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A powerful novel about a gutsy showgirl who tries to conquer her past amongst the glamour of 1960s Las Vegas--and finds unexpected fortune, friendship, and love. It was unimaginable. When she was eight years old, Lily Decker somehow survived the auto accident that killed her parents and sister, but neither her emotionally distant aunt nor her all-too-attentive uncle could e A powerful novel about a gutsy showgirl who tries to conquer her past amongst the glamour of 1960s Las Vegas--and finds unexpected fortune, friendship, and love. It was unimaginable. When she was eight years old, Lily Decker somehow survived the auto accident that killed her parents and sister, but neither her emotionally distant aunt nor her all-too-attentive uncle could ease her grief. Dancing proves to be Lily's only solace, and eventually she receives a "scholarship" to a local dance academy--courtesy of a mysterious benefactor. Grown and ready to leave home for good, Lily changes her name to Ruby Wilde and heads to Las Vegas to be a troupe dancer, but her sensual beauty and voluptuous figure land her work instead as a showgirl performing everywhere from Les Folies Bergere at the Tropicana to the Stardust's Lido de Paris. Wearing costumes dripping with feathers and rhinestones, five-inch heels, and sky-high headdresses, Ruby may have all the looks of a Sin City success story, but she still must learn to navigate the world of men--and figure out what real love looks like. With her uncanny knack for understanding the hidden lives of women, Elizabeth J. Church captures both the iconic extravagance of an era and the bravery of a young woman who dances through her sadness to find connection, freedom, and, most important, herself. Advance praise for All the Beautiful Girls "A riveting novel, at once raw and tender, of a woman's struggle to heal the wounds of a devastating childhood . . . Elizabeth J. Church makes us feel Ruby Wilde's pain and root for her to survive. This is a heartbreaking story, passionately told."--Ellen Feldman, author of Next to Love Praise for Elizabeth J. Church's The Atomic Weight of Love "Oh, what an incandescent debut! Church follows one extraordinary woman who is brave to enough to challenge the times, take defiant wing, and chart her own extraordinary flight path. The Atomic Weight of Love is so engrossing I couldn't wait to read another page, and so alive I never wanted the story to end."--Caroline Leavitt, author of Is This Tomorrow "A tightly crafted novel."--The New York Times Book Review "Exquisite . . . the beautifully written story of a woman who must negotiate the tricky terrain of love, responsibility, ambition, and sacrifice. . . . It shows the impossible choices women faced--and still face--between family and self."--Tara Conklin, author of The House Girl "What does love require of us? How does one strike a balance between compromise and self-fulfillment? In her debut novel, Church writes to these issues in a style that is thoughtful and elegant. . . . Church hits the mark in this emotionally driven debut."--Library Journal "A striking story of a woman forced to choose between the future she desires or the path society insists she take." --Harper's Bazaar "An elegant glimpse into the evolution of love and womanhood."--Kirkus Reviews


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A powerful novel about a gutsy showgirl who tries to conquer her past amongst the glamour of 1960s Las Vegas--and finds unexpected fortune, friendship, and love. It was unimaginable. When she was eight years old, Lily Decker somehow survived the auto accident that killed her parents and sister, but neither her emotionally distant aunt nor her all-too-attentive uncle could e A powerful novel about a gutsy showgirl who tries to conquer her past amongst the glamour of 1960s Las Vegas--and finds unexpected fortune, friendship, and love. It was unimaginable. When she was eight years old, Lily Decker somehow survived the auto accident that killed her parents and sister, but neither her emotionally distant aunt nor her all-too-attentive uncle could ease her grief. Dancing proves to be Lily's only solace, and eventually she receives a "scholarship" to a local dance academy--courtesy of a mysterious benefactor. Grown and ready to leave home for good, Lily changes her name to Ruby Wilde and heads to Las Vegas to be a troupe dancer, but her sensual beauty and voluptuous figure land her work instead as a showgirl performing everywhere from Les Folies Bergere at the Tropicana to the Stardust's Lido de Paris. Wearing costumes dripping with feathers and rhinestones, five-inch heels, and sky-high headdresses, Ruby may have all the looks of a Sin City success story, but she still must learn to navigate the world of men--and figure out what real love looks like. With her uncanny knack for understanding the hidden lives of women, Elizabeth J. Church captures both the iconic extravagance of an era and the bravery of a young woman who dances through her sadness to find connection, freedom, and, most important, herself. Advance praise for All the Beautiful Girls "A riveting novel, at once raw and tender, of a woman's struggle to heal the wounds of a devastating childhood . . . Elizabeth J. Church makes us feel Ruby Wilde's pain and root for her to survive. This is a heartbreaking story, passionately told."--Ellen Feldman, author of Next to Love Praise for Elizabeth J. Church's The Atomic Weight of Love "Oh, what an incandescent debut! Church follows one extraordinary woman who is brave to enough to challenge the times, take defiant wing, and chart her own extraordinary flight path. The Atomic Weight of Love is so engrossing I couldn't wait to read another page, and so alive I never wanted the story to end."--Caroline Leavitt, author of Is This Tomorrow "A tightly crafted novel."--The New York Times Book Review "Exquisite . . . the beautifully written story of a woman who must negotiate the tricky terrain of love, responsibility, ambition, and sacrifice. . . . It shows the impossible choices women faced--and still face--between family and self."--Tara Conklin, author of The House Girl "What does love require of us? How does one strike a balance between compromise and self-fulfillment? In her debut novel, Church writes to these issues in a style that is thoughtful and elegant. . . . Church hits the mark in this emotionally driven debut."--Library Journal "A striking story of a woman forced to choose between the future she desires or the path society insists she take." --Harper's Bazaar "An elegant glimpse into the evolution of love and womanhood."--Kirkus Reviews

30 review for All the Beautiful Girls: An uplifting story of freedom, love and identity

