Summer at Tiffany, by Marjorie Hart

by Derwood Hunsdale-Talbot on August 5, 2008

Not to be confused with the infamous Holly Golightly caper, this charming tale takes us back to the turquoise corridors of Tiffany, where jewels twinkle and customers include Marlene Dietrich and Judy Garland. This time, the heroines are two Iowa-bred “long-limbed, blue eyed blondes” who are traveling to Manhattan to find summer work. The catch? The hordes of other hungry co-ed girls hellbent on the same glamorous goal.

Far from pretentious fare like Nichole Ritchie’s “The Truth about Diamonds,” this memoir of two college girls hoofing it into Manhattan in search of summer work is a career girl’s tale at heart. From their initial dizzy hysteria of job hunting, to working the mysterious connections of a family friend, the story perfectly captures the plummeting feeling of job rejection, and the giddy glee of being hired for even the most menial tasks when set in glamorous Manhattan. With this mindset, Marjorie and her best friend Marty become the first-ever female store pages for Tiffany, delivering packages to the shipping and receiving department. The irony that they work among glittering diamonds and pearls on a salary of $20 is not lost on them, even in 1945 when the book is set.

Indeed, this is period literature, but only in the most lightly pleasing way. From dancing the Charleston to Frank Sinatra’s “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” to scrambling on her hands and knees to recover the precious pearls that have spilled all over the elevator floor on her way to the Tiffany Diamond and Pearl room (yes, it’s real), Hart is a charming heroine whose adventures equal an endearing coming-of-age tale, wrought with Tiffany glamour and winsome World War II overtones.

The overall result is a book that is special, light-hearted without being shallow, and perfectly satisfying as a summer beach read. If you want summer reading but need a break from stilettos and cosmopolitans, this little blue jewel of a book will transport you in no time.

Bohemian Bookworm Bonus Tip: This would make a great audio book for a girls getaway.

On the Bookalicious Scale: 4-Satiated. A most tasty read, yet not overfilling!

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