Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Julie's Review: Subway Girls

Author: Susan Orman Schnall
Series: None
Publication Date: July 10, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 320
Obtained: Great Thoughts,Great Readers Book Salon
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction
Bottom Line: Dual timelines make this story shine
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: In 1949, dutiful and ambitious Charlotte's dream of a career in advertising is shattered when her father demands she help out with the family business. Meanwhile, Charlotte is swept into the glamorous world of the Miss Subways beauty contest, which promises irresistible opportunities with its Park Avenue luster and local fame status. But when her new friend―the intriguing and gorgeous fellow-participant Rose―does something unforgivable, Charlotte must make a heart-wrenching decision that will change the lives of those around her forever. Nearly 70 years later, outspoken advertising executive Olivia is pitching the NYC subways account in a last ditch effort to save her job at an advertising agency. When the charismatic boss she’s secretly in love with pits her against her misogynistic nemesis, Olivia’s urgent search for the winning strategy leads her to the historic Miss Subways campaign. As the pitch date closes in on her, Olivia finds herself dealing with a broken heart, an unlikely new love interest, and an unexpected personal connection to Miss Subways that could save her job―and her future. The Subway Girls is the charming story of two strong women, a generation apart, who find themselves up against the same eternal struggle to find an impossible balance between love, happiness, and ambition

Review: Reader beware once you start to read The Subway Girls you will want to google the history of this story because that's exactly what happened to me...rabbit hole city! I loved the dual time line with Olivia and Charlotte and it's really what makes the story pop. You see Charlotte struggling with trying to gain her independence from her father and their family story and then you see Olivia fighting for her place in the advertising world. Charlotte certainly was a force that couldn't be contained and she knew what she wanted; a job at a big advertising firm, even if she did need to start in the typing pool.

Olivia is working at a boutique advertising firm that might now survive if they don't land a big account. So when the opportunity to pitch a campaign to the MTA falls in her lap she's excited. She's less excited when her boss decides to let her and her misogynistic co-worker go against each other for the business. So Olivia throws herself into research and stumbles upon the Miss Subway Girls and inspiration takes hold. Little does she know how this research will effect her life long term.

I loved the way the stories intersected and were brought full circle. I am always a fan of the dual storyline but I don't know if this story would have worked with just one point of view. It's obvious that Ms. Schnall did her research for this book. 

Both of them were formidable in their own way and for their time. Women have always paved the way for each other and will continue to do so. I highly recommend this wonderful novel.  



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