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    4 beautiful, character-driven stars to All the Beautiful Girls! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 The glitz, the glamour, the surreal-looking hotels, the Cirque de Soleil shows, the food, and...the slot machines, I am enamored with all things Las Vegas. So much so, that I rang in my 22nd and 30th birthdays there. I was drawn to this book because of its Vegas setting. I was three quarters of the way through before I put it together that Elizabeth Church, the author, also wrote a book I listened to last year, The Atomic We 4 beautiful, character-driven stars to All the Beautiful Girls! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 The glitz, the glamour, the surreal-looking hotels, the Cirque de Soleil shows, the food, and...the slot machines, I am enamored with all things Las Vegas. So much so, that I rang in my 22nd and 30th birthdays there. I was drawn to this book because of its Vegas setting. I was three quarters of the way through before I put it together that Elizabeth Church, the author, also wrote a book I listened to last year, The Atomic Weight of Love. All the Beautiful Girls is such a departure, I am still wrapping my head around both books being written by the same author. I actually preferred All the Beautiful Girls. Lily’s family is killed by a mysterious man called The Aviator who will play a big part in Lily’s story throughout her life. Lily is a sympathetic character from the start. I was rooting for her and hoping she would find her way to a happier life; however, her hard times were very hard. Her childhood was dark with an uncle who abused her for years. The settings were atmospheric: Kansas in the 1950, Las Vegas in the 1960s, and New Mexico in the 1970s. At first glance, thinking of a woman desiring to be a Vegas showgirl, choosing that over her own education, one might make judgments that this story is lacking substance; however, Church presents this in a way that exposes abuses and the objectification of women based on their looks. While a Vegas showgirl might be glowing and beautiful under the shiny lights, there can be tragic story behind that lipsticked smile. There was for Lily. Will she ever escape her past? Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Lily’s story and processing all the underlying messages in the stunning prose. All the Beautiful Girls will be published on March 6, 2018. Thank you to Elizabeth Church, Random House Ballantine, and Netgalley, for the complimentary copy. Trigger warning for sexual abuse.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    Don't expect the to be an unbiased review, simply because I came to care so much about the main character Lily, and fell in like with a man called The Aviator. Lily is only eight when she loses both her parents in a car crash, the Aviator, the driver of the other car. She will live with her aunt and uncle, her aunt unable to show love to this young girl, her uncle sexuslly sbuses her. These scenes are relatively few, and quick. The Aviator makes her life bearable, sending her books, anonymously Don't expect the to be an unbiased review, simply because I came to care so much about the main character Lily, and fell in like with a man called The Aviator. Lily is only eight when she loses both her parents in a car crash, the Aviator, the driver of the other car. She will live with her aunt and uncle, her aunt unable to show love to this young girl, her uncle sexuslly sbuses her. These scenes are relatively few, and quick. The Aviator makes her life bearable, sending her books, anonymously paying for her dancing lessons. It is dance that allows her when she is eighteen to quickly leave Kansas, and head for Vegas. Wonderfully atmospheric, 1960s Vegas is shown in all its excessive splendor. Show girls with brilliant, over the top costumes, boss, g-strings, stiletto heels, and Lily makes more money than she ever thought possible. Experiences all Vegas has to offer and then some.Rubs shoulders with the entertainment icons of the day, Tom Jones, Sammy Davis, Dinah Shore. I got an absolute thrill reading much of this part of the story, done so well, can just picture what Vegas was like and in many ways still is today. I so enjoyed the exchange between The Aviator and Lily, though now known as Ruby. When she tells him about the glamour of Vegas, he sends her the book by Fritzgersld, The other side of Paradise. They talk in books, love it. She makes some wonderful friends, and makes some bad decisions, always trying to fill the hole inside herself. The Aviator will step in again, when she needs his help the most and it is in this part where she finally finds the means to forgive herself. A gorgeous book that encompasses so much, some could say too much, but I loved her journey from lows to highs, from an innocent naivesness to acknowledging her own strength, and to the realization that family comes in all sizes and shapes. Not necessarily one of blood but of love. ARC from Netgalley.

  3. 5 out of 5

    ☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆

    I am sorry I had to DNF this book not because it was bad but because there were some really big triggers for me. There are triggers of an animal death and intense childhood abuse scenes. I'm sure this book was great and many others have enjoyed it, I just can't finish it because of some recent trauma that I have experienced. I don't know how to rate this story because I couldn't get past the first chapters without a panic attack but it was well written and think many will enjoy so I left it at t I am sorry I had to DNF this book not because it was bad but because there were some really big triggers for me. There are triggers of an animal death and intense childhood abuse scenes. I'm sure this book was great and many others have enjoyed it, I just can't finish it because of some recent trauma that I have experienced. I don't know how to rate this story because I couldn't get past the first chapters without a panic attack but it was well written and think many will enjoy so I left it at three stars. If you're not triggered by these events than I would suggest you checking it out for yourself. I want to thank the publishers and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate this opportunity and all views expressed are my own. *Update- This book stayed in my head for a month or so after just reading 3% of it. I kept getting these visual thoughts of the events described. This book put me in a bad reading and blogging slump. Please be aware of the triggers. Read with caution!*

  4. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    4.5 stars "Let's keep this party polite, never get out of my sight - Stick with me, baby - I'm the guy that you came in with - Luck be a lady, tonight!" -- songwriter Frank Loesser A soap operatic-styled period piece novel that was brought to my attention last week via a stellar review posted on Goodreads (much thanks, Kerri Duff!), Elizabeth Church's All the Beautiful Girls was quite the involving page-turner, with a main character that readers will cheer on from the first page. Lily Decker, nicknam 4.5 stars "Let's keep this party polite, never get out of my sight - Stick with me, baby - I'm the guy that you came in with - Luck be a lady, tonight!" -- songwriter Frank Loesser A soap operatic-styled period piece novel that was brought to my attention last week via a stellar review posted on Goodreads (much thanks, Kerri Duff!), Elizabeth Church's All the Beautiful Girls was quite the involving page-turner, with a main character that readers will cheer on from the first page. Lily Decker, nicknamed 'Scallywag' by her family, suffers a traumatic loss in childhood during the late 50's in rural Kansas. After experiencing some turbulent 'tween' / adolescent years courtesy of her horrible relatives (there are some very dark or upsetting scenes), Decker uses her dancing skills and support from an unlikely ally to make a break after high school graduation. Seeking a new and exciting life on her own terms she moves west to 'Sin City.' Arriving in 1967 - around the same time the Beatles' groundbreaking Sgt. Pepper hit the album racks - she quickly becomes a very popular and in-demand showgirl, rechristened as 'Ruby Wilde,' on the Vegas casino circuit. Things seem almost to good to be true (she shares Forrest Gump-like scenes with actual celebrities Sammy Davis Jr. and Tom Jones, among others) so of course let's bring on those momentous plot complications! This was a very readable book, as Lily Decker is such an optimistic and amiable protagonist. Plus, there are a number of solid supporting characters (such as the father / daughter duo who Lily meets when first arriving in Vegas) who reassuringly provide assistance when Lily's life goes sideways.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kerri

