I’ve never been a Cosmo girl. I’m a little too conservative for their particular brand of out there sexuality and a little too progressive for the regressive ideas about gender dynamics.
That doesn’t mean that as a writer, historical enthusiast and scholar of women’s movements, I didn’t appreciate what Helen Gurley Brown did with the magazine. (Even if I’ve always been more in line with Diana Vreeland) And what she did for women with that.
Park Avenue Summer doesn’t shy away from the fact that Brown was a strange mix of feminist empowerment and pre war conservatism. She was all for sexual liberation but still saw relationships and marriage as the end goal of a woman’s life. She was a necessary and Park Avenue Summer revolves around the first three issues of Cosmopolitan that Brown published, centered around her bright young assistant Alice Weiss, a fictional but delightful creation.
Alice is smart, a little shy, and very competent. She dates the wrong guy (who she knows is wrong) while she waits for the right one to come to his senses. She has some family secrets. (Which are deeply unnecessary. B-Plots in these sorts of books are usually so disposable. Reading all the YA I have lately has made me deeply appreciative of the lean storytelling style of those books.)
This was another quick read, which was sort of the point of June (so far) for me reading wise. I need to get my goal numbers. (I mean, I don’t, but you know.) But it’s also been refreshing to just breeze through books again. This is partially because I’m back in the habit of reading, but by being back in the habit, it doesn’t take as long for me to read.
I was out of practice. But I’m getting back in shape.
If only I could do the same for running…
Up next is Leah On The Offbeat, which is the sequel to Love, Simon and it’s just…I love it so much…