City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
When did I become a person that only manages to eek out one book a month? Why is this big beautiful life not big enough to hold time for all the things? For the yoga classes, for the cooking one’s own meals, for the falling in love, for the reading all the books, for the quality family time, for coffees over The New Yorker?
July brought me many things… my first kiss in years, butterflies, hours long phone conversations, yoga put to a harp and poetic beats.
And a new book from Liz Gilbert.
One of Liz’s great loves of her life, Rayya, passed… and in the wake of grief this book came forth. I wanted it to be a masterpiece. But like the title implies and even Liz herself said, she needed to write a FUN book. Something to accompany us at the beach. Characters we could like, but not fall deeply in love with. This is not a book that one finishes and clutches to one’s bosom and lets out a sigh because you don’t know who to thank for the lessons you learned and you don’t know who to tell how you will miss the characters so. This is not that book. I have to clarify and give fair warning because I count myself among Liz’s biggest fans.
She needed to write this book. She needed light. Not that there is not depth here, I personally related very much to the main character Vivian’s flight from New York. The night that she realized she’d messed up so bad that the only thing left to do was run. Away from it all. The people, And the place. I had sometimes in my early 20’s like that- where I’d run from Colorado straight to the arms of Utah, and back and forth a couple of times. And that feeling of shame.
That’s what this book is about- a coming of age story, the mistakes young people make, the shame we all carry, and how we learn to live with it.
I wish I could say these characters were memorable… but nearly a month after reading it a friend of mine told me she’d finally gotten to the part with Billy…. and for the life of me I couldn’t think who that was. It came to me later, but the point is. This one is a filler book, it’s the book you read when you need a break from the heavy hitters.
What beach reads did you get into this summer?