From the author of The Balance Project comes a dual-timeline narrative featuring a 1949 Miss Subways contestant and a modern-day advertising executive whose careers and lives intersect.
“Schnall has written a book that is smart and timely…Feels perfect for fans of Beatriz Williams and Liza Klaussmann.” —Taylor Jenkins Reid, acclaimed author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
“A fast-paced, clever novel filled with romantic possibilities, high-stakes decisions, and harsh realities. Perfect for fans of Fiona Davis’s The Dollhouse, this engrossing tale highlights the role that ambition, sexism, and true love will forever play in women’s lives.” —Amy Poeppel, author of Small Admissions
In 1949, dutiful and ambitious Charlotte’s dream of a career in advertising is shattered when her father demands she help out with the family business. Meanwhile, Charlotte is swept into the glamorous world of the Miss Subways beauty contest, which promises irresistible opportunities with its Park Avenue luster and local fame status. But when her new friend—the intriguing and gorgeous fellow-participant Rose—does something unforgivable, Charlotte must make a heart-wrenching decision that will change the lives of those around her forever.
Nearly 70 years later, outspoken advertising executive Olivia is pitching the NYC subways account in a last ditch effort to save her job at an advertising agency. When the charismatic boss she’s secretly in love with pits her against her misogynistic nemesis, Olivia’s urgent search for the winning strategy leads her to the historic Miss Subways campaign. As the pitch date closes in on her, Olivia finds herself dealing with a broken heart, an unlikely new love interest, and an unexpected personal connection to Miss Subways that could save her job—and her future.
The Subway Girls is the charming story of two strong women, a generation apart, who find themselves up against the same eternal struggle to find an impossible balance between love, happiness, and ambition.
This book was actually a very sweet story about two lives with an age difference intertwining and a look into sexism in the early forties. The NYC subway system had a contest that would lure people to use the subways, and it incorporated using local young women.
Charlotte wants so badly to work for an advertising agency to get away from her father. She is dating a wonderful young man named Sam and has dreams of working as an account executive, or at the very least, getting into a typing pool somewhere. Rejection after rejection occurs, and she is desperate. She signs up for the Subway Girls promotion in an effort to bring promotion to her dad’s store, and ends up in a room with hundreds of girls vying for the same spot.
A lot of things happen, so I don’t want to go further into detail, but as a young woman who is looking to make something of herself, there is much to be determined and thought over, and much of it will change her life forever.
Now fast forward to TODAY and you’ll meet Olivia, an actual employee working at an advertising agency who has to come up with an idea to save the company, essentially. She inadvertently meets a previous Subway girl from the 1940s and develops a relationship with her. And so much happens, so I won’t spoil it.
This is an interesting possibility, considering the contest was an actual subway contest given by the MTA. However, this is a fiction story with a great outcome and a lot that was overcome. I did enjoy reading it. Pick up a copy today!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and I appreciate the opportunity to receive an advanced reader copy to do so. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”