Title: Park Avenue Summer
Author: Renee Rosen
Publish Date: April 30, 2019
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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.
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 Two Cents:
In "Park Avenue Summer," Alice dreams of being a photographer. When she gets an opportunity to work for Helen Gurley Brown as she takes over the women's magazine, Cosmopolitan, it isn't exactly what she dreams of doing but she can see it as a way to get to where she wants to be. Helen is a bright, bold woman who dreams of creating a magazine for the modern woman in the mid-1960s when what a modern women is supposed to be in very much still being debated. Alice has a front-row seat to a revolution that she never expected!
I feel like I had been waiting for this book for forever. One downside of following the book industry so closely is that the time period between hearing about a book and actually getting your hands on said book is often terribly long and hard to wait for. I've loved Renee Rosen's other books and was excited to get my hands on this one. I was not disappointed!
Helen Gurley Brown is super fascinating and it's shocking to me that as far as I know, no one has taken her on in fiction. This is the woman that changed the face of the magazine industry. She molded Cosmopolitan into a model for all magazines (not just women's magazines). She believed in herself even when so many others saw her as too rash and too willing to seemingly follow the wind. We get to know her through the eyes of Alice, a woman who is very much still trying to figure out how to stand on her own. The juxtaposition was super interesting and kept me reading.
The details in the book were great. New York City is one of those places that I love visiting in real life and through books. I loved all of the detail that the author gave to the world-building aspect of the book. Alice is new to the city and is getting used to living in the hustle bustle of the city in the swinging sixties. I loved seeing the city and its people through Alice's eyes.
This was a great book and I can't wait to see what Renee Rosen writes next!