'Glamorous, sexy, compelling ... Addictive . Radical and refreshing to read' DOLLY ALDERTON, SUNDAY TIMES
It is the summer of 1940. Nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris arrives in New York with her suitcase and sewing machine, exiled by her despairing parents. Although her quicksilver talents with a needle and commitment to mastering the perfect hair roll have been deemed insufficient for her to pass into her sophomore year of Vassar, she soon finds gainful employment as the self-appointed seamstress at the Lily Playhouse, her unconventional Aunt Peg's charmingly disreputable Manhattan revue theatre. There, Vivian quickly becomes the toast of the showgirls, transforming the trash and tinsel only fit for the cheap seats into creations for goddesses.
Exile in New York is no exile at all: here in this strange wartime city of girls, Vivian and her girlfriends mean to drink the heady highball of life itself to the last drop. And when the legendary English actress Edna Watson comes to the Lily to star in the company's most ambitious show ever, Vivian is entranced by the magic that follows in her wake. But there are hard lessons to be learned, and bitterly regrettable mistakes to be made. Vivian learns that to live the life she wants, she must live many lives, ceaselessly and ingeniously making them new.
'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,' she confides. And so Vivian sets forth her story, and that of the women around her - women who have lived as they truly are, out of step with a century that could never quite keep up with them.
A glamorous, sexy, compelling romp of a novel about showgirls in New York in the 1940s. It is an addictive story, with vivid, brazenly drawn female characters, that brims with fascinating historical details of the time . Radical and refreshing to read (Dolly Alderton Sunday Times)
Expect to spot a copy on every beach towel come June (Vogue, Must-Reads)
Her wise, funny, ballsy voice is one that's given countless women the courage to change their lives. A glamorous romp of a tale that dazzleswith sequin-clad showgirls (Clover Stroud Red)
Wherever Liz Gilbert goes, we'll follow (Oprah magazine, Best book releases, 2019)
'For years, I have wanted to write a novel about women who have a lot of sex, and who like it, and whose lives aren't destroyed by it," says Eat Pray Love author Gilbert. This is that book, set across the glittering fabric of a lost New York (Red, The books we can’t wait to read 2019)
I freaking adored this book. Its heroine, Vivian Morris, will absolutely steal your heart and probably do a good job of breaking it, too (Sarra Manning)
Young women come of age in war time New York, in the new novel from the author of Eat, Pray, Love (Guardian, 2019 in books: what you’ll be reading this year)
Praise for The Signature of All Things: 'Quite simply one of the best novels I have read in years (Elizabeth Day Observer)
Irresistible (Helen Dunmore The Times)
A straight-up storyteller who dares us into adventures of worldly discovery (Barbara Kingsolver New York Times)