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The Show Girl: A Novel

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It's 1927 when Olive McCormick moves from Minneapolis to New York City determined to become a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. Extremely talented as a singer and dancer, it takes every bit of perseverance to finally make it on stage. And once she does, all the glamour and excitement is everything she imagined and more--even worth all the sacrifices she has had to make along t It's 1927 when Olive McCormick moves from Minneapolis to New York City determined to become a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. Extremely talented as a singer and dancer, it takes every bit of perseverance to finally make it on stage. And once she does, all the glamour and excitement is everything she imagined and more--even worth all the sacrifices she has had to make along the way. Then she meets Archie Carmichael. Handsome, wealthy--the only man she's ever met who seems to accept her modern ways--her independent nature and passion for success. But once she accepts his proposal of marriage he starts to change his tune, and Olive must decide if she is willing to reveal a devastating secret and sacrifice the life she loves for the man she loves.


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It's 1927 when Olive McCormick moves from Minneapolis to New York City determined to become a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. Extremely talented as a singer and dancer, it takes every bit of perseverance to finally make it on stage. And once she does, all the glamour and excitement is everything she imagined and more--even worth all the sacrifices she has had to make along t It's 1927 when Olive McCormick moves from Minneapolis to New York City determined to become a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. Extremely talented as a singer and dancer, it takes every bit of perseverance to finally make it on stage. And once she does, all the glamour and excitement is everything she imagined and more--even worth all the sacrifices she has had to make along the way. Then she meets Archie Carmichael. Handsome, wealthy--the only man she's ever met who seems to accept her modern ways--her independent nature and passion for success. But once she accepts his proposal of marriage he starts to change his tune, and Olive must decide if she is willing to reveal a devastating secret and sacrifice the life she loves for the man she loves.

30 review for The Show Girl: A Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    MarilynW