    'The most iconic Vegas performer, the showgirl, seemed to me the ideal figure to illuminate issues surrounding women's bodies-- how they're simultaneously idolized and exploited, celebrated and taken for granted. Lily/Ruby also provided me with a way to write honestly about sexuality, that secret ignominy of a woman's life. Her fears about the accuracy of her internal compass of love. Her fears about men, about how to know which ones can be trusted and which should be avoided. I let this smart, 'The most iconic Vegas performer, the showgirl, seemed to me the ideal figure to illuminate issues surrounding women's bodies-- how they're simultaneously idolized and exploited, celebrated and taken for granted. Lily/Ruby also provided me with a way to write honestly about sexuality, that secret ignominy of a woman's life. Her fears about the accuracy of her internal compass of love. Her fears about men, about how to know which ones can be trusted and which should be avoided. I let this smart, ambitious heroine grapple with the questions my friends and I have long discussed: What leads us to the choices we make in love?' -Taken from the Author's Note of 'All the Beautiful Girls' Another brilliant book read at the ideal time! I adored her first book, but if possible, I think I loved this one even more. It's one of those books that I want to demand everyone read, even though I know I cannot promise that everyone will enjoy it as much as I did. It won't be to all tastes, but it perfectly suited mine. Lily's story begins brutally. Her parents and older sister are killed in a car crash, that she survives, and she goes to live with her aunt and uncle. The aunt is emotionally cold, not suited to being a parent. Her uncle abuses her for years (please note, this is graphically described) and, frankly, it's an awful childhood. She finds solace in books sent to her by The Aviator, the man who was driving the car that wiped out her family. He also funds her dance lessons, something which saves her and also provides a lifeline out of Kansas. She runs away to Vegas, changes her name to Ruby and ends up as a showgirl, but inevitably, she cannot run away from the damaging effects of her childhood. The book beautifully and painfully explores the ramifications of sexual abuse, as well as abusive relationships, strong friendships, family and life in general. I find Elizabeth J. Church's writing to be absolutely stunning and I click with it completely. Many sentences, paragraphs or even entire pages resonated so completely with me that I ended up NOT noting any of them down, as I would have ended up transcribing the entire book! One of my favourite books (so far) this year!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe)

    I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.TRIGGER WARNING for Child Abuse/Sexual Assult.   I wish I knew about the trigger warnings in this book before I started reading this. I love historical fiction and have read quite a bit of it in the past, so needless to say when the author dwells into parts of child sexual abuse as part of her story, it took me a bit by surprise. I never expected it I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.TRIGGER WARNING for Child Abuse/Sexual Assult.   I wish I knew about the trigger warnings in this book before I started reading this. I love historical fiction and have read quite a bit of it in the past, so needless to say when the author dwells into parts of child sexual abuse as part of her story, it took me a bit by surprise. I never expected it to be so in my face and in a way, graphic. I would have appreciated it if the author had implied the fact, but this felt like it crossed a line when a scene between the main character and her uncle takes a very disturbing turn. Was it meant to shock people or make them aware of such incidents? The story follows a young girl named Lily, she is the sole survivor after her family ends up in a car crash. She ends up living with her Aunt and Uncle and as a little girl, she always craves for her aunts love and approval. Only problem is? Her aunt never had children and does not really know how to give love in the way Lily craves it. Her uncle on the other hand, is a disgusting pig who visits Lily at night time and takes advantage of her. I found these parts really hard to read, but I have this bad habit of not finishing a book so I somehow managed to plow on through all the stomach rolling scenes. To top it off, the frustration mounted when Lily, as a teenager finally lets the secret slip in front of her Aunt and she does not believe her despite the shock that rolls through her. I felt as a reader, I am aware of certain things and that the author wrote some of the scenes between Lily and her uncle as a shock value. If it's meant to educate, I guess I can understand that, but I felt that implied would have been enough in the case that this is a historical fiction. Moving on, Lily is in Vegas and is struggling. She is now going by the name of Ruby Wilde. She really wants to be a dancer, but is not cut out to be the type of dancer she wants. She is approached by a man asking her to reconsider being a showgirl and upon attending a show, Ruby Wilde changes her mind about how distasteful it is and becomes a showgirl. This book started out rocky, it got a lot more interesting in the middle. I loved the entire part about her being the showgirl and her struggles with her past that she had to overcome in order to be comfortable around men and in her own skin. I have never read anything about Vegas in this era before so it was fascinating to learn about the type of bubble they lived, the glitz and the glamour while the rest of the world was going through reality and struggles. I really loved how Ruby got close to her girlfriends and there was a struggle with drug use, but she managed to get past that with the help of her friend Rose. It felt like it was going great, until Ruby meets a man and the book takes a disturbing turn into abuse category again. To top it off, it also proved that there was no character growth for Ruby until the last few chapters of the book. It was both infuriating and frustrating, especially since so many people who she trusts tried to warn her and help her. I do have to say, the writing itself in this book was actually really well done. The author is a gifted writer, that is for certain, it's just the story in general did not work for me. Overall, once you bypass the first part that wasn't just hard, but disturbing and disgusting to read - the Vegas parts of this book were informative - and then it takes a turn with the love interest I did not care for. I can't say I recommend this book, but if your interested, a library is a great way to go.This review was originally posted on Night Owl Book Cafe

