In the novel City of Girls, nonagenarian Vivian Morris tells her life story to a younger acquaintance named Angela. It begins in 1940, when Vivian arrives in New York City to live with her aunt Peg, because Vassar College has asked her not to return in the fall. Nineteen-year-old Vivian did not attend classes, but she did visit many drinking establishments, and she sewed. Aunt Peg and her friend Olive run the Lily Playhouse. There they do musical plays with plenty of showgirls, and plots with great appeal to the immigrant neighborhood. The showgirls befriend Vivian, teaching her about men, sex and New York’s nightlife, while Vivian becomes the Lily’s unofficial costumer. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things, has written a great historical novel and a wonderful summer read. Put it on your list.
Request these books any month of the year at your local library or bookstore.