    The Show Girl: A Novel by Nicola Harrison It's 1927 and Olive McCormick knows what she wants to do with her life despite her parents very strong objections. After a short stint as a showgirl in CA, which ended very badly, Olive is now in New York and a Ziegfeld Follies show girl. She thrives on the difficult rehearsals, the late nights, the crowds, the adoration, and all that goes with being a show girl. She doesn't understand the other girls considering this a temporary job, looking forward to g The Show Girl: A Novel by Nicola Harrison It's 1927 and Olive McCormick knows what she wants to do with her life despite her parents very strong objections. After a short stint as a showgirl in CA, which ended very badly, Olive is now in New York and a Ziegfeld Follies show girl. She thrives on the difficult rehearsals, the late nights, the crowds, the adoration, and all that goes with being a show girl. She doesn't understand the other girls considering this a temporary job, looking forward to getting husbands and having children. Olive was naïve when she went to CA and she's just as naïve in NY. She enjoys the free food and drink from the men who attend the shows but she's not going to fall under their spell long enough for them to distract her from being a show girl. For the other girls, this job is a means to an end but for her it's the life she wants to live. Then Olive meets wealthy Archie Carmichael, fifteen years her senior, and her life acquires the glamour she could never have attained on her own. But Archie has secrets and Olive has her own secrets. Before she knows it, she is engaged to be married and faces giving up her show girl dreams. Being the same rash, naïve girl she was when she went to CA, she manages to destroy what she's attained and falls farther than she thought possible. Reading of this time, right before the Great Depression, the people work hard, play hard, and are primed to lose so much, whether they have riches or not much at all. I enjoyed watching the showmanship and back scenes life of the show girls but had trouble liking Olive when she is so single minded, self absorbed and oblivious to the hardships of those around her. But nothing can keep Olive down for long, if for no other reason than she doesn't have the foresight to think about her future. For me, the real story is in what we get to see and learn of the Ziegfeld Follies. As far as Olive goes, I can only hope she grows more aware of those around her because she has someone depending on her. Publication: August 10, 2021 Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for this ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Nicola Harrison's latest character driven historical fiction novel is for those of you who fancy immersing yourselves in the roaring 1920s in America with all the glamour of the famous show girls of New York City's Zeigfield Follies. It is 1927, and Olive McCormick is a small town girl from Minnesota with a conservative family who have found it hard to accept her for who she is, critical, and less than supportive. Olive is a gifted singer and dancer, with ambitions and dreams that are not looked Nicola Harrison's latest character driven historical fiction novel is for those of you who fancy immersing yourselves in the roaring 1920s in America with all the glamour of the famous show girls of New York City's Zeigfield Follies. It is 1927, and Olive McCormick is a small town girl from Minnesota with a conservative family who have found it hard to accept her for who she is, critical, and less than supportive. Olive is a gifted singer and dancer, with ambitions and dreams that are not looked on favourably by her family, and she must face a terrible event that is to have traumatic repercussions. Despite all the difficulties and obstacles in her path, along with all the she has to give up, Olive lives to realise her dreams of becoming a New York Zeigfield Follies show girl. For the bright and driven Olive, she regrets nothing, being a show girl is all that she thought it would be and more, she could not be happier. Then she meets the good looking and wealthy Archie Carmichael who appears to appreciate her for all that she is, including her spirit of independence and ambition, it seems the world is at her feet. However, Archie seems to change and Olive harbours a devastating secret, is their love destined to splinter apart? Olive is a young and flawed woman, and not immune from making a series of poor decisions and living in a time where society and families do not look kindly on women who deviate from the expected norms and expectations of women. Harrison has done her research of this historical period as can be seen with the intricate details and vibrant, rich descriptions that evoke the times so well. This is an intense, colourful, and entertaining novel, an emotional rollercoaster, that I think will appeal to many readers who love their historical fiction, touching on strong women that face hard lives, family dramas, love, heartbreak, trauma, secrets, and the excitement and thrills of being a show girl in the New York of 1920s, bearing in mind we know what the future holds, such as the Great Depression. Many thanks to St Martin's Press for an ARC.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: '... if they can't stand to see a young woman exercise her rights, then maybe they need an education in how the modern world works.' The waiter turned on his heel and left, and my mother began to collect her things. I reached out and put my hand on hers. 'Where are you going, Mama? Don't let them bully us into leaving.' 'It's not them,' she said softly. 'It's you.' I saw her eyes fill with tears. 'Your manners, your lack of etiquette, of decency - living here with a man you've only just m EXCERPT: '... if they can't stand to see a young woman exercise her rights, then maybe they need an education in how the modern world works.' The waiter turned on his heel and left, and my mother began to collect her things. I reached out and put my hand on hers. 'Where are you going, Mama? Don't let them bully us into leaving.' 'It's not them,' she said softly. 'It's you.' I saw her eyes fill with tears. 'Your manners, your lack of etiquette, of decency - living here with a man you've only just met - even your lovely hair . . .' She reached out and tucked a piece of my cropped hair behind my ear. 'It's all gone.' She stood, pushed in her chair and gently placed her handbag on her arm. 'Olive, you're forgetting who you are.' 'You're wrong, Mama,' I said, almost in a whisper. 'For the first time in my life I know exactly who I want to be.' ABOUT 'THE SHOW GIRL': It's 1927 when Olive McCormick moves from Minneapolis to New York City determined to become a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. Extremely talented as a singer and dancer, it takes every bit of perseverance to finally make it on stage. And once she does, all the glamour and excitement is everything she imagined and more--even worth all the sacrifices she has had to make along the way. Then she meets Archie Carmichael. Handsome, wealthy--the only man she's ever met who seems to accept her modern ways--her independent nature and passion for success. But once she accepts his proposal of marriage he starts to change his tune, and Olive must decide if she is willing to reveal a devastating secret and sacrifice the life she loves for the man she loves. MY THOUGHTS: Spanning 1927 to 1929, and encompassing the beginning of the great depression, The Show Girl is an exciting and balanced blend of history, drama, and romance. Harrison has captured the excitement of the end of the roaring twenties; a time of changing social mores, a time of desperate need for excess as people tried to block out the devastation and decimation of the first world war. There is a frantic need for enjoyment, and social boundaries are pushed as women begin to assert their independence. This is the backdrop to a story of a young woman with ambition, a dream that, despite all the obstacles placed in her way, she is determined to attain. Young and naive in New York City, this is both a coming of age story and a social commentary. I hope I am not making this sound dull, because it is anything but. It is brimming with life, love, and drama. Harrison's characters are very true to life. Olive comes from a very traditional family; a rigidly strict father, and a mother who stays at home to care for the children. Their plans for Olive were more along the lines of a nice little job in a department store until she marries, than a scantily clad show girl! Olive is not always a likeable character. Sometimes, like most of us, she doesn't even like herself. But Olive is determined, and very single-minded; totally focused on reaching her goal even if she is abandoned by her family along the way. And she is the star of this story. The spotlight never leaves her. I found this a fascinating read. On my bucket list is a trip to Paris to see the Follies Bergére, and it is on this famous troupe that Ziegfield based his own troupe of dancers in New York. So between that, and The Show Girl being written by Nicola Harrison, I just knew I had to read this book. I was not disappointed. ⭐⭐⭐.9 #TheShowGirl #NetGalley I: @nicolaharrisonauthor @stmartinspress T: @NicolaHAuthor #StMartinsPress #historicalfiction #romance THE AUTHOR: I'm originally from Hampshire, England, and moved to California when I was 14. I studied Literature at UCLA and received an MFA in creative writing at Stony Brook University. Soon after college I moved to NYC and worked in magazine publishing. I was the fashion and style staff writer for Forbes and had a weekly column at Lucky Magazine. I spent many summers in Montauk, which inspired my first novel, but after 17 years in the Big Apple I recently moved back to California and have settled in Manhattan Beach with my husband, two sons and two chihuahuas. When I'm not writing I love to paddle board, do yoga and get outside with my boys. DISCLOSURE: Thank you to St Martin's via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Show Girl by Nicola Harrison for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Last summer, Nicola Harrison brought us the gorgeous book, Montauk, and this summer, she has delivered equally gorgeous, The Show Girl, a story set in NYC in the 1920s about Olive, a want-to-be new star in the Ziegfeld Follies. She can sing and dance with the best of them. Olive really is determined with a fierce work ethic. She meets a man, Archie, who appreciates her independent nature, but this falls apart once they become engaged. Olive’s story is full of heartbreak, drama, secrets, and love Last summer, Nicola Harrison brought us the gorgeous book, Montauk, and this summer, she has delivered equally gorgeous, The Show Girl, a story set in NYC in the 1920s about Olive, a want-to-be new star in the Ziegfeld Follies. She can sing and dance with the best of them. Olive really is determined with a fierce work ethic. She meets a man, Archie, who appreciates her independent nature, but this falls apart once they become engaged. Olive’s story is full of heartbreak, drama, secrets, and love amid an entertaining and exciting backdrop of the Follies, which I loved learning about. A fascinating and enjoyable story! I received a gifted copy. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  5. 5 out of 5

    Val

    I was immediately drawn to this gorgeous cover and title. I am attracted to reading books set in the 20’s and I was intrigued to read a story told by a Ziegfeld Follies Showgirl. It sounded like an original plot line, which I always adore. The story is told through Olive’s perspective. She discovered at a young age that she loved the attention and accolades she receives when singing and acting. Her family is conservative, traditional and I would say extremely poor communicators. By that, I mean t I was immediately drawn to this gorgeous cover and title. I am attracted to reading books set in the 20’s and I was intrigued to read a story told by a Ziegfeld Follies Showgirl. It sounded like an original plot line, which I always adore. The story is told through Olive’s perspective. She discovered at a young age that she loved the attention and accolades she receives when singing and acting. Her family is conservative, traditional and I would say extremely poor communicators. By that, I mean they never talk about the important stuff, they just keep it light and day-to-day. It felt like the only things that came out of her parents mouths toward her were negative and demeaning. Try as she might to win their affection and approval, it never worked. This plays a big part into the person she becomes. Image finding out you are pregnant at 19 by a pervert who got you drunk and took advantage of you. Imagine if that was your daughter? You would be heartbroken, supportive and disgusted only at the man, right? Unfortunately that was not the case for poor Olive. Her mother was horrified and said the family was disgraced by her, sent her away to have and give away the baby, and never told Olive’s father of the situation or pregnancy. Now imagine you are Olive - where is the only place you feel good? Feel accepted? Feel loved? On stage of course. This story follows her quest to find the attention she craves through performing. Was she a likeable character? Not 100 percent – but I reminded myself that she was between 19 and 24 when the story is being told and if you remember that time in your life…it was mostly only about you and surely you also didn’t always make the smartest choices. She also had no real support system at home. She was on her own at an early age and had to fight and work hard to make her way. Olive consistently makes bad choices throughout this book. Mostly based on her low self esteem and lack of confidence. She puts on a good face and others believe she is confident – but that is just not the case. I loved hearing about the Follies and about the infatuation with them back then. My favorite part in the book is when she is at the height of her career as a Ziegfeld girl. Once she meets Archie, a new storyline develops. As is her M.O. she creates havoc in her life and makes choices I cringed at. The story was so engaging and I loved that I really couldn’t guess what was going to happen next. The costumes, clubs, and settings were described beautifully. My only regret with this book is that it wrapped up too quickly and perhaps too perfectly for my taste. But then, I guess that the hallmark of a good story is one that you don’t’ want to end, right? I rated this as a 4 1/2 star read, rounded down only due to the .rushed ending. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read and review an advance copy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    Totally drawn to this story of Olive McCormick, who loved acting and singing from a young age. She dreamed of becoming a show girl in the Zeigfield Follies in New York City and was determined to make her dream come true. She had no support from her family, who wanted her to marry well and be a respectable woman. Despite many obstacles and difficulties Olive does go on to become a showgirl, and this book follows her through the triumphs and setbacks of her life as a star. This novel is totally fas Totally drawn to this story of Olive McCormick, who loved acting and singing from a young age. She dreamed of becoming a show girl in the Zeigfield Follies in New York City and was determined to make her dream come true. She had no support from her family, who wanted her to marry well and be a respectable woman. Despite many obstacles and difficulties Olive does go on to become a showgirl, and this book follows her through the triumphs and setbacks of her life as a star. This novel is totally fascinating and is a great piece of historical fiction and provides a sense of place for the 1920's and life in New York. The novel touches on the struggles of women during that period, relationships, overcoming adversity with strength and courage. The characters and costumes were amazing and colorful. I enjoyed my time with this book. Thanks to St. Martin's Press through Netgalley for an advance copy. The book will be published on August 10, 2021.

  7. 5 out of 5

    debbicat *made of stardust*

    This is the story of Olive Shine, a showgirl in 1920's New York. She has big dreams and loves nothing more than being on stage and the star of the show. She is talented and envied. Shine is a stage name she takes and suits her well. She thrives and shines in all she undertakes after becoming a part of the Ziegfeld Follies. This is the life for her and she plans to hold onto it tight now that she has it. She loves the costumes and elaborate headpieces. She also loves all of the attention. The aut This is the story of Olive Shine, a showgirl in 1920's New York. She has big dreams and loves nothing more than being on stage and the star of the show. She is talented and envied. Shine is a stage name she takes and suits her well. She thrives and shines in all she undertakes after becoming a part of the Ziegfeld Follies. This is the life for her and she plans to hold onto it tight now that she has it. She loves the costumes and elaborate headpieces. She also loves all of the attention. The author did a lot of research on the time period and what life for a showgirl in the follies must have been like. Olive is a well-drawn character full of ambition and fortitude. She comes across as selfish and driven. She falls in love with Archie, a very prosperous man, and has to make some hard choices. Can she have a career dancing in nightclubs and being in the arms of drunken men every evening and marriage too? Often she dances on stage late into the night with barely anything on. She is in clubs most of the night and sleeps during the day. Archie's family does not approve of her. Her own family really doesn't either and she often finds herself in conflict with them. I am giving the book 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 because of all of the interesting information about this time period. I really didn't like Olive's character all that much, or Archie. I feel like the author was trying to send a message that women are in control of their choices and Olive recognized she did not have to marry and have children to live in the world and be happy. Certainly, that was what her parents wanted for her. Also, most of her other showgirl friends wanted that too. To meet a man while performing and give it all up to be a wife and mother. Olive was very different in her desires and always knew what she wanted. Great qualities of being independent and self-confident. I thought she was selfish tho and didn't care about others. Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a digital copy to read for review. If you like Historical Fiction you might really enjoy this one!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Harrison

    I have to admit, writing this book brought me so much joy. I loved immersing myself in the glamorous 1920s (my favorite decade - and not just for the fashion). I also loved writing about the feisty, ambitious and often conflicted Olive. I admired her drive and determination and I saw a little of myself in her (I know - she makes some questionable choices at times, but don't we all when we're young and trying to figure out what we want to do with our lives?) Writing about the speakeasies of New Y I have to admit, writing this book brought me so much joy. I loved immersing myself in the glamorous 1920s (my favorite decade - and not just for the fashion). I also loved writing about the feisty, ambitious and often conflicted Olive. I admired her drive and determination and I saw a little of myself in her (I know - she makes some questionable choices at times, but don't we all when we're young and trying to figure out what we want to do with our lives?) Writing about the speakeasies of New York City's West Village, the dance floors and Broadway stages of the Theatre District, and the rustic, yet luxurious Great Camps hidden away deep in the woods of the Adirondacks, was my homage to New York. I lived in NYC for 17 years and recently moved back to Southern California. Similar to Olive's experience, New York was a place where I went to follow my dreams and shed some of my past. Thank you for taking the time to read The Show Girl, I hope you enjoyed it too!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Leone-campbell

    Nicola Harrison’s second novel, The Show Girl, is about a small town girl from Minneapolis, who has big dreams of becoming a famous Ziegfeld Follies girl fighting against all odds and unsupportive parents and many obstacles along the way hoping to achieve her dreams. Olive McCormick realized she wanted to dance from a young age. She really knew she wanted to be a Ziegfeld girl. This was during the 1920’s and women’s dreams depended mostly on men’s assessments of them. Against her mother’s wishes Nicola Harrison’s second novel, The Show Girl, is about a small town girl from Minneapolis, who has big dreams of becoming a famous Ziegfeld Follies girl fighting against all odds and unsupportive parents and many obstacles along the way hoping to achieve her dreams. Olive McCormick realized she wanted to dance from a young age. She really knew she wanted to be a Ziegfeld girl. This was during the 1920’s and women’s dreams depended mostly on men’s assessments of them. Against her mother’s wishes and her father’s disappointment in her she chose to follow her dreams. And after many regrets, failures and hard work she became a show girl for Ziegfeld! She was singing and dancing. But when her parents are invited to see her perform, their reaction is nothing but disgust. Her father embarrassed by her. Having to make the hardest decision of her life, she decides to pursue her dreams over her family, never realizing how this predicament would someday come back to haunt her. But Olive is a strong woman able to weather any storm with the brains and wit of any man, and is not afraid to question their decisions. And as her career takes off something else wonderful happens to Olive, now known as Olive Shine! She falls in love. When she meets Archie Carmichael, a wealthy, handsome businessman with a heart of gold, she finally believes she has it all! He is proud of her career, and loves her. But when they decide to marry, Olive realizes Archie may want more than she is capable of giving him. Her secretive past now comes back to torture her. She must decide if she should tell Archie what she has been hiding since she was young, and lose him forever, or keep her secret and walk away from the love of her life. Neither decision will make her happy. But her love for him is more powerful than any secret, even though Archie will never truly understand. Will Olive’s strength and determination be enough to keep her on the new path she has chosen? I was introduced to Nicola Harrison when I read her first novel back in 2020 called Montauk. It still haunts me to this day. But now I can add to the list of favorite books of 2021 with her latest, The Show Girl. Harrison is able to develop powerfully strong women characters with wills of their own, not afraid to reach out and take what they feel they rightfully deserve. Thank you #NetGalley #St.Martin’sPress #TheShowGirl #NicolaHarrison for the advanced copy.

  10. 4 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    It’s 1927 and Olive McCormick is trying to make it in show business. She can sing and dance. And she is beautiful. She’s from a conservative family in Minnesota and her parents expect her to be spending her time seeking an appropriate, respectable husband. When the family moves to Brooklyn, NY, Olive is confident that she has a shot with the Ziegfeld Follies, her dream. After an initial rejection, Olive Shine (her new stage name) soon gets her big break working for Ziegfeld, much to the chagrin It’s 1927 and Olive McCormick is trying to make it in show business. She can sing and dance. And she is beautiful. She’s from a conservative family in Minnesota and her parents expect her to be spending her time seeking an appropriate, respectable husband. When the family moves to Brooklyn, NY, Olive is confident that she has a shot with the Ziegfeld Follies, her dream. After an initial rejection, Olive Shine (her new stage name) soon gets her big break working for Ziegfeld, much to the chagrin of her family. The Show Girl takes us on Olive’s journey, which has it hardships and triumphs. In this absorbing book, you will be transported to the 1920s as the Great Depression is lurking in the near future. But before the market crashes in 1929, the wealthy live it up. Spending freely at nightclubs and heading to leisure destinations such as the Adirondacks. Author Nicola Harrison has painted a perfect picture right down to the ornate costumes. Olive makes her share of mistakes but she’s talented, determined and unable to accept the inferior role that women hold in society. She’s someone to root for. Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read The Show Girl in advance of its August 10, 2021 publication. Rated 4.5 stars. Review posted on MicheleReader.com.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The 1920s had great economic prosperity and was concerned a time of reckless, carefree living for many. Like it’s name, The roaring 20’s was a decade that began with a roar and ended with a crash. The story takes place mostly in New York when a young woman wants to make it big as a show girl. She determined, stubborn, and in my opinion unlikeable. A lot happens and a lot of it was reckless. It kept reminding me of Hollywood and all the partying. I really wanted to like this more but I couldn’t co The 1920s had great economic prosperity and was concerned a time of reckless, carefree living for many. Like it’s name, The roaring 20’s was a decade that began with a roar and ended with a crash. The story takes place mostly in New York when a young woman wants to make it big as a show girl. She determined, stubborn, and in my opinion unlikeable. A lot happens and a lot of it was reckless. It kept reminding me of Hollywood and all the partying. I really wanted to like this more but I couldn’t connect with the heroine. This isn’t a interesting time in history for me and that could be a reason I didn’t enjoy it more. I’d personally never want to be a show girl or drink the way they did back then. I hope this was helpful. This was a audiobook for me and was narrated by Imani Jade Powers. She did a great job. Thanks Macmillan Audio via Netgalley.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Janet Fiorentino

    “The Show Girl” was a great historical novel by Nicola Harrison. I adored the book “Montauk” so was excited to read this novel set during the Roaring Twenties. Olive arrives in New York with aspirations of becoming a showgirl. While working at an event in California, she was approached by Mr. Ziegfeld who asks her to look him up if she ever makes it to the east coast. Yet, Olive’s road to stardom is more than Mr. Ziegfeld merely granting her a wish. Instead, she faces an unwanted pregnancy, estra “The Show Girl” was a great historical novel by Nicola Harrison. I adored the book “Montauk” so was excited to read this novel set during the Roaring Twenties. Olive arrives in New York with aspirations of becoming a showgirl. While working at an event in California, she was approached by Mr. Ziegfeld who asks her to look him up if she ever makes it to the east coast. Yet, Olive’s road to stardom is more than Mr. Ziegfeld merely granting her a wish. Instead, she faces an unwanted pregnancy, estrangement from her family, and plenty of sexual harassment. While the setting is historical, Olive’s struggles to find herself are authentic. The author did an amazing job in putting the reader right into the culture and world of New York in 1920s. Her descriptions of how a young girl such as Olive would view this world resonate. Even the dialogue rings true of the time. Olive is a dynamic and sassy young woman, who the reader cannot help to root for (even when she makes what appears to be rather apparent mistakes). I could not put this novel down as the author’s style really pulls you in and makes you care what happens to Olive. Thanks to Nicola Harrison, the publisher and Netgalley for my advanced copy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dallas Strawn

    THE SHOW GIRL is a fun, frolicking, wild ride through 1920s NYC, about a woman named Olive trying to make it big as a performer on Broadway, but her family doesn’t believe in her talent, and she’s carrying a dark secret from her past....and then she meets a man, the perfect man.....and she has to decide if she’s willing to sacrifice the life she loves for the man she loves....🥰❤️ I thought it was so much fun, beautifully written, and yes the ending is too neat and perfect.... but. I loved it. 4.5 THE SHOW GIRL is a fun, frolicking, wild ride through 1920s NYC, about a woman named Olive trying to make it big as a performer on Broadway, but her family doesn’t believe in her talent, and she’s carrying a dark secret from her past....and then she meets a man, the perfect man.....and she has to decide if she’s willing to sacrifice the life she loves for the man she loves....🥰❤️ I thought it was so much fun, beautifully written, and yes the ending is too neat and perfect.... but. I loved it. 4.5 ⭐️

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sara Jo

    A great look at show girls of the 1920s! I wanted give this book a higher rating but I just couldn’t like the character. Olive wasn’t remotely relatable and most of the time she was a terribly selfish idiot. Her push of feminism and flying the face of tradition was admirable but generally poorly done. The added “secret” drama and the love interest were intriguing at first, but she ruined all of that with her immature behavior. I was provided with an ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for a A great look at show girls of the 1920s! I wanted give this book a higher rating but I just couldn’t like the character. Olive wasn’t remotely relatable and most of the time she was a terribly selfish idiot. Her push of feminism and flying the face of tradition was admirable but generally poorly done. The added “secret” drama and the love interest were intriguing at first, but she ruined all of that with her immature behavior. I was provided with an ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    When I first heard about The Show Girl: A Novel, I knew I would want to read it because the cover reminded me of City of Girls, as did the premise, in some ways. The story did have a similar feel, but it was also completely different. I still enjoyed it though! I loved the Broadway aspect of this novel, as well as the 1920s version of glamping in the Adirondacks. I also enjoyed seeing Olive's courtship with Archie play out. Olive's background proved to be interesting, in regards to her secret and When I first heard about The Show Girl: A Novel, I knew I would want to read it because the cover reminded me of City of Girls, as did the premise, in some ways. The story did have a similar feel, but it was also completely different. I still enjoyed it though! I loved the Broadway aspect of this novel, as well as the 1920s version of glamping in the Adirondacks. I also enjoyed seeing Olive's courtship with Archie play out. Olive's background proved to be interesting, in regards to her secret and how it comes into play later on to affect her relationship and career. Olive was a conflicted character and sometimes I got frustrated with her for making rash decisions. I felt bad for her at the same time, however. I felt the ending wrapped up too neatly, but it was still a worthwhile read and Olive needed a win by the end. Stick around afterward to check out the author's note, as there's a lot of good background information. She incorporated what she learned to add vivid detail to the story. I could easily visualize everything that was going on. The story was engaging and entertaining. While we're waiting for Broadway to reopen, this is a good way to get back into the theater mood (or keep it going). Movie casting ideas: Olive: Madeline CarrollArchie: Richard MaddenRuthie: Eleanor TomlinsonOlive's mom: Mireille EnosOlive's dad: Brian GeraghtyAlberto: Michael BubléFlorenz: Timothy Busfield

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tammy(PeaceLoveBooks)

    As soon as I read the synopsis of The Show Girl, I knew I had to read it! This is a fantastic story of the Roaring 20's! I can't wait to read her next book! As soon as I read the synopsis of The Show Girl, I knew I had to read it! This is a fantastic story of the Roaring 20's! I can't wait to read her next book!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader

    This is original story line. I have never read anything like it. Harrison's writing will draw you right into the pages of this unique read. As I read it was as if I was watching it play out the vivid details and images are very well written. This is a 4 star must read. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own. This is original story line. I have never read anything like it. Harrison's writing will draw you right into the pages of this unique read. As I read it was as if I was watching it play out the vivid details and images are very well written. This is a 4 star must read. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    I adored Harrison's novel Montauk so when I was offered this ARC, I jumped at the chance. And it was lovely! Olive is a young performer who moves with her family to New York and joins the Ziegfeld Follies. She's dynamic and fans love her. When she meets suave and handsome Archie, she believes she has found the man of her dreams. But she's hiding a secret from her past that prevents them marrying and having children. There are lots of surprises and the book is deftly written, revealing the inequi I adored Harrison's novel Montauk so when I was offered this ARC, I jumped at the chance. And it was lovely! Olive is a young performer who moves with her family to New York and joins the Ziegfeld Follies. She's dynamic and fans love her. When she meets suave and handsome Archie, she believes she has found the man of her dreams. But she's hiding a secret from her past that prevents them marrying and having children. There are lots of surprises and the book is deftly written, revealing the inequities and hardships for young women in the 1920's. But the best part is that redemption is possible and some mistakes can be rectified. This is a sure-fire winner in my eyes! Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This was a fascinating fictionalized account of New York City in the 20s, through the eyes of a Ziegfeld Follies showgirl. And most of the scenes, I felt like I was actually there! The characters are well drawn and although I didn’t like the choices that Olive made, The author made it all very believable. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    The roaring 20s in NYC is one of my favorite time periods for historical fiction! I loved how atmospheric the story was, I absolutely felt like I was sipping some hooch as I waited for the Ziegfield Follies to walk onstage! The author did a great job of immersing the reader and I was in love with the story from the very beginning. I loved seeing Broadway, the rich “camping” in the Adirondacks, and the glamour and fame of the Ziegfield Show Girls. This is a character driven plot, but there is ple The roaring 20s in NYC is one of my favorite time periods for historical fiction! I loved how atmospheric the story was, I absolutely felt like I was sipping some hooch as I waited for the Ziegfield Follies to walk onstage! The author did a great job of immersing the reader and I was in love with the story from the very beginning. I loved seeing Broadway, the rich “camping” in the Adirondacks, and the glamour and fame of the Ziegfield Show Girls. This is a character driven plot, but there is plenty of adventure and exploits to keep things moving pace wise. There is a touch of family drama, a little romance, and friendship and coming of age aspects. I do wish some of the secondary characters had been a bit more fleshed out. I also felt like the ending wrapped up a bit too perfectly and rather quickly given the length of the book. For once I feel like the book comparisons are accurate - this does seem like one that fans of City of Girls will enjoy. It was a fantastic historical fiction novel that I highly recommend! 4.5/5🌟 Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me this ARC. The Show Girl will be out on August 10.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Celia Kim

    Received an ARC via Goodreads, March 2021. Trigger warning for rape (it's not descriptive but enough of it is portrayed that made me think "hm, this probably would disturb ppl who have had a similar experience"). I went into this book with zero expectations other than (okay, so this is basically City of Girls but Zeigfeld), and despite it being exactly my parenthetical remark, this book easily won my heart. I fucking love Olive, our main girl of the story. I thought I loved her when I was starting Received an ARC via Goodreads, March 2021. Trigger warning for rape (it's not descriptive but enough of it is portrayed that made me think "hm, this probably would disturb ppl who have had a similar experience"). I went into this book with zero expectations other than (okay, so this is basically City of Girls but Zeigfeld), and despite it being exactly my parenthetical remark, this book easily won my heart. I fucking love Olive, our main girl of the story. I thought I loved her when I was starting the book (she's got one hell of an opening chapter), but wow, I had no idea how much more I would be made to love her. Because of how easy Olive is to like and root for, when she hits a low point, you feel it in your gut, and there are SO many low points in her life. And then, when she hits her highs, goddamn, you wanna scream and shout for her, tell all the scummy assholes in this book that tried to either look down on her or take advantage of her to go fuck themselves in a muddy ditch and drown, cause man, Olive deserves the world. And if I sound like I like this book because it's a kick-ass story about a woman who achieves her dreams and then some, then you're only half right. This book served some unexpected commentary about loyalty in the family, friendship, and what it means to be a woman whose passions and talents don't fit in with society's image of what a good woman is supposed to be. Women in the entertainment business get a whole lot of shit just for participating in it, and the general expectation is that all this is supposed to be temporary means to securing a marriage. This book went in on exploring that notion, and didn't disparage women for agreeing or disagreeing it. Which makes me realize that this story doesn't have any catty drama in it either, and instead celebrates women supporting other women time and time again -- except for those nuns, they suck >:( (jk, I understood where they were coming from too) Addressing loyalty in the family was such a fascinating topic for me, because I couldn't believe that Olive still stayed in contact with her family. I mean, if I were in her position, I probably would also stay connected; but usually in these stories, characters in Olive's position have that "I've made this decision to leave, so I'm leaving and I won't turn back" thing going on, but this book does NOT do it. Family is still so important to Olive, and I found it so touching to see how Olive and her family grew together. They're all such flawed people, but I still found it so easy to love them all. Final thoughts: read this book or you're a loser (jk, we're all winners)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anissa Telle