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karen R

    In 1957, 8-year old Lily Decker loses her parents and sister in a tragic car accident and is taken in by her child abuser uncle Miles and ‘head in the sand’ aunt Tate. The effects of Lily’s abuse run deep and she becomes a ‘cutter’. Much sadness that broke my heart in the beginning of this book. Time passes and Lily’s commitment to dancing brings her to Vegas on the advice of a dance instructor. Resourcefulness, chance meetings and new friends give Lily the confidence to see her true calling as In 1957, 8-year old Lily Decker loses her parents and sister in a tragic car accident and is taken in by her child abuser uncle Miles and ‘head in the sand’ aunt Tate. The effects of Lily’s abuse run deep and she becomes a ‘cutter’. Much sadness that broke my heart in the beginning of this book. Time passes and Lily’s commitment to dancing brings her to Vegas on the advice of a dance instructor. Resourcefulness, chance meetings and new friends give Lily the confidence to see her true calling as a Vegas showgirl. She transforms from a caterpillar to a butterfly - becoming a showgirl named Ruby Wilde working in the glamorous world of burlesque entertainment. LOVED her story and found myself transported to Vegas, dazzled by the bright lights, costuming and atmosphere. I looked Lily Decker up as Church’s superb writing made me truly believe she was a real person (she is not). I also loved Lily's long-lasting connection with guardian angel Stirling Sloan aka the Aviator, the man who caused the horrific life-changing car crash and who she first meets after discovering he is the mysterious person who has been sending her books to read. One of the most compelling pieces of the book. A great story and one I highly recommend to book clubs. Thanks to Random House-Ballentine for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    What I loved about this book was the way it transported me to places I’ve never been (one of these days Vegas, I’ll be there) and an era that I can barely remember. There was some great (well, actually awful) character development but in some ways it felt like two books. The first third was about young Lily and the plate full of heartache that life served her on a crappy, cheap paper plate. No spoilers but there are passages that broke my heart and then broke it again. The second third was like What I loved about this book was the way it transported me to places I’ve never been (one of these days Vegas, I’ll be there) and an era that I can barely remember. There was some great (well, actually awful) character development but in some ways it felt like two books. The first third was about young Lily and the plate full of heartache that life served her on a crappy, cheap paper plate. No spoilers but there are passages that broke my heart and then broke it again. The second third was like an early 70s movie of the week— complete with glitzy showgirls, guest-stars and lots of drama. And an ending you could see a mile away. The last third time is where this book slightly failed... too much, too soon and then jump 8 years into the future and tie the story up with a pretty ribbon. I’m not sure what I would have done differently but it seemed to avoid a lot of hard conversations that Lily may have needed... but maybe that was the point, life goes on and often without a load of closure. PS- Like Lily, I fell in love with the Aviator too. That’s a character that could have stood a little more development!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    3.5 head to the big city stars Life has not been easy for Lily. Her parents and sister died in a car accident and she is left to be raised by an austere aunt and the lecherous uncle. Lily is able to attend dance classes for years thanks to the generosity of a man who was the one involved in the car accident, the Aviator. To escape her life of being molested by her uncle and not believed by her aunt, Lily, feeling that she can become a dancer runs to Las Vegas. She changes her name to Ruby. Ruby's 3.5 head to the big city stars Life has not been easy for Lily. Her parents and sister died in a car accident and she is left to be raised by an austere aunt and the lecherous uncle. Lily is able to attend dance classes for years thanks to the generosity of a man who was the one involved in the car accident, the Aviator. To escape her life of being molested by her uncle and not believed by her aunt, Lily, feeling that she can become a dancer runs to Las Vegas. She changes her name to Ruby. Ruby's plans to become a dancer are crushed but she is able to become one of the casinos's showgirls. She learn the ropes and becomes successful while making friends. However, after years of abuse, she is so marred by, she resorts to cutting and a lifestyle that is free wheeling and eventually dangerous as she hooks up with a man who is a user and a abuser. The Aviator, who has maintained contact with Ruby again enters her life and helps her begin down a new path. He, too, has a secret with his help and that of his partner she heals. The story was interesting and sad and again points out the extreme harm abuse does to one's heart, mind, and soul.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    I think the best thing about this book was how completely it took me by surprise. First, I just want to say that Sarah Scott that narrates the book makes a wonderful job. I always enjoy finding a new narrator that makes me check out what more the person have narrated. This is the first book I have read by Elizabeth J. Church, but I have a copy of The Atomic Weight of Love that I plan to read. In the story so do we get to follow Lily Decker/Ruby Wilde from that she is a young girl, growing up with I think the best thing about this book was how completely it took me by surprise. First, I just want to say that Sarah Scott that narrates the book makes a wonderful job. I always enjoy finding a new narrator that makes me check out what more the person have narrated. This is the first book I have read by Elizabeth J. Church, but I have a copy of The Atomic Weight of Love that I plan to read. In the story so do we get to follow Lily Decker/Ruby Wilde from that she is a young girl, growing up with her aunt and uncle after her parents have died, to her life as a showgirl. Her childhood was not the happiest, her uncle molested her and her aunt hardly showed Lily any love. Interesting enough was the man that was involved in the accident that killed her parents the one person that she could turn to if needed. She dreams of becoming a troupe dancer, but in Las Vegas is she told that she will never have a career as a troupe dancer, her future lies instead in being a showgirl and that she excels in, but with the new life comes new problems... All the Beautiful Girls is one of those books that really got to me. I loved following Lily/Ruby through her childhood and life as a showgirl. I was totally immersed in the story and I really, really came to like Lily. I felt so connected to her that when she got involved with the wrong man did I want to tell her (over and over again) to leave him, he's bad news. Alas, I couldn't do that, instead, I had to suffer through that relationship. At least something good came out of it, which I won't tell. Read it, or listen to it, do whatever you feel best, but go for this book if you have the chance!

