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The Subway Girls

Updated: Jul 6, 2018

The Subways Girls is the delightful story of two strong women a generation apart, who both struggle to find a balance between love, happiness and ambition.



Charlotte’s dream of a career in advertising is shattered when her father demands that she help out with the failing family paint business. In the meantime, Charlotte, who just graduated from college, is swept into the glamorous world of the Miss Subway contest, which promises irresistible opportunities. 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 subway account in a last ditch effort to save her job at an advertising agency. Olivia‘s search for a winning strategy leads her to the historic Miss Subway campaign. As the pitch date closes in, Olivia find herself dealing with a broken heart, and an unlikely new love interest. An unexpected personal connection to Miss Subways arises that could save her job—and her future.


THE SUBWAY GIRLS is a charming fictional account of a historical contest that took place in NYC from 1941 to 1976 to promote the subway system. Two hundred women have held the title of Miss Subway. The story which is built around the contest is engaging and entertaining. It effortlessly weaves a tale of two career-oriented women a generation apart, and blends multiple plot lines. Both women struggle with the balance between career and personal life.

It’s a touching chronicle with two well-developed characters and some engaging writing. Both Charlotte and Olivia’s stories are gripping. I devoured this book in a day. I particularly loved the scene when Olivia makes her final pitch for the MTA account. Don’t want to spoil it, so I won’t describe it, but it had me cheering. Learning about the Subway Girls was enlightening and I appreciate the research that went into the book. It was delightful to read about the way Miss Subways contest memorabilia lives on today in a coffee table book as well as in the decor of Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Times Square. Next time I’m in NYC I’ll have to check it out!

Author SUSIE ORMAN SCHNALL is also the author of The Balance Project and On Grace. She grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She is the founder of the Balance Project interview series and has spoken extensively on work-life balance. Thanks to Netgalley, St. Martin’s Griffin and Schnall for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher St. Martin’s Griffin

Publication July 10, 2018

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Jul 04, 2018

I loved your review, Lisa, and I cannot wait to read this book!

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