Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Review for Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen

Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: April 30th 2019 by Berkley

Mad Men meets The Devil Wears Prada as Renée Rosen draws readers into the glamour of 1965 New York City and Cosmopolitan Magazine, where a brazen new Editor-in-Chief--Helen Gurley Brown--shocks America by daring to talk to women about all things off limits...

New York City is filled with opportunities for single girls like Alice Weiss who leaves her small Midwestern town to chase her big city dreams and unexpectedly lands the job of a lifetime working for Helen Gurley Brown, the first female Editor-in-Chief of a then failing Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Nothing could have prepared Alice for the world she enters as editors and writers resign on the spot, refusing to work for the woman who wrote the scandalous bestseller, Sex and the Single Girl. While confidential memos, article ideas, and cover designs keep finding their way into the wrong hands, someone tries to pull Alice into this scheme to sabotage her boss. But Alice remains loyal and becomes all the more determined to help Helen succeed. As pressure mounts at the magazine and Alice struggles to make her way in New York, she quickly learns that in Helen Gurley Brown's world, a woman can demand to have it all. 

My Thoughts…

Imagine a world when Cosmopolitan, the magazine, wasn’t a force in the magazine world… I can’t.   Since I’ve been old enough to know what Cosmo is it has always been a go-to women’s magazine. From the sexy, eye-catching covers to the edgy titles on the cover Cosmo has always been a magazine that is on top of fashion and knowing what women want to read about.     Helen Gurley Brown is the one who took Cosmo from a humdrum on the way out of business magazine to the one we all know and love now.  

The story is told by Helen’s secretary, Alice.   The secretary is the woman who has the inside scoop on the who’s who, who’s out, and who’s in, and who is doing what with who.    Alice comes to New York to start a dream life.   She dreams of being a photographer but instead becomes the secretary to a woman who is breaking down walls and showing the men in the magazine world what she is capable of.   

I love the strength of the women in Park Avenue Summer.   They show the men that they are capable of making a successful magazine.  They prove that they can stand up for themselves and be successful in a world run by men.    They have relationships that are what they want them to be, a marriage, a friendship, or just a convenience until the real thing comes along.   

This is an amazing historical fiction book with a great look into life in New York during 1965.

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