  11. 4 out of 5

    BAM Endlessly Booked

    Netgalley #43 Thanks go to Elizabeth Church, Ballantine, and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my unbiased review. All the Beautiful Girls is a transformation story not only of the physical sense, but also of the spirit. Lily Decker lost her family in a tragic accident and was reared in a negative home environment. All she wants to do is dance. And dance she does-as a Las Vegas showgirl. Her professional life is a hit; it's her personal life that's the pits. When tragedy strikes once again she Netgalley #43 Thanks go to Elizabeth Church, Ballantine, and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my unbiased review. All the Beautiful Girls is a transformation story not only of the physical sense, but also of the spirit. Lily Decker lost her family in a tragic accident and was reared in a negative home environment. All she wants to do is dance. And dance she does-as a Las Vegas showgirl. Her professional life is a hit; it's her personal life that's the pits. When tragedy strikes once again she is rescued by a man from her childhood who gives her unconditional love and allows her to find the good in herself. Church grabbed my attention with her descriptions of Vegas and the costumes and settings. The dance numbers were quite vivid. The friendships between the dancers were amazingly without cattiness too. The man with whom Lily has her main relationship is spiteful and definitely violent, but he didn't do anything that's never been written. I respected Lily's adventure to Vietnam and her desire to make a change. It reflected her need to make a change within herself, which she was just not strong enough to do. I have a feeling this was indicative of 1960s Las Vegas: the glamour, the drugs, the shallowness. Lily was lucky to have such a support system. The book was a bit altruistic. But it was a good read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Lily Decker has a horrific childhood in 1950s Salina, Kansas. Luckily, there are “intermittent pools of rainwater relief, times when Lily smiled,” thanks to her love for dancing. Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, she then gets the heck out of Kansas and takes on a whole new identity when she gets to Vegas and becomes a showgirl: from now on she’s Ruby Wilde. The novel’s midsection is heavy on historical context, rather awkwardly inserted, and there’s a lot of name dropping and period fashions. ( Lily Decker has a horrific childhood in 1950s Salina, Kansas. Luckily, there are “intermittent pools of rainwater relief, times when Lily smiled,” thanks to her love for dancing. Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, she then gets the heck out of Kansas and takes on a whole new identity when she gets to Vegas and becomes a showgirl: from now on she’s Ruby Wilde. The novel’s midsection is heavy on historical context, rather awkwardly inserted, and there’s a lot of name dropping and period fashions. (However, I did love the scene in which Ruby is on stage with Tom Jones.) The clichéd sex, drugs and rock ’n roll lifestyle grows wearisome. I think plenty of readers will still take resilient Lily/Ruby to their hearts, even if in the title’s grouping she doesn’t particularly stand out. The enduring friendship between Lily and the Aviator is a beautiful one – probably the element of the novel that will stick with me the most. While this doesn’t quite live up to the promise of The Atomic Weight of Love, it’s an atmospheric all-American story of self-reinvention and redemption. See my full review at Shiny New Books.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Roman Clodia

    In lots of ways this follows a formula: victimised young girl achieves her dream through grit and determination, but then realises that material wealth can't cover the scars of her past. What gives it interest is the 1960s Las Vegas setting where Ruby is a showgirl - I loved this section: the absurd OTT glitz, the implicit sexism, the fakery that is Vegas that pretends the civil rights movement, Vietnam, are not happening. In some ways this reminded me of a tamer, less scandalous Valley of the D In lots of ways this follows a formula: victimised young girl achieves her dream through grit and determination, but then realises that material wealth can't cover the scars of her past. What gives it interest is the 1960s Las Vegas setting where Ruby is a showgirl - I loved this section: the absurd OTT glitz, the implicit sexism, the fakery that is Vegas that pretends the civil rights movement, Vietnam, are not happening. In some ways this reminded me of a tamer, less scandalous Valley of the Dolls, and once the plot moves away from Vegas, while it's necessary for Ruby's life journey, the book falls flat. Beware, there are graphic scenes of abuse at the start, and Ruby isn't always the brightest of heroines. All the same, this has *something* about it that kept me enjoyable gripped through the central sections. Good for when you need a girly read with more substance than chick-lit. Thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC via NetGalley.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    From the book description, I was expecting to be immersed in the atmosphere of 1960s Las Vegas and I definitely got that. Elizabeth Church shows the reader both the surface glamour – the famous names, the glitzy costumes, the fantastic parties, the extravagant gifts - and the seedy underbelly – the drugs, the physical toll, the expectation to charm men attracted to the casinos by the beauty of the showgirls, to ‘give them memories’ to take home to their dull, everyday lives. Lily mingles with De From the book description, I was expecting to be immersed in the atmosphere of 1960s Las Vegas and I definitely got that. Elizabeth Church shows the reader both the surface glamour – the famous names, the glitzy costumes, the fantastic parties, the extravagant gifts - and the seedy underbelly – the drugs, the physical toll, the expectation to charm men attracted to the casinos by the beauty of the showgirls, to ‘give them memories’ to take home to their dull, everyday lives. Lily mingles with Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. (‘a hepcat seducer who lured with junkie, fast-talking patter’), Paul Anka, Joe DiMaggio, Tom Jones. She is a witness to key events of the 1960s – the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the moon landings – while Vegas carries on regardless. Eventually the glitter fades revealing a life that is shallow and empty. ‘Ruby was well aware that no one wanted her for who she was, for what she read or thought...To them, she was just like Vegas – all glitz and glamour. An anonymous blur, like a passing freight train.’ However All the Beautiful Girls is more than just the story of a Las Vegas showgirl. It’s a bildungsroman that charts Lily’s emotional journey as she struggles to overcome family tragedy, a traumatic childhood, thwarted ambition, the lure of the darker side of the showgirl lifestyle and find a sense of self-worth, acceptance and love. When she leaves her hometown of Kansas, she effectively reinvents herself, adopting a new name, Ruby Wilde. ‘If Kansas could go from sea to prairie, if a frog egg could radically transform itself from an almost-fish with gills to an amphibian that left water for land, then Lily could transform, too.’ She dreams of becoming a dancer; dance being the one thing in her life that brings her joy. Arriving in Las Vegas she sees only possibility, star struck by the glamour of her new surroundings. ‘This, Ruby realized, is what happiness feels like. Freedom. Bubbling champagne, yellow birds, music and dance and neon and possibility.’ You somehow know it’s not going to be that easy. The scars Lily bears are not just psychological and hers will be an emotional journey of success, love, loss and betrayal. Aside from a few valued friends, the one positive and constant presence in Lily’s life is her faithful benefactor - the equivalent of a ‘fairy godmother’ – driven by motivations of their own. In the end, it transpires that Lily is not the only one with secrets and I’ll readily admit the author took me completely by surprise at one point. I do love an “I wasn’t expecting that!” moment in a novel. I really enjoyed All the Beautiful Girls. It turned out to be a much more intense read than I’d been expecting - in a good way – but it has to be said there are some scenes that are hard to read. I loved Lily for her determination to follow her dream and to believe in herself, despite everything that happens to her along the way. The way Lily overcomes the tragedies that befall her made me think a little bit of the film ‘A Star Is Born’, starring the wonderful Judy Garland. I received an advance reader copy courtesy of NetGalley and publishers, 4th Estate, in return for an honest and unbiased review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Taking a quick look at the cover of what is Elizabeth J. Church's second novel, you would be forgiving thinking this is a story full of glitz and glamour. But while that is indeed there in parts what we also have is numerous themes of tragedy, abuse, friendship and determination to move on under trying circumstances. Eight-year-old Lily Decker who lives in Kansas in the 1950's will have her short life torn apart after the death of her parents and sister in a motor vehicle accident. Inadvertently Taking a quick look at the cover of what is Elizabeth J. Church's second novel, you would be forgiving thinking this is a story full of glitz and glamour. But while that is indeed there in parts what we also have is numerous themes of tragedy, abuse, friendship and determination to move on under trying circumstances. Eight-year-old Lily Decker who lives in Kansas in the 1950's will have her short life torn apart after the death of her parents and sister in a motor vehicle accident. Inadvertently connected is the other man involved who escaped with his life who lily knows as The Aviator. This man blames himself for what has happened so tries his best to be a friend and offer support to Lily. Now with an Aunty who is distant and an uncle who sexually abuses her, Lily's only solaces is a love of dancing, self-harm and her older friend. When Lily is older The Aviator (Stirling) will encourage her to attend a dance school were her instructor advises her to head to Vegas to fulfill her dream of making a living being a dancer. Changing her name to Ruby Wilde, with the help of a number of female friends after a few setbacks she will find her true calling as a showgirl. Soon the fame that only Sin City can provide will elevate her to one of the most successful and sought-after dancers on the circuit. Unfortunately, Ruby's tragic past will rear its ugly face when she falls in love for the first time. While obvious to her friends about the sought of person Javier is, Ruby is oblivious and will go down a destructive and inevitable road to what could be complete destruction. While the themes that come up here are for the most not warm and fuzzy there is a great feeling of hope. Lily's friends for one are just gems, with her female Vegas co-workers who are ever supportive, while Stirling is just beautiful as a tortured soul who haunted by the accident that claimed her family does everything in his power to make Lily feel loved and achieve her dreams. Lily's own personal growth as she struggles to overcome her past is at times heartbreaking and in the end full of hope. Gorgeously written who both heart and soul, All the Beautiful Girls is compulsive reading.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kristy K

