Title: The Show Girl
Author: Nicola Harrison
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
”… if they can’t stand to see a young woman exercise her rights, then maybe they need an education in how the modern world works.”
Ok, so, here’s the thing…I loved this book so much! It’s setting couldn’t be more perfect – roaring 20s in New York, one of my definite top historical eras to read about. It does have a little bit of City of Girls vibes, but it’s also more posh, more fun and more into showing the real life of a dancer.
This story is centered around Olive, a young Midwestern girl looking to become a singer and a dancer in NYC. She lands a job in world famous show The Ziegfeld Follies and becomes one of the top class showgirls in the City. Glamorous as it gets, her life becomes a series of long rehearsals, dazzling shows, fancy after parties and touring the mountains celebrity style in private train wagons, staying and performing in the rich “camping” in the Adirondacks. But it is not only the glitz. It is also a story about a woman’s role in that time, about what is thought of the girls in showbiz and about a fight for doing what you were born to do. Even in modern times, dancing and singing are not considered real careers. Not stable enough. Not decent enough. Not fit enough for women, especially after having kids. Even my own family didn’t consider a dancing career to be something I could live off permanently. Even if I had their full support during years and years of training, it was just something that could entertain me till I finish my studies. Well, I did make a career out of it. And our MC Olive, did it as well 💪.
I loved the characters of this book, loved their stubbornness and determination, as well as their vulnerability and insecurities. They were not perfect but they were acting the way they felt they should. And in that time period, going against all odds was pretty bold, if you ask me. And oh my, how can I not mention the sweetest romance ever?
I should also give credits to the author cause she made a great job researching this one. Reading about all the Ziegfeld shows made me want to know more about them, so I will definitely be doing my own research and reading more about them.
Overall, my biggest recommendation for this book. It will make you mad, it will make you cry, and it will make you learn a bit more about history of NYC.
Big thanks to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press and MacMillan International for giving me the chance to read and review this book.
My GR rating: 4.5 stars