Review Round Up: City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

The author of the acclaimed memoir Eat, Pray, Love, is back with a brand new novel. Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews…

The Guardian: “It would be easy to dismiss City of Girls as joyous escapism, and God knows there’s little enough of that around right now. But look more closely and what you’ll see is an eloquently persuasive treatise on the judgment and punishment of women, and a heartfelt call to reclaim female sexual agency.”

The Independent: **** “Coming-of-age stories which centre on female protagonists are still a relatively rare thing, and a celebrated treat. With City of Girls, Gilbert adds a valuable contribution to the genre – and shows that she’s as gifted a novelist, as she is a memoirist.”

The Washington Post: “The best and worst thing that can be said about “City of Girls” is that it’s perfectly pleasant, the kind of book one wouldn’t mind finding in a vacation condo during a rainy week. In exchange for a series of diverting adventures, it demands only stamina from its readers.” “With the right touch Vivian might have fired up insightful debates about whether women owe the world thoughtfulness over their sexcapades or how a character can effectively live outside of the great world drama of her age. Gatsby’s Daisy Buchanan is proof enough that Champagne coupes and placid beauty can be used to great effect. In City of Girls, Gilbert sends Vivian on innumerable gambols but never adds them up to anything approaching a worldview or even an attitude. This sex is as meaningless for the reader as it is for Vivian.”

The NY Times: “It’s not a simple-minded polemic about sexual freedom and not an operatic downer; rather, it’s the story of a conflicted, solitary woman who’s made an independent life as best she can. If the usual narrative shapes don’t fit her experience — and they don’t fit most lives — neither she nor her creator seems to be worrying about it.”

Evening Standard: “This is a rambunctious anthem to living a life joyous and satisfyingly full — and that deserves an ovation.”

iNews: “It is neither perfect, nor particularly literary, but it is hugely enjoyable and goes down with a smacking of lips while bringing a sparkle to the eye.”

The Times: “Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, set in 1940s Manhattan, lacks visceral intensity.”

City of Girls is available to buy now.

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