    DNF early on. TW: sexual abuse The abuse was too frequently described for me and I decided to bail. I will say the writing is good and the plot looked interesting. If you can stomach child molestation in detail you may enjoy this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Elizabeth Church is now one of my favorite authors! Her writing is full of such rich, sensory description that on every page, I felt like I was right there. Kansas in the 50's. Vegas in the 60's. New Mexico in the 70's. From the very beginning, my heart was in sync with the main character, Lily who loses her parents and sister in a tragic accident. I felt protective towards her during the decade she spent with her abusive uncle and evasive aunt. I felt every move she made on that stage and beyon Elizabeth Church is now one of my favorite authors! Her writing is full of such rich, sensory description that on every page, I felt like I was right there. Kansas in the 50's. Vegas in the 60's. New Mexico in the 70's. From the very beginning, my heart was in sync with the main character, Lily who loses her parents and sister in a tragic accident. I felt protective towards her during the decade she spent with her abusive uncle and evasive aunt. I felt every move she made on that stage and beyond. My heart felt sorrow when things didn't go her way after a while in Vegas, and it felt full and grateful when... well, I won't spoil the ending and the fact that she had someone special looking out for her the whole time. The characters and setting were portrayed so vividly and with so much relatable emotion, I just couldn't put it down! For me, the ultimate theme of Lily's story revolves around the fact that childhood wounds stay with us until we take a few steps back and face them. Lily's journey is ultimately about healing. Highly, highly recommend.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    I thought this book was terrific!! I found Lily to be a resilient, troubled, but overall lovable character & the Aviator’s presence in her life, proving silver linings really do exist !! The Las Vegas setting, was also intriguing !! The author does a really nice job of describing Sin City & the entertainment industry there in the 1960’s . ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Stars !!

  19. 4 out of 5

    KarenK

    I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. From the blurb, "A powerful novel about a gutsy showgirl who tries to conquer her past amongst the glamour of 1960s Las Vegas--and finds unexpected fortune, friendship, and love." Although I liked the vivid descriptions of costumes and the showgirl life, the whole story didn't really grab my attention. 3.25 ☆ I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. From the blurb, "A powerful novel about a gutsy showgirl who tries to conquer her past amongst the glamour of 1960s Las Vegas--and finds unexpected fortune, friendship, and love." Although I liked the vivid descriptions of costumes and the showgirl life, the whole story didn't really grab my attention. 3.25 ☆

  20. 4 out of 5

    SuperWendy

    I had issues with this book. So many issues. The fact that the heroine is never really angry at The Aviator over his involvement in the accident that killed her parents and sister. He survives. She survives. She goes to live with a cold fish aunt and an uncle who molests her. And the man who walked away from the accident? She blames him for nothing. Ever. Misplaced or otherwise. This strained for me. Also, the fact that this Very White book decides to import a Spaniard to fill out a villainous ro I had issues with this book. So many issues. The fact that the heroine is never really angry at The Aviator over his involvement in the accident that killed her parents and sister. He survives. She survives. She goes to live with a cold fish aunt and an uncle who molests her. And the man who walked away from the accident? She blames him for nothing. Ever. Misplaced or otherwise. This strained for me. Also, the fact that this Very White book decides to import a Spaniard to fill out a villainous role. Look, I get the Very White thing. Lily grows up in small town Kansas and Vegas showgirl acts in the 1960s weren't exactly the Rainbow Coalition. But suddenly the author needs a villain, an abusive boyfriend character, and makes the decision "oh, let's make him from Spain, speak with an accent and use broken English!" I found this really jarring and really skeevy. Literally, 1960s Vegas. A town drowning in mobsters. No, instead we get the only not-white guy, who isn't Sammy Davis Jr., to be the scumbag abuser. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    There are quite a few “triggers” in this, so check below for those, or skip the first 60 pages to avoid a lot of them. When Lily is 8, her family is killed in an auto accident by an Air Force pilot known as “the Aviator.” This is the start of Lily’s Tragic Childhood. She goes to live with her harsh aunt and pedophile uncle. She never blames the Aviator and instead adores him. When she is 18, she heads to Las Vegas, hoping to become a troupe dancer but instead a ends up a showgirl known as Ruby. 1 There are quite a few “triggers” in this, so check below for those, or skip the first 60 pages to avoid a lot of them. When Lily is 8, her family is killed in an auto accident by an Air Force pilot known as “the Aviator.” This is the start of Lily’s Tragic Childhood. She goes to live with her harsh aunt and pedophile uncle. She never blames the Aviator and instead adores him. When she is 18, she heads to Las Vegas, hoping to become a troupe dancer but instead a ends up a showgirl known as Ruby. 1960s Vegas is glamorous and exciting but artificial, and Ruby eventually longs to be part of something more meaningful. This isn’t my usual genre, but it was still pretty interesting. It kept me engaged, always wondering what happened next. It’s pretty fast-paced. Love is not a thief. Love does not bruise and serially, finally abandon. Love doesn’t lie. Language: Occasional strong language Sexual Content: Some explicit content, including rape/abuse Violence: Domestic violence Harm to Animals: (view spoiler)[Lily receives a pet guinea pig that her uncle then kills. (hide spoiler)] Harm to Children: (view spoiler)[ Child rape/molestation (hide spoiler)] Other (Triggers): (view spoiler)[ Self-harm (hide spoiler)]

