Summer at Tiffany’s

March 25th. 2011

Finished reading a sweet, darling memoir written by an 82-year old women regarding the summer she and her best friend and fellow Kappa sister, jumped the train in Iowa and headed to Manhattan for a summer of adventure. Through some amazing good fortune these girls landed jobs at Tiffany’s (the first girls ever hired as pages in the 1940s male-dominated world of high end jewelry sales.) With the backdrop of WW II, glamourous Manhattan, and stores like Bonwit Teller, the memoir recaptures a glimpse into “The Greatest Generation” that many historians would have breezed past. At it root, this easy read is really a love letter to all things Tiffany. Delightful.

The September Society

March 20th. 2011

I read a review of Charles Finch’s pre-World War 1, British mystery saga with interest in the Dallas Morning News–I love that era, love all things English, and as long as the deaths aren’t too graphic, love a good mystery novel. The September Society is number two or three in collection that features a wry, intelligent detective (also quite monied and well-connected) named, Charles Lennox. (Think Sherlock Holmes meets Mr. Darcy.) Mr. Finch does his research about the British military and its role in India–and after having read this novel–it safe to say he also has a longstanding admiration for Oxford and it’s many universities. He writes with a certain sense of place that when his main character longs for something I have to think Mr. Finch longs for it too. I thought the mystery a little lacking since the prologue gives some major clues to the next chain of events, but he’s created some wonderful characters–that I would have enjoyed hearing more of through dialogue, but had to be satisfied with stilted conversations and sometimes a page or more of narrative. In addition to Mr. Lennox, his neighbor Lady Jane is delightful (and worthy of her own story, I’m sure.) As well as a possible protege in an unlikely source–a dissipated aristocrat with more time on his hands than is good for him. It was a pleasant way to spend a pollen-coated Sunday afternoon. I am not through reading of Charles Lennox so I’ll have to purchase another of Mr. Finch’s novels.