The Subway Girls

The Subway Girls

by Susie Orman Schnall

Overview: 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.

Debbie Weiss (02/06/19): The Subway Girls centers around an advertising campaign that existed in NYC back in the late 1940's and early 1950's. Each month a young lady was selected as "Miss Subway" and she was  featured on posters in subway cars for the enjoyment of the city riders. The story involves Charlotte, an ambitious about-to-be college graduate who wants to have a career in advertising. With many rejections for even being employed by the typing pool at numerous agencies, she embraces the opportunity to compete in the Miss Subway Contest.

70 years later, we interact with Olivia, an ambitious advertising agency creative. She is working on a new campaign for the NYC Transit company and researches details of the old Miss Subways beauty contest. How can she incorporate the old campaign into the new campaign with a 21st century flare?

The lives of these two lovely women are intimately connected and much of the book unveils what this connection is. While some parts of this story are predictable...this is a very quick and enjoyable read.
Rating: ****

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