Book Review: City of Girls

“Anyway, at some point in a woman’s life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time. After that, she if free to become whoever she truly is.”

Set in a theatre in New York City in 1940’s, this is a book that celebrates strong women and the girls learning to be strong women. The narrator, Vivian, becomes a woman who learns to live life on her terms, to accept herself and to live with the consequences of her actions. She becomes a woman who values other women and the importance of both her family or origin and the family she chose.

“The field of honor is a pain field,” Olive went on…. “Of course, nobody is required to stand in the field of honor,” Olive continued. “If you find it too challenging, you may always exit, and then you can remain a child. But if you wish to be a person of character, I’m afraid this is the only way. But it may be painful.”

What hooked on the first page and had me rushing home after work so I could read was the language. This book made me realize how much colorful language we have lost in a time when people text more than talk and watch tv more than listen to radio or each other.

Here are some of my favorite language snippets form the book:

“Hush,” she said. “I’m thinking at the top of my lungs.” 

“I could murder a meal, and what’s worse, I have a powerful thirst.”

“Arrived last night, went right to my club, got a manicure and a haircut, went out to see some old robbers and derelicts and ne’er-do-wells that I used to know, and then came here…  Get yourself a robe, girlie and come help me scare up some breakfast in this joint. You won’t want to miss what happens next.”

“Very much of little consequence has transpired since we last met, my dear. Let’s sit down for a drink and talk about none of it.”


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