  22. 5 out of 5

    Prince William Public Libraries

    A single tragic event changes Lily Decker’s childhood, and alters her future, forever. Trying to overcome unimaginable loss and loneliness, Lily is further traumatized by abuse at the hands of her aunt and uncle. Lily survives by dreaming of escaping to become a professional dancer. After being rejected at countless auditions, Lily comes to understand that her dream may never come true. In her disappointment, she follows the advice of her dance class instructor and sets off for 1960's Las Vegas. A single tragic event changes Lily Decker’s childhood, and alters her future, forever. Trying to overcome unimaginable loss and loneliness, Lily is further traumatized by abuse at the hands of her aunt and uncle. Lily survives by dreaming of escaping to become a professional dancer. After being rejected at countless auditions, Lily comes to understand that her dream may never come true. In her disappointment, she follows the advice of her dance class instructor and sets off for 1960's Las Vegas. Lily Decker becomes Ruby Wilde, a glamorous, well paid showgirl; not her dream career but Lily convinces herself that at least she’s dancing. She quickly realizes there is more to the job than nightly stage performances and more to Vegas than glamour and glitz. With the help of some new friends and the support of a surprising ally from her past, Ruby learns to navigate the ups and downs of her new world while figuring out what she really needs to be safe, content and happy. Recommended for those who enjoy a hopeful story of self-discovery and resilience. In addition to Lily’s story, the author’s imagery of old Vegas further immerses the reader into Lily’s world. ~ Denise F., MLIS Clink the link below to find the book and check availability at the Prince William County Public Library System: http://librarycatalog.pwcgov.org/pola...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    I was lured in by the idea of the Las Vegas Showgirls and the struggles to deflect the image of being simply 'eye candy' . However, this book while discussing some of the struggles they face also addressed several highly subjective and difficult terrain pertaining to homosexuality, child abuse, and sexual abuse to name a few. The main character is Lily Decker who assumes a fake id as a vegas showgirl as Ruby Wilde. Orphaned at 8yo and left to reside with her Aunt Tate and Uncle Miles. Unfortunatel I was lured in by the idea of the Las Vegas Showgirls and the struggles to deflect the image of being simply 'eye candy' . However, this book while discussing some of the struggles they face also addressed several highly subjective and difficult terrain pertaining to homosexuality, child abuse, and sexual abuse to name a few. The main character is Lily Decker who assumes a fake id as a vegas showgirl as Ruby Wilde. Orphaned at 8yo and left to reside with her Aunt Tate and Uncle Miles. Unfortunately Aunt Tate was not a strong supporter and was equally as toxic and abusive as Uncle Miles who let his authority rule over Lily in the form of sexual abuse. As the story further unfolds it appears that everyone is seeking personal gain in one form or another while always chasing after empty dreams yearning to love and be loved. With fame and fortune comes drugs and speed was the drug of choice along with self mutilation, insomnia, and plenty of men gawking at women . Men = money=power. The cycle of abuse becomes the new foundation upon which to build as it's recognized as the norm for Lily. So after several failed relationships she learns that what she truly sought may have been closer than she thought. Aviator the man who caused the car accident which ultimately took Lily's parents lives was left to ponder feeling guilt and shame. He always sought to help Lily way into adulthood for college, for business, for career. Yet, he too learned that love is blind and based on trust. "Actions speak louder than words" . When a new life is brought into the mix we learn that life often comes full circle sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad but it always teaches us a lesson if we are open to it. Thank you to Elizabeth for this eread through NetGalley and Aldiko .

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tammy(PeaceLoveBooks)

    All the Beautiful Girls is a captivating story of Lily and her journey to overcome childhood trauma. Filled with the glitz and glamour of Vegas in it's prime, the 60's and 70's, All the Beautiful Girls is a wonderful glimpse into the showgirl life. I loved the interaction that Lily had with celebrities from that time period, namely Tom Jones and Sammy Davis, Jr. I had a hard time putting this book down and hated that it ended. All the Beautiful Girls is a captivating story of Lily and her journey to overcome childhood trauma. Filled with the glitz and glamour of Vegas in it's prime, the 60's and 70's, All the Beautiful Girls is a wonderful glimpse into the showgirl life. I loved the interaction that Lily had with celebrities from that time period, namely Tom Jones and Sammy Davis, Jr. I had a hard time putting this book down and hated that it ended.

