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Park Avenue Summer

Narrated by: Kathe Mazur, Renée Rosen
Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
4 out of 5 stars (71 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Mad Men meets The Devil Wears Prada as Renée Rosen draws readers into the glamorous New York City of 1965 and Cosmopolitan magazine, where a brazen new editor in chief - Helen Gurley Brown - shocks America and saves a dying publication by daring to talk to women about all things off-limits...

New York City is filled with opportunities for single girls like Alice Weiss, who leaves her small Midwestern town to chase her big-city dreams and unexpectedly lands the job of a lifetime working for the first female editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, Helen Gurley Brown.

Nothing could have prepared Alice for the world she enters as editors and writers resign on the spot, refusing to work for the woman who wrote the scandalous bestseller Sex and the Single Girl, and confidential memos, article ideas, and cover designs keep finding their way into the wrong hands. When someone tries to pull Alice into a scheme to sabotage her boss, she is more determined than ever to help Helen succeed. While pressure mounts at the magazine and Alice struggles to make her way in New York, she quickly learns that in Helen Gurley Brown's world, a woman can demand to have it all.

©2019 Renée Rosen (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“A delightful and empowering read.” (PopSugar)

"Renée Rosen is my go-to for whip-smart heroines who love their work. Park Avenue Summer is a delightful summer cocktail of a read!" (Kate Quinn, New York Times best-selling author of The Alice Network)

Part historical fiction, part coming-of-age story, this is a novel for our keeper shelves to read and re-read when we begin to doubt that there is still time to become the best version of ourselves.  Lovely prose, a unique storyline, and a heroine who will stay with you for a long time make this a book I highly recommend.” (Karen White, New York Times best-selling author)

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It’s Beach Read Season

And this is the perfect beach read! When I was a young girl, my dream was to move to NYC and become a secretary in a sky scraper in Manhattan. I was 17 years old, reading Seventeen magazine when HGB took over Cosmo. I visited NYC often during my college years, but never lived there. After I graduated and started a career, I eventually landed in Chicago (thanks to the “woman’s movement” and affirmative action - not as a secretary) and I became one of Helen’s girls ~ young, single, and career minded. Cosmo was a huge component of my coming of age. I stuck with it until the magazine was no longer relevant in my life. I’m retired now. Thanks for the flight of fancy down memory lane!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Enthralling!

I love everything that Renee Rosen writes! This book so beautifully captures Helen and Cosmos!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Interesting Take on 1960s NYC

“Park Avenue Summer” is really the story of Helen Gurley Brown, the pivotal first female editor of Cosmopolitan magazine and author of “Sex and the Single Girl”. Her story is told via Alice, her secretary and champion. While this is an interesting story, I think the narrative suffered from lack of focus. The author wanted it to the story of how Helen turned Cosmopolitan around from the brink of cancellation but this objective is covered up by Alice’s story which is infinitely more interesting. A good portion of the narrative drags as the same situations are repeated over and over again just with different circumstances. As a loyal fan of “Mad Men”, I caught many of the mid-century references which was cool. Helen reminded me of Joan from the TV—use your feminine wiles to get ahead. Though as Joan learned over the course of 7 seasons, it takes more than sex appeal to be taken seriously in a man’s world. Overall I enjoyed the book though I’m not sure if I would have finished it if I hadn’t been listening to the recorded version.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful