“An exquisitely crafted novel of love discovered and friendship found.”—Martha Hall Kelly, author of Lilac Girls
Ruby’s life glitters with success, but she still must conquer her tragic past and discover what love really looks like.
Lily Decker never meant to become a showgirl. As a young girl in small-town Kansas, she danced to forget the pain of losing her family in a car accident. And dancing made her feel beautiful when the attentions of her Uncle Miles only brought shame. In 1967, Lily is grown and ready to leave her past behind. She changes her name to Ruby Wilde and heads to the Rat Pack’s Las Vegas to make a name for herself as a troupe dancer. However, the competition is fierce and she finds work as a showgirl, instead, doing fan-kicks in sky-high headdresses and sparkling costumes. Her new life brims with glamour and excitement, but something is still missing. Is it love? What choices will she make to feel whole again, and at what cost?
With her uncanny understanding of the hidden lives of women, Elizabeth J. Church captures the iconic extravagance of an era and the bravery of a woman who blazes her own path to freedom.
Praise for All the Beautiful Girls
“[Elizabeth] Church’s lively coming-of-age tale transports us to a world of ostrich-plumed headdresses and pinky-ringed mobsters while tracing a tumultuous quest for acceptance and love.”—People
“A gorgeously written novel with the bite of a gin martini, All the Beautiful Girls goes beyond the splashy, gaudy dazzle of Las Vegas in the sixties to reveal the beating heart beneath the glamorous façade of a showgirl with big ambitions.”—Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of At the Water’s Edge
“A stirring bildungsroman that follows a girl from trauma in 1957 Kansas to self-discovery in 1960s Las Vegas . . . Church paints an unflinching, frequently heartbreaking portrait of a resilient young woman’s coming-of-age set against an exciting, glamorous backdrop.”—Publishers Weekly
“Church’s appreciation of language is apparent as she masterfully creates pictures with words . . . All the Beautiful Girls provides a delightful antidote to cold and dark mid-winter days.”—Associated Press
“A beautifully rendered tale of personal redemption filled with friendship, loss, extravagant furs, and feathery headdresses.”—Kirkus Reviews