  25. 5 out of 5

    ScrappyMags

    Scrappymags 3-word review: Unmasking Vegas glamour All my reviews available at scrappymags.com Genre: Contemporary Fiction (1960’s), Women's Fiction Shortest summary ever: Lily Decker is just a small town girl (insert Journey lyrics) wanting to make it somewhere - ANYWHERE away from her trapped-in-the-impossible life. And she deserves it. Orphaned by an accident that took her parents and sister, she is forced to live with an aunt with no feeling for motherhood and a devastatingly abusive uncle. The Scrappymags 3-word review: Unmasking Vegas glamour All my reviews available at scrappymags.com Genre: Contemporary Fiction (1960’s), Women's Fiction Shortest summary ever: Lily Decker is just a small town girl (insert Journey lyrics) wanting to make it somewhere - ANYWHERE away from her trapped-in-the-impossible life. And she deserves it. Orphaned by an accident that took her parents and sister, she is forced to live with an aunt with no feeling for motherhood and a devastatingly abusive uncle. The only thing Lily has going for her is dance, so at 18 she flees Kansas in the night and is thrust into Vegas showgirl life, reinventing herself as Ruby Wilde. But being a showgirl ain't easy. Old demons haunt. Overcoming adversity isn't always a story book, and life can change on a dime. What’s good under the hood: As I started reading, I felt a sense of dread, that eye-rolling“oh poor pretty girl has problems” sort of feeling. SHAME ON ME, because Lily DOES have legitimate problems and compassion grabbed hold of me because Lily is likeable. And normal. And finding her way. I found myself cheering for her, and it taught me immensely about making swift judgements just because someone is pretty and chooses a career based on aesthetics. Instead, like I do with so many books, I tried to put myself in her head - in her place in life, how it would feel, the power to feel beautiful in gorgeous costumes and elegant style. Incredible. And Church completely captured that fascination in the 60's of the Vegas showgirl. I adored walking the stage... What’s bad or made me mad: I'm a feminist, so there's a part of me that screamed "CHOOSE EDUCATION!!!!", but feminism is about making choices, and Lily made her choices. I had to make my piece with that. Recommend to: The “it” and “now” book readers. Book clubs, circles, groups, etc.  - lots to talk about in regards to women since the 60's and the choices Lily makes. Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Ballantine and Ms. Church for an advanced copy (and allowing me to strut my stuff - mentally - in a skimpy Vegas costume. To applause and not laughter) in exchange for this completely h

  26. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Doyle

    From the very first pages of this book, I was hooked. My emotions were already at a dead run. Pity. Sadness. Contempt. Revulsion. Kindness. Relief. After a traumatic childhood (which the author describes fully), with dance lessons under her belt, Lily left Kansas and lived her dancing dream in Las Vegas. For awhile, that is. Until pills turned her dream into a nightmare. All this was before she was twenty. Fast success. Failure. Success again. Failure again. Important to me while reading a novel i From the very first pages of this book, I was hooked. My emotions were already at a dead run. Pity. Sadness. Contempt. Revulsion. Kindness. Relief. After a traumatic childhood (which the author describes fully), with dance lessons under her belt, Lily left Kansas and lived her dancing dream in Las Vegas. For awhile, that is. Until pills turned her dream into a nightmare. All this was before she was twenty. Fast success. Failure. Success again. Failure again. Important to me while reading a novel is learning about a subject, but it must not be textbook-like. The author definitely knows/researched her stuff. If she hadn’t actually been a showgirl in Las Vegas or hadn’t actually danced with Sammy Davis Jr., I, the reader, would never guess. If she did, good job. Also enjoyable to me were the friendships and relationships, many good, some not, but all well developed and credible. There was just enough happening in each to keep it interesting without any eye rolling on my part. I’m not so sure the relationship between Jack and the Aviator was absolutely necessary, but it seems most novels these days throw in one of those for good measure. The ending brought the story to a pleasing finish. All in all, I enjoyed All the Beautiful Girls, and I thank NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Branciforte

    I absolutely loved this book! I started to love the character Lily/ Ruby right from the beginning as she is taken in by her aunt and uncle in Kansas and then moves on to Las Vegas as a showgirl in the 60’s. Rich with detail of the time period, and beautifully drawn characters ( although some were hateful), the writing was perfect. ( There was a part where the author was describing Sammy Davis Jr as he performed in Las Vegas, and for anyone who remembers him, you could absolutely picture him the I absolutely loved this book! I started to love the character Lily/ Ruby right from the beginning as she is taken in by her aunt and uncle in Kansas and then moves on to Las Vegas as a showgirl in the 60’s. Rich with detail of the time period, and beautifully drawn characters ( although some were hateful), the writing was perfect. ( There was a part where the author was describing Sammy Davis Jr as he performed in Las Vegas, and for anyone who remembers him, you could absolutely picture him the way she described his appearance and performance, etc) I was right there feeling it all right along with Lily. I was brought to tears at times for her vulnerability and all she endured. Can’t say enough about this book and I don’t want to say any more and spoil it for anyone, but I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes a good story and wants to get lost in Las Vegas for a few hours! Thanks to Ballantine books and Netgalley for the digital review copy!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Jenn Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Schu

    All the Beautiful Girls is a coming of age novel set in the 1960s. The story begins at the scene of a horrific accident, this accident defines much of our lead character's life, Lily. Lily is an intelligent, talented, and beautiful woman who struggles with recognizing her own beauty and accepting that many of her earlier life experiences are not her fault. She experiences many tragedies but also experiences a dazzling life as a show girl in Las Vegas. What I loved about this book was the beautif All the Beautiful Girls is a coming of age novel set in the 1960s. The story begins at the scene of a horrific accident, this accident defines much of our lead character's life, Lily. Lily is an intelligent, talented, and beautiful woman who struggles with recognizing her own beauty and accepting that many of her earlier life experiences are not her fault. She experiences many tragedies but also experiences a dazzling life as a show girl in Las Vegas. What I loved about this book was the beautiful and vivid descriptions of the costumes and pageantry of showgirl life in Vegas. Ms. Church excels not only in description but weaving the historical events of the mid twentieth century in the story. I gave the book 3.5 stars because this is not a particular genre, coming of age, that I enjoy.

  29. 4 out of 5

    ☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆

    I am sorry I had to DNF this book not because it was bad but because there were some really big triggers for me. There are triggers of an animal death and intense childhood abuse scenes. I'm sure this book was great and many others have enjoyed it, I just can't finish it because of some recent trauma that I have experienced. I don't know how to rate this story because I couldn't get past the first chapters without a panic attack but it was well written and think many will enjoy so I left it at t I am sorry I had to DNF this book not because it was bad but because there were some really big triggers for me. There are triggers of an animal death and intense childhood abuse scenes. I'm sure this book was great and many others have enjoyed it, I just can't finish it because of some recent trauma that I have experienced. I don't know how to rate this story because I couldn't get past the first chapters without a panic attack but it was well written and think many will enjoy so I left it at three stars. If you're not triggered by these events than I would suggest you checking it out for yourself. I want to thank the publishers and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate this opportunity and all views expressed are my own.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chrysta

    Trigger warning: child abuse and some domestic violence Over all this was a great book about a very strong woman who had to overcome so many adversities. It seemed like just when things were going right the tables turned. I definitely enjoyed the parts about Lily/Ruby being a Vegas Showgirl and all the craziness that entailed. Great reminder that your past doesn’t define you! You control your destiny.

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