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Review: Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl by Renee Rosen

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Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl is the latest book out by author Renee Rosen, and if you’re interested in the world of fashion and makeup, you’ll want to put this one on your list.

This is the first of Renee Rosen’s books that I’ve read and I must say that I got more than I anticipated out of this book.

When I learned that it was about the legendary Estee Lauder, I decided I wanted to read it because I, like many other gals, grew up with a mother who wore Estee Lauder perfume and makeup and I thought it would be interesting to learn about the history behind the businesswoman Estee Lauder.

My review of Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl will not only give you a short synopsis of the book, but you’ll also get my 3 Rs of book reviews. Should you read, reread or reconsider this book?

new york skyline with the statue of liberty to the left and a book cover image of the book fifth avenue glamour girl

I’ll get to that review in just a moment, but first, are you already familiar with author Renee Rosen?

To be honest, I really wasn’t familiar with her. I’ve only recently become familiar with some of her books, and since Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl caught my eye, it happens to be the first one I picked up.

Who Is Renee Rosen?

Renee Rosen is a USA Today bestselling author of seven adult novels so far, plus one young adult novel. She’s currently working on her 8th adult novel which I’m personally very excited about because it’s based on another subject that sends me straight back to my childhood!

So far, at least a number of her books follow the format of taking a historical figure and weaving a fictionalized account around the story of their life.

Synopsis of Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl

Imagine New York City in 1938, and a completely unknown young woman selling random face cream out of an equally unknown New York City beauty parlor. That unknown young woman’s name is Estée Lauder and she’s about to take the world by storm – but only on her terms.

While Estée is trying to get her name out, Gloria Downing longs for a chance to escape her past and reinvent herself after a scandal that rocked her family to the core. With a yearning for a fresh start and a loyal confidante to lean on, Gloria’s life is forever transformed when fate brings her face-to-face with a young, spirited dreamer named Estée. Brace yourself, for their encounter will ignite a fire within Gloria that she never thought possible.

Estée possesses a fervent desire for success, yearning to make a name for herself like the iconic Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein, and Revlon. Before Gloria realizes it, she becomes entangled in the grand ambitions of her new friend. As Estée fearlessly dives into her quest for greatness, Gloria unearths hidden talents within herself, empowered by her newfound voice. Securing a position at the esteemed Saks Fifth Avenue, the pinnacle of New York’s luxury department stores, Gloria’s influence becomes invaluable in propelling Estée’s insatiable aspirations forward.

Yet, within a world unaccustomed to women wielding power, both Gloria and Estée must confront the steep price that accompanies their determination to carve their own paths. They refuse to yield, unflinchingly defying societal expectations and embracing the consequences that come with daring to live life on their own terms.

Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl – What I Liked

There was so much to love about this rich historical novel about how Estee Lauder got started in the makeup business. But the thing I liked the most was the memories it brought back of my own childhood and shopping with my mother in very similar department stores as those described in the book. While the book takes place in New York and we lived in the Midwest, the locations were obviously not the same. However, the feelings and memories that the book stirred up in me? They are priceless.

In addition to that, I enjoyed just learning about the history of Estee Lauder which is something that I previously knew nothing about. She was a determined lady, and although at times I didn’t like her, or like some of the things she was doing, I loved experiencing her journey from being a completely unknown nobody in the makeup world and working her way up to a brand that took the makeup world by storm.

There was also some humor in the book. To be honest, I’m not sure it was meant to be humorous, but a few things just made me laugh out loud, and these were, again, things that harkened back to my youth and memories of my mother. Honestly, just the term “beauty shop” would have done it. But Darlene’s Palace of Beauty? LOL. My mother had her own version of Darlene’s Palace of Beauty that she visited every week for probably 70+ years, as well as her very own version of Darlene! I was introduced to Darlene’s Palace of Beauty in Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl on the 1st page of Chapter 1 and I instantly knew I would love this book.

When I first picked up this book and skimmed the synopsis to see what it was about, I assumed that the story was only centered around Estee Lauder herself, and that was enough to fascinate me instantly. However, much to my surprise, the story was actually told from the viewport of Estee’s fictional friend, Gloria. I thought Gloria herself was a fascinating character and I really loved having her tell the story. Gloria had her own unique set of problems, but she turned out to be an equally strong and determined woman who just found a way to turn her life around and make things work out.

Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl – What I Disliked

I can’t think of a single thing I disliked about this book.

Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl – Read, Reread, or Reconsider?

And now, for my 3 Rs of book reviews.

Should you read, reread or reconsider Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl?

A Definite Read!

Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl was everything I expected, and so much more.

I’ve always been familiar with the company Estee Lauder, but I never knew anything about the woman behind the brand. It was worthwhile to learn about that woman and the struggles she experienced on the road to success.

If you simply like historical fiction, I think you will like this book.

If you like makeup and fashion, you’ll love this book. If you love shopping, and get excited at the prospect of meandering around luxury department stores just for the love of seeing all the fabulous merchandise, you’ll love this book. And if you like reading about strong, determined female characters who have the drive to succeed and won’t stop until they get it done, you’ll love this book.

And if you can’t seem to get enough historical fiction, then go ahead and explore more.

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