Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl - a young woman seeking to reinvent herself is befriended by Estée Lauder.
In 1938, a young, former socialite seeks to reinvent herself when her father is arrested for cheating his clients in a Ponzi scheme. The renamed Gloria Downing meets Estée Lauder, who is peddling her new skincare line in a small beauty parlor in New York City. The two women become friends and Gloria helps the ambitious Estée in her unwavering journey to establish herself as a new force in cosmetics. Gloria also works to get her career in gear while hiding her true identity. While centered around the early days of Lauder's career, a dual timeline story shifts to 1984, when Gloria is approached by a writer working on an unauthorized biography of the legendary Estée Lauder. The author has uncovered some interesting skeletons in Lauder's closet which Gloria is all too knowledgeable about.
Author Renée Rosen's Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl is a very entertaining book which, like her last two books which I thought were wonderful, combines the real-life stories of accomplished women, pairing them with fictional characters. Rosen's novels provide an effective way of getting to know the historical figure through a well-developed, likeable fictional heroine. This story is set in a period where women were starting to compete alongside men. The cosmetics industry saw women achieve early success with the likes of Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, who both appear in this book. Lauder's rise to fame, fueled by perseverance, creativity and passion, is a compelling one and her early days, along with Gloria's fictional story, provided an enjoyable read. A New York City setting is always a draw for me and added to the appeal.
Many thanks to Berkley Books for the advance. The gorgeous cover drew me in and once again the author didn't disappoint.
Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: April 25, 2023.
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