My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Marjorie Jacobsen and her best friend Marty (Martha) set out from the University of Iowa in the summer of 1945 to embrace life in the Big Apple – New York City. Convinced that getting a job at any one of the many department stores was effortless, they were surprised to learn that securing employment for the summer was much more difficult than they imagined. Surprisingly, they were lucky enough to find jobs as “pages” for Tiffany & Co – where they sported beautiful aqua silk jersey “uniforms” and helped the sales staff on the various floors. During their summer they encountered celebrities, millionaires, gangsters and the celebration on Times Square when President Truman announced that the Japanese had surrendered, thus ending WWII. It was, as Marjorie details, the best summer of her life.
This was a quaint tale – full of nostalgic reminiscing from days gone by. Marjorie and Marty manage to live on $20 a week, eat lunch for 15 cents, meet midshipman, and attend all the “in” clubs and bars in NYC at the time.
While this was a charming memoir, it read more to me like something a Grandmother would write to her grandchildren – not to a major reading audience. I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it in one sitting (an entirely manageable goal), because there wasn’t anything in the book that kept me wanting to continue the story. Each time I put it down, I had a hard time finding a reason to pick it up again.
But one thing I appreciated about the book was how the author makes one reflect on those “special times” in one’s life – and made me think, what was the best summer of my life?
Do you have a “best summer” experience?
Book source: Public library
In her own words, Marjorie Jacobsen Hart’s thoughts on Summer at Tiffany:
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