Karen Harper has taken on a gargantuan task as she takes readers through fifty years of two women's lives. This means that there is a lot of ground to cover, but unfortunately it leaves readers with only a few pages to spend with secondary characters. It occasionally feels like name-dropping when Elinor chats with Charlie Chaplin or Lucy makes a gown for a lady heading to an event at the palace. But it also makes it difficult to really know the people in Elinor and Lucy's lives--their mother, their lovers, and their children. Harper has divided the book up into sections, with each one covering several years and switching perspective between the sisters. This means that when the two sisters do interact, they often spend pages filling in their sister and the reader on things that the other probably would have already known.
The It Girls is a good choice for someone who wants an overview of the huge changes that happened in the 20th century. It also reminds us of the restrictions and expectations that were placed on the women who came before us, as Elinor and Lucy fight to make their own decisions about their careers, lives, and families.
The It Girls
By Karen Harper
William Morrow Paperbacks October 2017
From the publisher for TLC Book Tours