My Review of “The Subway Girls” by Susie Ormall Schnall
Kudos to Susie Orman Schnall, Author of “The Subway Girls” for such an enthralling, informative, entertaining, enjoyable, and captivating read. The Genres for this novel are Historical Fiction and Fiction. I appreciate the thoughtful and thorough historical research that the author has done to bring this novel to light. This story has two timelines, narrated through two different characters. I love how the two-story lines connect.
The author describes her characters as complex, complicated, courageous, and conflicted possibly due to circumstances and events. There are secrets, and betrayals. Women are not treated equally as men, as shown in both timelines. In 1949, male employers think that employed women will get married and have babies, leaving the job.
In 1949, Charlotte is determined to finish school and find a job in advertising. Unfortunately the times are such, that jobs are not that available. Charlotte has a loving boyfriend, and a very strict father. Charlotte’s father wants her to work in his financially failing hardware store. An opportunity arises for Charlotte to enter the “Miss Subways Beauty contest”. The winning contestants are hoping for a modeling job, an acting job, or fame. Charlotte is convinced if she wins, she can help her father’s hardware store by the publicity. Charlotte is also ambitious and hope that if she wins “Miss Subways Beauty Contest”, that will help her in her career in advertising.
Almost 70 years later, Olivia, an ambitious, hardworking advertising executive is hoping to win the NYC Subway account. Olivia’s boss has her competing against a male colleague that tends to act in an in-appropriate way towards her. Often this colleague’s comments are sexist, and in-appropriate. Olivia finds herself looking at the history of Miss Subway, and hopes that she can use that to make her pitch.
I love the way the author discusses the importance of sisterhood, friendship, loyalty, and ambition. Quoting from the blurb” The Subway Girls is the charming story of two strong women, a generation apart, who find themselves up against the impossible balance between love, happiness and ambition.” I highly recommend this amazing novel for those readers that enjoy Historical Fiction and strong-willed characters. I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest review.