    The Show Girl by Nicola Harrison is a riveting historical fiction book which features a star of the Ziegfeld Follies and Ziegfeld Frolic, Olive, in the years before the great stock market crash of 1929. While Olive is a fictional character she is based on the impeccable research of Harrison and you are transported into the life of a show girl in NYC. I am an a great lover of this genre as learning something while being entertained and inspired is my favorite pastime. I was unaware of much of the The Show Girl by Nicola Harrison is a riveting historical fiction book which features a star of the Ziegfeld Follies and Ziegfeld Frolic, Olive, in the years before the great stock market crash of 1929. While Olive is a fictional character she is based on the impeccable research of Harrison and you are transported into the life of a show girl in NYC. I am an a great lover of this genre as learning something while being entertained and inspired is my favorite pastime. I was unaware of much of the challenges of the attempt to be an independent woman in the 1920s. Olive has talent and drive in abundance, but what she needs most is for others to believe in her. The challenges she faces would have felled a lesser woman. Olive will be a character that stays with you long after you close the book. Finding love and trying to be independent, while also dealing with a youthful mistake that colors much of her future will keep you eagerly turning the pages, I loved every minute of it, and did not want it to end. The first part of the book is especially harrowing and full of courageous exploits by Olive as she tests the limits imposed on a young woman by her family and society in the Roaring Twenties. The last part of the book will break your heart and then have you cheering for Olive as she forges her independence. We are transported into life in Hollywood, middle America, NYC, and the great camps of Upstate New York. The author is masterful and weaving this passage of time and location to a satisfying conclusion. I was provided a free advance reader copy from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest review from Net Galley. The opinions shared in this review are my own.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    Again, Harrison has written a beautiful, rich novel that details tge life of a young woman during the 1920’s. Her earlier novel, MONTAUK, was a favorite of mine. The protagonist is Olive who comes to NYC for a career in the theater after dealing with tumultuous experiences earlier. She represents the suppression of women and the totality of a woman’s dependence on husbands and fathers. Olive is successful and rises to fame as a ZIEGFELD GIRL. Despite her success, she faces censure from her famil Again, Harrison has written a beautiful, rich novel that details tge life of a young woman during the 1920’s. Her earlier novel, MONTAUK, was a favorite of mine. The protagonist is Olive who comes to NYC for a career in the theater after dealing with tumultuous experiences earlier. She represents the suppression of women and the totality of a woman’s dependence on husbands and fathers. Olive is successful and rises to fame as a ZIEGFELD GIRL. Despite her success, she faces censure from her family and much of society. As we read about Olive, we also view the lives of the very wealthy and visit the famous camps of the Adirondack Mountains. The author has done a truly remarkable job of research, combined with her writing skills, which brings us to these “camps.” Sometimes mistakes can be fixed, so this is a story of hope. I found this book interesting and highly readable. I think book groups will enjoy it. Thank you Netgalley for another wonderful book by Nicola Harrison.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Date reviewed/posted: February 5, 2021 Publication date: August 10, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave is upon us, AND it is a loverly minus 26 degrees, snowy and icy where I am currently stuck living, so superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Date reviewed/posted: February 5, 2021 Publication date: August 10, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave is upon us, AND it is a loverly minus 26 degrees, snowy and icy where I am currently stuck living, so superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Nicola Harrison's The Show Girl gives a glimpse of the glamorous world of the Ziegfeld Follies, through the eyes of a young midwestern woman who comes to New York City to find her destiny as a Ziegfeld Follies star. It's 1927 when Olive McCormick moves from Minneapolis to New York City determined to become a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. Extremely talented as a singer and dancer, it takes every bit of perseverance to finally make it on stage. And once she does, all the glamour and excitement is everything she imagined and more—even worth all the sacrifices she has had to make along the way. Then she meets Archie Carmichael. Handsome, wealthy—the only man she's ever met who seems to accept her modern ways—her independent nature and passion for success. But once she accepts his proposal of marriage he starts to change his tune, and Olive must decide if she is willing to reveal a devastating secret and sacrifice the life she loves for the man she loves. What a great read - I loved the mix of history and the ladies we used to call showgirls as they were almost the Kardashians of their time ... they were that famous. (But not full of implants, Botox,plastic-sugeried to death nor fake tanned within an inch of their lives!) The story was well researched and it will be a wonderful and entertaining read if you have never heard of the Zigfield Follies before. I will suggest it to friends, family, patrons and strangers on mass transit alike as it is that good. Unfortunately, you cannot read it until August - Take this book to the beach (or your back yard, porch or balcony) and enjoy it - just wear a tonne of SPF110 as you will lose track of time as you read this. - If we are in the 3rd or 4th wave/mutation of COVID19 by then, stay inside: no tan is worth dying for. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🦚🦚🦚🦚🦚

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    If you like Historical fiction/romance, then this is the book for you. All the glam and backstory of the Ziegfeld follies and NYC pre-Depression.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Desiree

    It's the Roaring 20's, and after a rough year and much determination Olive McCormick is finally making her way to New York City to try her hand at being a part of the infamous Ziegfeld Follies. When she finally makes it, Olive is more than happy to see that it is exactly what she wanted and so much more! When she meets a swoon-worthy suitor, Archie Carmichael, she is even more thrilled. When new paths, information, and details come to light, Olive will have some difficult decisions to make about It's the Roaring 20's, and after a rough year and much determination Olive McCormick is finally making her way to New York City to try her hand at being a part of the infamous Ziegfeld Follies. When she finally makes it, Olive is more than happy to see that it is exactly what she wanted and so much more! When she meets a swoon-worthy suitor, Archie Carmichael, she is even more thrilled. When new paths, information, and details come to light, Olive will have some difficult decisions to make about herself, her life, and what she may be leaving behind in the process. This read was a solid 4 stars for me. Olive was a feisty, relatable, and easy to love character. There were times I would think "Girl what are you doing!?" but it was never to the point that I ended up disliking her or that it took away from her story. I absolutely loved that the whole story was very full circle for Olive's development as a young woman in the 1920's. Her tenacity and rise to fame honestly reminded me vaguely of Norma Jean/Marilyn Monroe in very subtle ways. The main reason I can't give it a 5 star rating is that the ending felt way too rushed for me, I would have loved a bit more time for things to draw together or even see just a bit more of her future. I was glad that the main focus on the story was on Olive and her development, though I wish some secondary characters had a bit more fleshing out. The description for this books makes it sound like the main plot of the story centers around her and Archie disagreeing about her time as a performer and what she does or doesn't do about his opinion about it. In reality, it really isn't a huge plot point. It's there, but there is so much more going on than just that and I wish the description of the book showed that a bit better because it is a tad misleading. I'm a sucker for historical fictions so this book from the start was great in my eyes. I would definitely recommend to anyone who is also a lover of historical fiction with a touch of romance. Thank you to NetGalley and St.Martin's Press for the eARC in exchange for an honest review! This review is completely my own opinion.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tena

