Updated: Aug 5, 2019
A fabulously captivating read for anyone that has ever picked up an issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.
Alice Weiss leaves her small Midwestern Ohio town to chase her big city dreams in New York City in 1965. Unexpectedly, she lands the job of a lifetime, working for the first female editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, Helen Gurley Brown.
Alice begins her job just as editors and writers are walking out the door refusing to work for the woman who wrote the scandalous bestseller, Sex and the Single Girl. When a handsome executive tries to pull Allison into his game to sabotage her boss she is more determined than ever to help Helen succeed. Pressure mounts at the magazine as Helen must fight on every front to totally change the concept of Cosmo for “her girls.” As the battle over Cosmo rages Alice does not lose sight of her own dreams to become a photographer, as she is swept up in a glamorous world of five star dinners, lavish parties and men who are certainly up to no good. After all, if Helen taught her “pussycats” anything, it’s that a woman can demand to have it all.
PARK AVENUE SUMMER is simply delightful. The characters, the setting and the story all work together to transport us to New York City in 1965 and the start of an iconic magazine as we know it today. Alice’s character is spot on for a young twenty something in the Big Apple trying to live the life her mother had had to give up. Alice was scared but also brave and this mix of vulnerability as well strength made her come alive on the pages of PARK AVENUE SUMMER. My favorite part was when Alice took a firm stand and refused to sabotage Helen Gurley Brown’s mission.
I loved the historical fiction aspect of the novel, but even more I appreciated the authors note at the end, detailing fact from fiction. As a Cosmo reader in the 70’s, reading about the magazine’s transformation was enlightening and made me appreciate it all the more. The writing was easy to read and flowed well. I listened to the audible book and found it totally entertaining and enjoyable. So glad I read this one!
Author Renée Rosen lives in Chicago and is a best selling author of historical fiction including: Windy City Blues, White Collar Girl, What the Lady Wants, and Dollface.
Published April 30, 2019
Narrated Kathie Mazur, Renée Rosen