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City of Girls

Written by: Elizabeth Gilbert
Narrated by: Blair Brown
Length: 15 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

Regular price: ₹1,328.00

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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

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what a fine read!

never thought some body could define frivolity worthy such compassion and grace. love you Elizabeth. you are my favourite. love your style and tone. the narrator is awesome too. had added a dimension to the story. kudos.

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Glorious read/listening.

I feel like I've lived a hundred years through this book. I'm having to remind myself that what I just read was just a fiction, not an autobiography. It really is that lively and vivid. It's rich with experience and you can almost see the NYC of early 1900s. I'm sure you can relate some bit to many characters and get angry at some of them their dumbness and weep at some of their suffering. It's all just so beautiful and made me think about large from a larger perspective. And the narrator, oh God! I was a little sad at first for it's not naratted in Gilbert's own voice but the narattor is terrific. She brought the story to life. Such expression, such accurate accent.. Everything just so beautiful. I rejoiced the whole experience of listening to this book.

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  • KeziaLivesLegendary
  • 15-06-19

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer
  • 11-06-19

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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  • Andries
  • 09-06-19

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Emma Seibold
  • 28-08-19

I loved this book

This was such a joy to read and there was magic in every sentence and phrase.

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  • Annabel Roberts
  • 20-08-19

A delight

What a light and joyful yet significant story. It was stunningly read. I loved it!

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  • Ashleigh
  • 19-08-19

Thoroughly entertaining.

This book is like listening to a dear old friend recount some of life's best moments.

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  • Jennifer
  • 04-08-19

Outstanding

Loved every minute of the book. Brilliantly written and beautifully narrated.

Thank you Liz Gilbert!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-08-19

Loved it

The story was so sad, but so uplifting at the same time. Lots of life lessons!

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  • Lindie
  • 23-07-19

Beautifully written, loved the narration.

Elizabeth Gilbert never disappoints, another book that will be read again for the sheer joy of her beautiful, heartfelt writing

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 17-07-19

Absolutely loved it

I loved this story, and was completely absorbed. I relished everything from the snappy language of the 1940s conversations, to the evolving character of Vivian, and of course, to the descriptions of New York City, which is a strong contender for the leading character. Blair Brown's performance brings it all to life. I highly recommend this audio book

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  • taylors2002
  • 21-06-19

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)

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • holly bird
  • 11-06-19

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • Berkshire, Surrey
  • 10-08-19

Enchanting I lived every minute of this book

I love the way Elizabeth Gilbert writes. I feel I witnessed every moment of Vivienne’s life . Very humbling a lesson to be learned not to be judgemental about how people live their lives.Thank you

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lyll
  • 09-08-19

New York, New York

I went to NY for my 30th birthday as that was always my dream to discover the big Apple before my 30th...
Definitely bring me back some memory of how NY is...
Overall an interesting story, not the kind of book that I had image tho, but worse to listen!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jen Ablitt
  • 16-09-19

wonderful, honest story, beautifully read

a winding story about a very real woman. there's a lot of wit ably brought out by the terrific narration. I loved it.

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  • V. Austin
  • 09-09-19

Just awesome!

This isn’t my usual read but I was intrigued by some positive comments I’d heard about it. Right from the start, I was hooked! I usually listen while walking my dog and I think she’s had some extra long walks recently - I couldn’t ‘put it down!’

What made it for me was the fabulous narrator, she brings the whole story to life and her accents and performance of each character is nothing short of amazing. I’m not sure I would have got as much from it if I’d just read the book. But, I feel I will have to buy a hard copy now and then buy more for everyone I know!

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  • Lucy Martin
  • 07-09-19

Great fun story

Listened to this as i worked on a project and loved it! Evocative descriptions on New York znd the costumes, a great story and a really wonderful narrator.

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  • mairi
  • Loughborough, United Kingdom
  • 07-09-19

One of those books you can’t stop listening to

From the moment this book started I couldn’t wait to hear the story unfold and what a story it was - every emotion was felt as I heard Vivienne’s story be told. An insight into a by gone era and life lessons for all.

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  • zah
  • 07-09-19

second time listen and still as enjoyable.

Loved this from start to finish. Elizabeth Gilbert is definitely my favourite author after this book.

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  • A
  • 04-09-19

Sorry not for me

Style and story just not for me Im afraid. Well written though I can see why people love it.

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  • Stella Martin
  • 21-08-19

Keep your expectations low

The Signature of All Things is one of my favourites so I had great hope for City of Girls. I could not get into this story, I kept hoping it would get better so persevered until the end. I wouldn’t recommend this one to a friend so I’m not recommending it to you.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • shelley
  • 02-08-19

Really? This got rave reviews?

I liked Gilbert's novel: The Signature of All Things, very much. Was excited to listen to this. Drawn in in the beginning; getting annoyed at bad writing a little past the beginning; irritated by the lack of editing and predictability — same use of sentence construction; loads of 'telling' and explaining and clichéd characterisations... and gave up. Not recommended.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mandy Withers
  • 01-08-19

A fantastic story

I thoroughly enjoyed both the story telling and the narration of this book, it was heart warming story and a great lesson in history.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • michelle
  • 28-07-19

Was hooked within the first chapter

I was worried I wouldn't love this as much as eat love pray, but Elizabeth didn't disappoint.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • cottagedweller
  • 28-07-19

Pure escapism & thought provoking

The narrator took me in from the get go. Absolutely fantastic with her accents & tone. I wanted escapism & this book gives so much more. Reflection & analysis of our lives. The impact of parents effort or lack of it for daughters' futures. Our interaction with the people we cross paths with & the friends who come at all stages & ages... the way we continue to evolve through the decades.
Unmissable. I was captivated, addicted & did not want this book to end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-09-19

Power female characters throughout

I loved City of Girls which didn’t surprise me because I’ve like most of what Elizabeth Gilbert writes. Strong female characters who live unconventional lives makes for a relatable and aspirational narrative.

On the downside, it was long. Almost could have been two stories. Pre- and post- Angela’s Dad's story. Didn't like the accent of the reader. Had to convince myself to push ahead despite this.

Overall, I enjoyed the historical references and the overall “girlyness” of it. Felt like an excellent summer beach read which made it extra indulgent in the winter mornings on the bus.

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  • Lisa OBrien
  • 15-09-19

just wonderful, very heartfelt.

really did not want this to finish! such honesty so many of us can relate to... even if we would rather not! narration was perfect and made you feel the story was been told directly from the author to you.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-09-19

so well written and narrated.

Really enjoyed this book. Class in the narrative from start to end. Sexy and thoughtful. A reminder of values,morals or lack there of.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Rebecca
  • 05-09-19

I enjoyed it by the end !

I found this story a bit irritating along with the narrator. by the end however I decided it was an ok story and possibly worth the listen

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  • Burgaboo
  • 02-09-19

great book about love and friendship

funny, sad, moving and confronting. pulled at the heart strings til the end! well done