The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall

The Subway Girls: A Novel by Susie Orman Schnall

Review book courtesy of St. Martin’s Griffin

Description:  In 1949, dutiful and ambitious Charlotte’s dream of a career in advertising is shattered when her father demands she help out with the family business. Meanwhile, Charlotte is swept into the glamorous world of the Miss Subways beauty contest, which promises irresistible opportunities with its Park Avenue luster and local fame status. But when her new friend—the intriguing and gorgeous fellow-participant Rose—does something unforgivable, Charlotte must make a heart-wrenching decision that will change the lives of those around her forever.

Nearly 70 years later, outspoken advertising executive Olivia is pitching the NYC subways account in a last ditch effort to save her job at an advertising agency. When the charismatic boss she’s secretly in love with pits her against her misogynistic nemesis, Olivia’s urgent search for the winning strategy leads her to the historic Miss Subways campaign. As the pitch date closes in on her, Olivia finds herself dealing with a broken heart, an unlikely new love interest, and an unexpected personal connection to Miss Subways that could save her job—and her future.

The Subway Girls is the charming story of two strong women, a generation apart, who find themselves up against the same eternal struggle to find an impossible balance between love, happiness, and ambition. (publisher)

My take:  The Subway Girls is a warm-hearted novel about two women from different generations. In 1949 Charlotte has a dream of graduating college and breaking into the world of advertising. When she tries out for a Miss Subways competition she hopes it will be a stepping stone to fulfilling her dream. In 2018 Olivia works for a small advertising firm and hopes her pitch will win a much-needed account for the struggling company. Both women are faced with challenges that sadly span between the two eras. I enjoyed learning how their decisions mapped their future and how they eventually came to meet. The Subway Girls gave me the feeling I get when watching a movie from the 40s and 50s. They’re always entertaining, fairly wholesome and leave me happy to have spent my time watching (or in this case, reading).

Praise for The Subway Girls:

“Schnall has written a book that is smart and timely…Feels perfect for fans of Beatriz Williams and Liza Klaussmann.” —Taylor Jenkins Reid, acclaimed author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

“A fast-paced, clever novel filled with romantic possibilities, high-stakes decisions, and harsh realities. Perfect for fans of Fiona Davis’s The Dollhouse, this engrossing tale highlights the role that ambition, sexism, and true love will forever play in women’s lives.” —Amy Poeppel, author of Small Admissions

“The perfect addition to your summer reading beach bag.” -Brit + Co

“[A] clever idea and relatable protagonists…a fun read.” -Booklist


About the author:

Susie Orman Schnall grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. Her writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Huffington Post, POPSUGAR, Writer’s Digest, and Glamour. She is also the author of the award-winning novels On Grace and The Balance Project. Susie has spoken extensively on work-life balance and is the founder of The Balance Project interview series. She lives in Purchase, NY with her husband and their three sons.

For more information please visit

Instagram: @SusieOrmanSchnall
Facebook: SusieOrmanSchnall
Twitter: @SusieSchnall


12 thoughts on “The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall

  1. I just read this and liked it. Kept wanting more from each time period as it went back and fodth!


  2. I do love a book built around characters from different generations, and I’m happy to hear that they actually meet, too. Thanks for sharing…I must add this one to my list!


  3. I’ve been noticing this book around just lately, I guess publication time. Have to say am interested despite the dual time line!! Will look out for it at the library.


Comments are closed.