    The Show Girl by Nicola Harrison takes us back to the 1920's and the world of Ziegfeld follies and showgirls set in New York City. Leading up to the Great Depression the country was seeing freedom like they had never known. Women were becoming stronger in their efforts to maintain independence. Prohibition didn't really seem to slow anybody down. To be a Ziegfeld girl was the height of Independence for young women. Scantily dressed and dancing in public in front of admiring audiences was not wha The Show Girl by Nicola Harrison takes us back to the 1920's and the world of Ziegfeld follies and showgirls set in New York City. Leading up to the Great Depression the country was seeing freedom like they had never known. Women were becoming stronger in their efforts to maintain independence. Prohibition didn't really seem to slow anybody down. To be a Ziegfeld girl was the height of Independence for young women. Scantily dressed and dancing in public in front of admiring audiences was not what parents wished for their daughters. However for Olive it was all she dreamed of. Not even her parents embarrassment and horror could stop her from achieving her dream. The story itself has wonderful descriptions of the music and costumes and lifestyle of this time.. I will admit I have not read a lot about this era. I was amazed at a lot of the activities, shall we say, that went on in the speakeasies and the big clubs. It was almost as if after the war people did not want to have to worry about anything. They simply wanted to have a good time and spend money. And did they ever in the 1920s! I enjoyed the story of Olive, not because she was a Showgirl, rather because of her desire to achieve her dream. The effort and sacrifices she made throughout the story was exhausting and heartbreaking. Whether you are interested in the Showgirls of the 1920s or, like me, know nothing about it, I strongly recommend this book. It's a great read. I voluntarily received a copy of this book from NetGalley.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kristin F

    When I saw the description for The Show Girl, I jumped at the chance to request an ARC. I spent the better part of my early 20s living in New York and working in theatre. The Ziegfeld girls have always been fascinating to me, the life of what I affectionately call "show trash" is endlessly nuanced and mysterious - who are these people who inhabit this fantasy world on stage after they've stepped out of the footlights? The setting of the late 1920s just added more intrigue. When Olive, our main c When I saw the description for The Show Girl, I jumped at the chance to request an ARC. I spent the better part of my early 20s living in New York and working in theatre. The Ziegfeld girls have always been fascinating to me, the life of what I affectionately call "show trash" is endlessly nuanced and mysterious - who are these people who inhabit this fantasy world on stage after they've stepped out of the footlights? The setting of the late 1920s just added more intrigue. When Olive, our main character, leaves Minnesota for New York after life deals her a difficult hand, her ambition is to join the ranks of the Ziegfeld girls. From there her life takes off and she's swept up in the glamour of being in one of the hottest tickets in town, living the life of a glamorous showgirl. Her life outside of the show isn't easy, battling with familial drama and a complicated love life. At times, her bullheadedness was slightly off putting and at times Olive was abrasive and a little off putting. But, as most young 20-somethings do, she realizes that it's not everyone else around her that needed to change - it was her. The progression of the character felt real, everyone is flawed in some way and Olive was no exception. For my first ARC, I could not have chosen better. I look forward to recommending the book to my fellow theatre and theatre-adjacent friends when the publication date arises!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    I loved The Show Girl! The combination of the historical background of the Roaring 20's and the Great Camps combined with the "rags to riches' story of Olive and her success on "The Great White Way" as a Ziegfeld girl was very entertaining and endearing. Successful show girl Olive is romanced by Ohio millionaire Archie whose over the top lifestyle blinds her judgement and their romance's conclusion -- which takes place just after the Crash of '29 kept me engaged and enthralled. I don't want to g I loved The Show Girl! The combination of the historical background of the Roaring 20's and the Great Camps combined with the "rags to riches' story of Olive and her success on "The Great White Way" as a Ziegfeld girl was very entertaining and endearing. Successful show girl Olive is romanced by Ohio millionaire Archie whose over the top lifestyle blinds her judgement and their romance's conclusion -- which takes place just after the Crash of '29 kept me engaged and enthralled. I don't want to give away a lot of the story but the naïve Olive is raped in Hollywood -- resulting in an unwanted pregnancy and is then sent away to a distant relative to have the baby -- a very common story in those days, unfortunately. How Olive deals with the aftermath of her daughter's birth and her own confusion about what she really wants from life is what gives the story its moral compass. There is an HEA (of course) and I recommend The Show Girl highly for anyone looking for a good romance/historical read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jene

    The Show Girl was the first book I have read by Nicola Harrison and I loved it! I loved seeing life through the eyes of a Ziegfeld girl and all the glitz and glamour that was associated with being one of Ziegfeld's chosen. Olive was such a strong and independent female character. I didn't always agree with her choices and behaviors, but I enjoyed watching her navigate through the life she had chosen for herself. Archie was such a kind soul and I appreciated how he accepted Olive for who she was. The Show Girl was the first book I have read by Nicola Harrison and I loved it! I loved seeing life through the eyes of a Ziegfeld girl and all the glitz and glamour that was associated with being one of Ziegfeld's chosen. Olive was such a strong and independent female character. I didn't always agree with her choices and behaviors, but I enjoyed watching her navigate through the life she had chosen for herself. Archie was such a kind soul and I appreciated how he accepted Olive for who she was. Not only is this is a beautiful romance, but also a story about never giving up on you dreams and passions. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review.

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