Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart

Ohhhh what a luscious book. That's right...I said luscious. 

Marjorie Hart and her friend Marty are University of Iowa students in 1945, and they head off to New York City for some big-time excitement in the Big Apple. By a handy twist of fate, they end up with jobs as the first female pages at Tiffany and Co. This memoir chronicles their stay during that blistering summer of fun, frivolity, and self-discovery. 

Ok, so admittedly, this book got a little go "golly gee whiz" for me at times. BUT, it was certainly charming in its way. Majorie was a down-to-earth Norwegian-Iowan girl in a brand new element. These were the days when one guarded one's reputation to the last and there was nothing more embarrassing than saying the wrong thing in front of a dreamy midshipman. Or, ya know, spilling thousands of dollars worth of pearls in the Tiffany employee elevator (true story). 

This memoir definitely speaks to a different time, but I loved the nostalgia of it, and at times I felt like I got plunked down in the middle of an I Love Lucy episode. Don't worry, that's not a criticism. It's praise! 

This one also took me by surprise by genuinely touching me on a deeper level. Through her experiences in NYC, Majorie has an opportunity to do something incredibly impressive academically and musically. I won't provide more details than that, but ultimately she decides that she can stay truer to herself by allowing that stellar opportunity to pass. I relate to this, as I decided to pass up a PhD at a couple universities considered the best in my academic field when I finished my Master's degree. I was burned out, feeling empty, and I wanted something different for my life. Namely, I wanted to teach rather than spending so much time doing research and publishing. I wanted more of a choice of where I live, rather than moving where the jobs are and leaving family. I've come back to that decision and agonized over it a few times over the years, but ultimately letting that opportunity pass was the right thing for me, too.

So yeah, an unexpected depth and thoughtfulness jumped out at me from this otherwise pretty, sparkling, luscious memoir. It was more than pretty dresses, jewelry, night life, and table settings. 



Pub. Date: March 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Paperback
ISNB: 9780061189531
Source: Bought used!

17 comments:

  1. This isn't a book I would have picked up on my own, I don't think, but your video(s) and review of it make me want to read it.

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    1. I hope you get a chance to try it out! It's a super fast read.

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  2. That sounds like a book I'd love!

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    1. I really do think you'd like this one a lot, Kathy. Enjoy!

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  3. I read this one years ago. It's a great summer read.

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  4. Oh! I didn't realize it was nonfiction. Somehow that makes it more appealing!

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    1. Yes ma'am! I thought so too. lol

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  5. Your usage of the word "luscious" has piqued my interest. It sounds a little bit like Lucia, Lucia, with the fancy department stores in the days of custom dress making...

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    1. I knew luscious would entice SOMEONE. Glad it's you!

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  6. My grandmother has been telling me for ages that I need to read this book, and I keep not doing it because I keep thinking I'll sometime be at her house and I can read her copy. :p But you're making it sound too lovely to resist!

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  7. I love that cover. It makes me want to go out and buy beautiful stationery or something fancy!

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  8. This book sounds really interesting!!! Even though it's the whole small town/big city thing, I like those when done well.

    -Rebecca @ Love at First Book

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  9. Sounds like fun... and I think it's upstairs in my daughter's book case!

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  10. I devoured this one on a train ride back from New York years ago and enjoyed it! It's definitely evocative, and I felt transported back in time. That's the mark of a good book for me!

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  11. Ok, so admittedly, this book got a little go "golly gee whiz" for me at times. BUT, it was certainly charming in its way.

    Yep!

    I started this one this past weekend and am more than halfway through. It's a quick read!

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  12. This sounds really interesting! I bet that experience was amazing and probably daunting at times. Plus stressful dealing with expensive things and keeping your reputation clean would be stressful! And it's nice when you can relate to something a character goes through in way that if not reinforces your own decision, at least reflects it, if that makes sense. I might have to check this one out sometime!

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