There's just something about New York, isn't it? A story set in New York will always be magical - add a fantastic writer to the mix, and you've got a hit.
City of Girls is a love story, of loving oneself and loving your family of choice. Our narrator is Vivian Morris, who describes herself as a flighty, self-absorbed nineteen-year-old with not much substance, who is banished by her parents from her privileged suburban life to New York to live with her disreputable Aunt Peg. Together with Angela (who Vivian is narrating this story to), Vivian takes us on the journey of her life, from the frivolity of 1940s New York to a time of war through to present day. I devoured this book within a few days, and what struck me as most interesting was that I wasn't wary of a single character that Gilbert introduced throughout the story, so profound and well-written were these people.
And oh, how flipping amazing were the women! Let's face it, we all have fantastic and remarkable women in our lives and why I love to read female authors is because they take their sweet, sweet time in describing phenomenal women in their writing. We were awed by Celia's beauty and resilience, the reliability and patience of Olive, Peg's infinite well of love, Edna's talent and light, Marjorie's self-sufficiency, even stoic Angela at the end. And then there was Vivian, a supremely flawed human who it was a pleasure to watch grow as a person over time.
I borrowed this book from my beloved local library and so unfortunately couldn't highlight memorable quotes as I read, and believe me there were many. City of Girls left me riveted, breathless, enchanted, and with tears in my eyes as I was already missing Vivian as it came to my end.