“City of Girls” by Elizabeth Gilbert takes us into the caverns of the 40s and the 50s New York City.
Vivian Morris, a would-have-been-straight-laced Vasser graduate ends up being a promiscuous and down-in-the- pits kind of girl – but she is not without merit.
An exceptionally resourceful and skilled seamstress, she also becomes an adept seductress with her partner-in-crime Cecilia Ray. Both leggy beauties explore the underbelly of the bustling metropolis night after night.
Events transpire as events do! A kiss under a lamppost shared amongst these two girls and the husband of a famous actress leads Vivian to leave town in utter shame, get engaged to a guy she doesn’t love, break up with him, and return to the life in NYC.
Except … the NYC on her return is full of the effects of the war. There is rationing everywhere, men have left for the frontlines, and the general mindset of people is ripe for helping the country than indulging in hedonistic pleasures.
This is where the amelioration of Vivian begins. She seizes what is available. She works in the Navy Yard, evolves as a person, develops and invests herself in friendships, starts her own boutique, and remains unmarried while being in love with a veteran.
Sexual escapades, cigarette smoke, bottomless glasses of liquors pepper the story but under all these carnal activities, lies crisp human emotions, steadfastness under adversities, an upbeat attitude towards life despite failures, and an edgy and worth memorizing treasure chest of phrases uttered by Edna Parker.
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