Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl
Author: Renee Rosen
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: 2023
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: It’s 1938, and a young woman selling face cream out of a New York City beauty parlor is determined to prove she can have it all. Her name is Estée Lauder, and she’s about to take the world by storm, in this dazzling new novel from the USA Today bestselling author of The Social Graces and Park Avenue Summer.
In New York City, you can disappear into the crowd. At least that’s what Gloria Downing desperately hopes as she tries to reinvent herself after a devastating family scandal. She’s ready for a total life makeover and a friend she can lean on—and into her path walks a young, idealistic woman named Estée. Their chance encounter will change Gloria’s life forever.
Estée dreams of success and becoming a household name like Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein, and Revlon. Before Gloria knows it, she is swept up in her new friend’s mission and while Estée rolls up her sleeves, Gloria begins to discover her own talents. After landing a job at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York’s finest luxury department store, Gloria finds her voice, which proves instrumental in opening doors for Estée’s insatiable ambitions.
But in a world unaccustomed to women with power, they’ll each have to pay the price that comes with daring to live life on their own terms and refusing to back down.
My Review: Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl tells the story of Estée Lauder from the perspective of her fictional best friend, Gloria Downing. Gloria Downing is the daughter of a criminal. In order to not be recognized, she changes her appearance and gets a job as a shampoo girl. She meets Estée Lauder who sells skin care products in the hair salon’s side shop. These two women embark on a lifelong friendship. Gloria becomes a glamorous shopgirl. Estée becomes a successful businesswoman and celebrity.
I found Gloria a hard character to like. Gloria is from high society. However, Gloria struggles through poverty because of her father’s crime. She often looks down upon others and is very judgmental. I also found her to be very selfish. She is also very guarded and does not trust people very easily because of her heartbreak. Nevertheless, she did grow on me as a character towards the end. However, she was a very frustrating character throughout most of the novel.
Overall, this novel is about friendship, ambition, and dreams. The message of this book is to never give up your dreams no matter the obstacles. I really liked all of the characters. I love Gloria’s friendship with Estée Lauder, and I wished the novel was told from Estée Lauder’s perspective rather than Gloria. Estée Lauder was a hardworking woman who never gave up her ambitions even when it seemed futile. I also loved her romance with her husband, Joe. They had a caring and loving marriage. Therefore, I think that it should have been narrated by Estée Lauder instead of Gloria. Still, Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl is a very light and entertaining read! There is a lot of glamor and some celebrities like Helena Rubinstein are in this book. Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl is a must read if you like reading about fashion. I recommend this for fans of By Her own Design, Mademoiselle Chanel, and A Dress of Violet Taffeta!
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars