Written By: Elizabeth Gilbert

Narrated By: Blair Brown

Date: June 2019

Duration: 15 hours 9 minutes



From the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don't have to be a good girl to be a good person.

'A spellbinding novel about love, freedom, and finding your own happiness.' - PopSugar

'Intimate and richly sensual, razzle-dazzle with a hint of danger.' -USA Today

'Pairs well with a cocktail...or two.' -TheSkimm

'Life is both fleeting and dangerous, and there is no point in denying yourself pleasure, or being anything other than what you are.'

Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love.

In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves - and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest.

Now eighty-nine years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life - and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. 'At some point in a woman's life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time,' she muses. 'After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is.' Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection, City of Girls is a love story like no other.


  • Kelly V.

    This book is FABULOUS!! The narrator is pure perfection and the quick wit will have you laughing out loud. A must listen!!!!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful.

  • Bianca1976

    This book was not what I was expecting in a wonderful way. I was so pleasantly surprised with this story. It just made me smile! The narrator, Blair Brown, is spectacular and makes a brilliant book that much better! I hope I can find other books narrated by her! Highly recommend this book! I really enjoyed it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Linda S.

    Because this book was such a candid account of a woman of great insight and capacity to love , I found it spellbinding. I could not put it out of my mind. It was sexually explicit unlike women of her day which also made it intriguing and fun. That alone plus the characters around Vivian gave me a real sense of nostalgia. After all, we all women have pasts weather we talk about them or not but the honesty that Vivian lives was a refreshing reminder of why I love my girlfriends ❤️

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    Loved this book! The story was so engaging and about a women that were ahead of there time, free thinkers, independent but still love men.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Julie B.

    Obviously, Elizabeth Gilbert is a major literary talent, but the narrator of this book has made me a fan of her authentic reading, agility and skill. I'd listen to her read the ingredients in a Happy Meal!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Linda R.

    Quite long but very enjoyable: I especially enjoyed learning of the early theater plays and how they were cleverly put together. It did take me awhile to realize the title of the book was the title of the play.

  • Renee S.

    This story was so racy, yet heart wrenching, all at the same time! It felt both shocking & exciting to see how the heroine ignored so many of the traditional values that society expected of her. The narrator was simply amazing, truly the icing on the cake!

  • Anonymous

    Loved this book! Narrator was great! Now what I expected in the best way!

  • Anonymous

    I absolutely loved how this book was read to me! Her voice and inflection was right on spot with every sentence. The story was so captivating I couldn’t put it down. Truly enjoyed this audio book!

  • Cathy S.

    really bad read -would not recommend. stupid , frivolous , boring

  • Laetitia de Beaufort

    love it from the beginning to the end. A must read! the narrator is brilliant too!!

  • Courtney Buckley

    Fabulous story, great narrator, I've already recommended it to at least 5 friends!

  • Ayela M.

    Nothing happened. Like at all.

  • Anonymous

    Fantastic story, layered unique characters. Narrator was easy to listen to.

  • Joan S.

    The book started out in such an interesting way young woman doesn’t fit the wasp suburban way of life desires much more. A kind Aunt immersed in the theatre world in the City welcomes her to live and work with her-all was exciting and interesting. But then every chapter as the book progressed spent more time discussing her sexual escapades - instead of the success of her finding her way as a successful working woman. Perhaps that was the goal of the book a woman can have wonderful, frequent - no strings attached sex often with great joy. It just felt like yah yah yah .....got it. But why is that the biggest focus of her life and so much of this book!?Guess not my cup of tea - it is so my desire to message women have brains and can be successful.

  • Marypaz13

    I LOVED this book. The narrator does an AMAZING job; she makes this story her own. I loved how it's not historical fiction nor romance, but there's enough of it to make you enjoy the little details of history or of the love triangles. This book gave me a sense of becoming and of sexual exploration with a tough of feminism concepts, e.g. not wanting to marry. Highly recommend.

  • Dianne L.

    It took a loooong whole to get to the point...

  • Jackie S.

    I kept hoping it would get better but it never really did. The type of book you can’t wait to finish so you can start a better one.

  • Loren B.

    I loved this book! So well written with humor and candor. I was transported to the 1040s in NYC and loved every minute of it. Great characters and interesting story. Blair Brown reads the book and she is outstanding!! She made it even more fun to listen to. I recommend this book. It is heartfelt and sincere.

  • Beth W.

    This was such a fun book!

  • Lynn T.

    I loved this book.I felt sad to have it end

  • Anonymous

    At first start I was very unsure. It seemed very different from what I expected from Elizabeth Gilbert. But the more I listened the more in depth it became. I found I could identify whole heartedly with the main character as she grew as an independent woman throughout the book. By the end I was in tears as I listened . So powerful. highly recommended.

  • Sammantha S.

    Absolutely wonderful!!! I fell in love with Vivian and couldn't stop listening to her story. A pure delight

  • Mary Jeanne M.

    Terrific book and really enjoyed the narrator. Her voice inflections made all the difference in understanding nuances in the story.

  • Sonia S.

    This book was so boring. I had to fast forward On many parts. The story isn’t even interesting. I kept waiting for the author to get to the plot. No such luck. The narrator slipped in to several really bad accents. I found myself yelling at the speakers in my car begging the the narrator to get on with it. Just really bad

  • Anonymous

    Rather boring plot. Irritating voice of the narrator made it even more so. The author must be narcissistic to believe the reader would enjoy her descriptive sexual exploits., and care about her boring indecisive life. I would not recommend.

  • Amy F.

    Good story initially. However, seemed contrived in ending.

  • Barbara H.

    Hated this book.

  • Hawa Zoe D.

    My first audio read & I absolutely loved it! So many life lessons over powered by love, disappointment and humor.. The narrator's voice kept me coming back for more. On to my next audio read. ✔

  • Anonymous

    For the most part I loved it. However, I did not buy into the narrator's indiscriminate appetite for sex.

  • Carol S.

    I really enjoyed this book. It would have been helpful, with so many characters, to have an additional narrator. The NY life in the 40’s was fabulously written about. The 4 stars is due to the repetition, as others have mentioned

  • Kathy K.

    I think I will forever remember as well as miss Vivian Morris...

  • Esthet J.

    I really enjoyed this story but it was a little longer than it needed to be. It could have been told in a shorter version, but I enjoyed it anyway.

  • Robin P.

    This should have been half as long. The main story was engaging but after that, it seemed like a series of epilogues. The narration was excellent, though.

  • Shannon W.

    Absolutely wonderful! The story was funny, real, interesting, educational and entertaining. I loved the narrator! Read/listen to this book!!!

  • Marilyn W.

    I couldn't wait to get back to the book. The characters were so engaging and the storyline such fun! I will go back and listen to more of Elizabeth Gilberts books!

City of Girls: A Novel

by Elizabeth Gilbert

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City of Girls: A Novel, Elizabeth Gilbert
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