Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl is a fictionalized account of the Estée Lauder story as seen through Gloria’s perspective.
Do you have favorite beauty products?
Have you ever used Estée Lauder products?
Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl by Renée Rosen
Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Biographical, Cosmetics and Perfume, New York City
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My Summary of Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl:
Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkelyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary e ARC of #FifthAvenueGlamourGirl upon my request. All opinions are my own.
It’s 1938 and Gloria Downing is reinventing her life after a family scandal when she crosses paths with Estée (Lauder). Idealistic, visionary, ambitious, and determined, Estee is selling face cream out of beauty parlors. Through helping Estée, Gloria begins to discover her own talents, and her success leads to opening doors for Estée. Not without its angst, this is a story of ambition, friendship, and ultimate success. Estée Lauder.com
I anticipated a fictionalized biography of Estée Lauder, and I was a bit surprised to realize that this is Gloria’s story and through her, we gain a third-person, limited perspective of Estée. When we meet them, both characters are young, ambitious, and determined. A fierce competitor, Estée is determined to become a household name like Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein, and Revlon. Gloria is the least confident of the two but has her own unique abilities. They become acquainted as Estée is selling face cream in the salon where Gloria is a shampoo girl. Although I admire their spunk and determination and enjoyed hearing about Estée’s “beginning,” I found it difficult to feel emotionally connected to either character.
Significant themes in the story involve friendship and women supporting women. Realistically, their friendship had its ups and downs. At times, the angst of their relationship was discouraging (albeit realistic) in its repetitive on-again, off-again nature. Even though Gloria and Estée had their conflicts, they ultimately had each other’s back in the best and worst of times. Overall, this is an “against-the-odds” story of self-made women.
Recommending Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl
If you enjoy historical fiction set in New York City during the 30s and 40s and are interested in skincare and beauty products, you might enjoy a glimpse into the life of Estée Lauder and her fictional cohort. Readers who love strong female characters will want to add this to their TBRs. You might also enjoy reading Davida’s 5 Star review.
Related: You might enjoy The Social Graces, also by Renee Rosen.
My Rating: 3.5 (rounded to 4) Stars
Meet the Author of Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl, Renee Rosen
Renée Rosen is the USA Today bestselling author of THE SOCIAL GRACES as well as PARK AVENUE SUMMER, WINDY CITY BLUES, WHITE COLLAR GIRL, WHAT THE LADY WANTS and DOLLFACE. She is also the author of EVERY CROOKED POT, a YA novel.
Her newest novel, FIFTH AVENUE GLAMOUR GIRL, about the cosmetic icon, Estée Lauder, will be published in April 25, 2023 by Penguin Random House/Berkley. Renée lives in Chicago where she is at work on a new novel about Barbie creator, Ruth Handler.
Do you use Estéée Lauder beauty products? Do you enjoy fictionalized biographies?
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Thanks for the shout out! I see I liked this more than you. No matter. No two people read the same books!
My pleasure! I really appreciate reading your review and I can see why you loved it more than me.
Great review, Carol. I don’t think this is my cup of tea, though.
The characters were not super likable but it was an interesting peek into the life of EL!