playhouse, her unconventional Aunt Peg's charmingly disreputable Manhattan revue theatre. There, Vivian quickly becomes the toast of the showgirls, transforming the trash and tinsel only fit for the cheap seats into creations for goddesses. 

Exile in New York is no exile at all: here in this strange wartime city of girls, Vivian and her girlfriends mean to be free, to get up to no good, to drink the heady highball of life itself to the last drop. And when the legendary English actress Edna Watson comes to the Lily to star in the company's most ambitious show ever, Vivian is entranced by the magic that follows in the wake of this true, true star. 

But there are hard lessons to be learned and bitterly regrettable mistakes to be made. Vivian learns that to live the life she wants, she must live many lives, ceaselessly and ingeniously making them new. 

'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,' she confides. And so Vivian sets forth her story, and that of the women around her - women who have lived as they truly are, out of step with a century that could never quite keep up with them.

©2019 Elizabeth Gilbert (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What members say

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Such a Beautiful story

Loved, loved, loved. Elizabeth Gilberts books are always amazing. Perfect choice on the narrators. Didn't stop listening.
I really enjoyed the character's

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Brimming with wisdom and throughly entertaining

This book lived up to my every expectation. I'm devastated that I've finished it, but feel so enriched.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Exception

I have found this story telling so sublime and real without hesitation of facts that society always try to cover up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A fun sexy romp

Enjoyed every single minute of this delicious novel. A tale spun so deftly and lightly that you might mistake it for being just frivolous fun. The beautiful bold characters will take you by the heart.

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  • holly bird
  • 06-11-19

Enjoyable but doesnt hit the mark.

Elizabeth Gilbert has done, as usual, a whole load of research in order to write this novel. It was very a very entertaining story and at times, thought provoking, but ultimately it left me feeling unsatisfied. Listen to her previous novel The Signature of All Things. Fabulous book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • taylors2002
  • 06-21-19

One of my favourite ever audibles

I bought this book without reading what it was about, just because I adore Elizabeth Gilbert from her social media pages - even though admittedly I'd only read Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic previously. I expected Elizabeth to be narrating and thought it was likely a positive inspiration or guidance type of book, so I was a bit taken back to hear a different voice. I find it so difficult to connect with narrators- either loving or hating it. Well I LOVE Blair Brown, I can't even imagine Elizabeth narrating it, Blair is incredible with all the different accents and characters, I wouldn't have picked this book of the shelf but I'm so glad I downloaded it - it's definitely one that should be 'listened' to so you can really take in the surroundings and especially the characters. It's kind of slow-paced but deliberately - between Elizabeth and Blair you are taken back in time to 1940's New York City and I honestly felt like I was there, witnessing a snap shot in time, a life so different from my own but one I would jump at to live in for a while. You don't understand the person she is writing to until towards the end of the book but this one way letter format is perfect. It sounds much less self-obsessed and you really connect with the main character; Vivian. I must confess I put audible on whilst I do boring jobs or the school run to make that time more enjoyable - but I would listen to this every chance I got, it's more about feeling like you are there living it more than a story of dramas, I think there IS only 1 major drama half way through, the rest is just experiencing and enjoying, it's so plausible that this was someones life I wondered a few times if it was a true story, there are certainly true parts about the war in it - whilst the war is always kind of background anyway. When it ended I had that book-grief , a hole you're not sure how to fill because there'll not be anything quite the same but you're not ready for something new or different yet. Like you get with series-binging too. It was FABULOUS, Elizabeth & Blair have created a masterpiece between them in my eyes (or ears)

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  • Sinead
  • 06-18-19

So well performed

Another smashing story from Liz Gilbert. Fun and sexy and moving. Blair Brown totally brought this audiobook to life: I highly recommend.

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  • Denise Smith
  • 06-24-19

Love love loved it

I downloaded audible, the best thing I did. I felt as if I was in the story telling .I watched the Elton John movie last night and the same old stories.The parents wreck there children lives. The children are only as good as the parents bring them up. Or not bring them up. But it makes them a stronger person.
Anyway just loved it .

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-24-19

Wonderful from start to finnish!!!

I absolutely loved this book, from the first word to the last entertaining wonderful, exciting, and narrated perfectly!!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-18-19

Could not stop listening

Such a wonderful story with so many wonderful emotions, I could not stop listening. The narration by Blair Brown was also fantastic and enhanced the story even more. Highly recommend!

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  • Lani
  • 06-17-19

A wonderful, warm, insightful story.

This book had me by turns feeling excited, weepy, thoughtful and deeply moved. It’s filled with gratitude and generosity, excitement and devastation. It’s profoundly honest and forgiving. I feel at the end like I’ve been on a journey of humanity and womanhood. I recommend it to anyone who wants to know what it feels like to have acceptance of oneself, mercy and the courage to move onward.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-14-19

lovely writing. I just didn't care for Vivian

lovely writing. I just didn't care for the main character Vivian and what she got up to