Park Avenue Summer
by Renée Rosen
New York City in the summer of 1965 comes alive in this captivating novel by Renee Rosen. Alice Weiss leaves her Ohio town to seek her fortune as a photographer in New York City. Although Alice lost her mother when she was young, she remembers all of the wonderful things her mother shared with her about living there and Alice knew that one day she would live there, too.
Thanks to a referral from her mother’s friend, Elaine, she gets an interview with Cosmopolitan Magazine and meets the legendary Helen Gurley Brown who has just taken over the magazine as editor. Alice manages to get hired as a secretary and soon becomes Helen’s personal assistant. Things aren’t going well for Cosmopolitan Magazine. Circulation is way down and Ms. Brown wants to make the magazine sexier and edgier for a new generation of women. Employees begin to quit because they don’t want to work for the woman who wrote the scandalous Sex and the Single Girl bestseller. With budget constraints, people trying to sabotage Ms Brown behind her back and the publishing company resisting everything Helen tries to do, it looks like Cosmopolitan might close and Alice will soon be out of a job. But Alice is resourceful and loyal to Helen and decides to do everything she can to help Helen succeed as the first female editor of Csmopolitan.
Reading Park Avenue Summer I was transported to 1965 with Alice as she pursued her dream, learned to navigate New York City and view it through a photographer’s lens, made friends, found loss and love, ate in legendary restaurants like the Russian Tea Room, the 21 Club and the Plaza Hotel. In 1965, can a woman demand to have it all as Helen Gurley Brown proclaimed? Read Park Avenue Summer and see what you think.
Included at the end of the book is a Readers Guide, an interview with the author and Discussion Questions.
Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for providing me with an advanced copy of Park Avenue Summer. It will be available in bookstores on April 30th.