Let’s keep the world a civilized place, more gin please- “Farewell, Dorothy Parker” by Ellen Meister

April 9, 2013 at 8:24 pm 2 comments

“Farewell, Dorothy Parker” by Ellen Meister, Published in 2013

The premise of this novel is absolutely ridiculous.  I can only imagine how Ellen Meister pitched this book to her publisher:

“The heroine,Violet, is this national movie critic whose sharp tongue only exists on the page. In her life, Violet is trying to fight for custody of her niece and is failing miserably.  She also can’t get up the nerve to tell her boyfriend,  Carl, that ‘no, he cannot move out of his mother’s basement into Violet’s apartment so that she is stuck taking care of a man-child.’  She is merely mealy-mouthed Violet until she goes to lunch at the Algonquin Hotel, one of Dorothy Parker’s favorite haunts in the 20s.

The hotel manager brings Violet the infamous guest book for her signature and Violet comes across Dorothy Parker’s signature.  InexplicableFarewell, Dorothy Parkerably. Violet slips the guest book into her bag and takes it home.  Of course when she comes home and the book is opened, Violet finds the ghost of Dorothy Parker sitting in her armchair pleading for a gin martini. Through her ghostly escapades, Miss Parker (everything is more civilized with titles) helps Violet  find the voice she needs to become truly happy. And in turn, Miss Parker finds the courage to face what is keeping her from heading into the light and out of the ghastly guest book.”

And to that Meister’s publisher must have sat back in her chair, one eyebrow raised and said “Seriously?”

But it actually works.  Meister has taken what sounds like a silly concept and made it honestly, for lack of a better word, delightful.  The reader can’t help but cheer for Violet because who among us has not wished they had the wit of Dorothy Parker for just that right moment.  And of course Dorothy Parker  proves to be as enjoyable as I imagined. The only thing that would have made this book more fun would have been reading it on vacation – but one can’t have everything, right Dorothy?

“That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.”  – Dorothy Parker

Other reviews to check out:

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Entry filed under: April 2013 reads. Tags: , , , , .

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There is some great literature out there, but there is a lot of bad literature as well. We shouldn't all have to read it. These are my recommendations and thoughts about the books I read.

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