City of Girls Book Club Questions with FREE Printable Discussion Guide

Is your book club reading City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert? Get ten City of Girls book club questions and a free printable discussion guide too.

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At some point in a woman’s life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time. After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is. -- Elizabeth Gilbert, City of Girls

We're kicking off our the fifth year of our online book club with Elizabeth Gilbert's bestseller, City of Girls, and the discussion is sure to be as lively as the book itself!

City of Girls is a novel that begins in 1940s New York. Having been kicked out of Vassar College, sheltered 19-year-old Vivian Morris is sent by her parents to live with her Aunt Peg in the theater she owns. Vivian is soon swept into the whirlwind of theater life and city life, with an eccentric cast of characters and new experiences at every turn.

But an ill-fated decision turns her world upside down, until it ultimately shows her who she truly wants to be. 

Spanning 70 years of Vivian's life, City of Girls takes us on her journey to discover if one can be a "good girl" and a good person too.

Book Club Discussion Questions for City of Girls

Looking for book club questions for your own discussion of City of Girls? Keep reading and see how you can download our FREE printable City of Girls Discussion Guide.

The following questions contain spoilers about City of Girls.

City of Girls begins in 1940. How did the time period affect the story? How would Vivian's life been different had she been born in a different era, either past or future?

Was Vivian a "good girl"? What did that mean during her youth? What does it mean today? 

Discuss Peg and Billy's relationship. Why did they stay married?

What impact did meeting Edna have on Vivian's life? Was Edna a good role model for Vivian?

What did Edna mean when she told Vivian she would never be a "real person" and would always be a "type of person"? Is this ever true? Was it true for Vivian at the time, and if so, did it continue to be true?

Discuss the pacing of the novel. Was it too fast, too slow, or just right?

Vivian falls in love with Frank, who is unattainable in the traditional sense. Is this part of his appeal to her? What does this say about her as a person and also about our society's expectations for romantic relationships?

In her letter, Angela asks Vivian, "what you were to my father?" What do you think the answer to that question is?

What did you think of the ending of the book? Do Angela and Vivian continue to correspond? What do you think Angela takes from Vivian's story?

Join Our Online Book Club

Join nearly 1,000 other women who love to chat about great books in our online book club.

We open discussion for each book on the 25th of the month, but encourage great book conversations anytime. Join us on Facebook and jump in to any of our previous chats or start your own.

Join the club here and see what we are reading this year!

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