I got this advance copy (the book’s not actually out until April) at work, so it wasn’t the final version, and some of the mistakes still in it were annoying. (Like two versions of the same paragraph left in.) But aside from that, it’s a cute book and a very fast read. The author travels in 1945 to New York City with her best friend from college in Iowa to try and get summer jobs. By flexing some connections, they manage to become the first female pages at Tiffany and spend their summer surrounded by blue boxes. It’s not the most masterful writing, but it’s neat to experience NYC from the point of view of a 21-year-old in the last months of World War II.
Published: 2007, 258pp
Obtained via: Freebie table at work
Date started: 2.15.07
Date finished: 2.18.07
What I liked: The get-up-and-go attitude of a young woman during wartime, the details on 5 cent lunches at the automat and going to parades. Also, the epilogue that tells you what happened to all the characters in the book. (I’m so glad the writer’s best friend is still alive! I would have cried if it had said she was dead.)
What I didn’t like: It reads a bit like a diary, and is interspersed with letters home that often don’t add anything to what the book just told you about. Also, within the first few pages the writer says “an historic…” I know that’s old-school grammar, but it trips me up so badly.
What I learned: Prices for things in 1945; WWII dating customs (aka going to the docks to wait for sailors to get on shore leave).
Unresolved question: Marjorie, the writer, gets an incredible offer to finish her degree at an Ivy League school — but the book completely skips from her meeting a professor from the school who says she should apply for a fellowship to the point where she’s debating what to tell her folks. Did I miss something?