Review: The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall

Soooo charming and loads of girl power!!

The Subway Girls had me roped in from the second I heard about the story. Being in advertising, having lived in Brooklyn, and ALL about being a strong, independent and confident chick – I soared through this book and cannot believe I didn’t know about this campaign before! Now, I’m gobbling up every book and article across the internet about it!

The Miss Subways campaign was basically a beauty/modeling contest, which translated into posters of beautiful women splashed across subway as advertising to encourage New Yorkers to ride. But it was also so much more than that. It opened doors for these women, when there weren’t many available. Some went on to modeling careers, while others went back to their quiet lives at home with their family – thrilled to have such an exciting experience, even if just once in their lives. One contestant even received 278 marriage proposals!

The book is told by two women: one in the past, one present day. Both strong and ambitious, trying to find and make their way in the world. A world as we know – basically ruled by men.

Charlotte, dreams of a career in advertising – not an easy feat in the 1940’s for a woman. Her boyfriend Sam supports her ambitions, while her family, for the most part – does not. She strives to get into any position at these prestigious firms, but when her efforts fail, she aims for a new way of achieving opportunity – the Miss Subways contest. Swept up in the whirlwind of beauty contests, meeting glamorous new friends, all the while fighting with her father – her struggle between doing what’s expected of her and what is in her heart threatens to upend all her dreams.

Fast forward 70 years to Olivia, an advertising exec workaholic, desperate for a normal family and steady, loving relationship. While just like Charlotte – she has lofty ambitions to make her mark in the world – but struggles to make herself shine in a (still, of course!) man’s world. When Olivia’s firm gets a chance to land the NYC subways account – she dives into researching the history of the Miss Subways campaign. The juxtaposition of these two amazing women’s lives is so clever and interesting!

I totally understand the personal and professional juggle struggle! And also the strength it takes to accomplish some things that come WAY easier in this world to men. The power of the story in this book is pleasantly overwhelming and so creatively done. I fell in love with Charlotte, her spunk and determination. And Olivia’s history is a bit painful, but she never gives up. The girl power is real here, and I loved the story from beginning to end!

Get it now on Amazon here —> The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (July 10, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250169763
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250169761




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