Sunday, February 24, 2013

Farewell, Dorothy Parker by Ellen Meister

Farewell, Dorothy Parker. Ellen Meister. G. P. Putnam’s Sons: Penguin Group (USA). February 2013. 320 pp. pbk. ISBN #: 9780399159077.

Violet Epps is a scathing movie critic who is called some not-so-nice names on internet blogs by those who follow her reviews. In person, however, she is a meek person who stifled her opinions after a childhood scene with her sister that resulted in the family shunning her with silence for being so embarrassingly outspoken. Now, however, Violet needs to get some guts in order to dump her needy, self-centered boyfriend and to speak up at work where her job is threatened by a newbie trying to impress the bosses by editing Violet’s reviews in a way that reads grammatically perfect but stilts Violet’s style big-time!

After meeting her boyfriend at the famous Algonquin Restaurant, where she fails to follow-up on her intention to call off their relationship, she accidentally slips into her bag a book signed by famous writers in the 1920s.  Arriving home, however, she is shocked to discover that when the book is open, the ghost of notable writer Dorothy Parker is alive and well and is determined to change Violet from the “shrinking” side of that flower to an audacious, feisty woman who will speak her mind as required, with no holds.

What follows is a fun, spunky, tension-ridden, but endearing tale of Violet’s conversion and Dorothy’s delight in carrying forward her outrageous reputation for shocking all but getting exactly what she wants.  Violet will get rid of the drip, get her colleague in the right place, and meet someone who will change her world, as Dorothy urges her to learn to flirt and become a “hot” contemporary gal.  Yes, Dorothy is hysterically funny in her audacious comments and urgings which at times scare the heck out of Violet but which then make complete sense.  Dorothy was a healthy dose of reality with no sugar-coated platitudes filling her writing or conversation way back when, a woman before her times but the perfect medicine for curing our heroine of the disease, excessive timidity.  Absolutely delightful and great comic, romantic read!

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