Such A Pretty Girl by T. Greenwood

What are some of the themes explore? Did the stories have me think deeply, challenge my thoughts, and see something different?

Through themes that explore Mothers/Daughters, ambition vs. exploitation, and artist expression vs. obscenity, I began to see many things differently. T. Greenwood explores the often-flickering line between woman and girl. The story challenged my thoughts while seeing how ambition can turn to or be exploitation, how there is a fine line between expression and how it can be perceived as obscenity.

When a controversial photo emerges of former child actress Ryan taken on the night of NYC blackouts on July 13-14, 1977 is found, Ryan is forced to examine her childhood. 

Sense of place and time

This is one of the strongest elements of the story. T. Greenwood captures place and time well. The story is set in a West Village artist’s community in 1970s New York, a time when young actresses were exploited and commodified by the entertainment industry. The story opened my eyes to how it was a time when it was tolerated, accepted, or dismissed, and I saw how different things are now. However, it is timely with how our world could change and also reminded me how easy it is to dismiss the danger in the truths we don’t accept, ignore, or let happen.

The characters: Are the characters easy to connect and relate to? Was I able to step into their shoes?

Yes. While exploring the complicated relationship between Ryan and her mother, I could step into both their shoes and see/decide for myself how I felt about how Ryan was exploited and commodified.

The story’s heart is the relationships Ryan formed while living in the artist’s community and her bond with her daughter. A bond that contrasts her own with her mother.

The story wrap up well and was I satisfied with the outcome for the characters. I highly recommend it

Published and read in Oct 2022

Genre: Historical fiction/Literary Fiction

Source: I received a copy from the publisher through NG