Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Say hello to Ellen Meister and Farewell, Dorothy Parker

Movie critic Violet Epps is known for her sharp wit and scathing remarks in print but in person,she's more of a meek and mild type. That lack of forthrightness tends to hamper her the most when she needs to fight for what she truly wants,such as custody of her orphaned niece Delaney or to break up with Carl,a mooching lush of an artist.

Hoping to get some inspiration from her literary mentor Dorothy Parker,Violet pays a visit to the famous Algonquin Hotel where Mrs. Parker and her Vicious Circle often hung out,sharing drinks and snide comments with each other. After a look at the hotel's guest book filled with legendary names,Violet gets more than just a taste of the lady's spirit-the ghost of Dorothy Parker establishes actual contact with her:

At first,Violet is thrilled to be chatting up her favorite writer but Mrs. Parker has more to offer her new friend than uncalled for candor and her special brand of snark.

As Violet struggles with family and work problems,Mrs. Parker has no qualms about taking charge(and at times,taking over Violet's body)to push Violet into what she considers to be the right direction.

One of those directions leads into the arms of Michael,Violet's martial arts teacher whose love of the Marx Brothers and old school puns makes him a rather viable candidate for romance. That last push,however,makes Violet want to shove Mrs. Parker back to the beyond:

Despite their disagreements,Violet does manage to take some of Mrs. Parker's advice and find her own inner strength and spunk. In return,she also is able to give the great lady a little perspective about the regrets of her mortal life and the literary legacy that Dorothy Parker left behind.

This is my first time reading Ellen Meister(thanks to Library Thing)and I won't make it my last. Farewell,Dorothy Parker is a lively novel not only pays proper tribute to the spirit of Dorothy Parker,it introduces us to an engaging set of characters that stand up well on their own.

Meister also captures the real essence of Dorothy Parker and doesn't fall into the trap of turning her into a live action cartoon. The Mrs. Parker portrayed here is full of funny lines and foibles yet is real enough to display a myriad of emotional
pain regarding her childhood years along with doubts about her impact upon the world at large,not to mention some wry observations about modern day life:

While the book does have some serious moments,it's far from being downbeat. The story is as fast paced as a Gilmore Girls dialogue and packed with the right amount of sweetness and spark. It's as reviving to your spirits as a shot of gin would be to the fabulous Mrs. Parker herself.

Farewell,Dorothy Parker is due to arrive on February 21 and do make plans to entertain yourself with this charming tale of an unlikely friendship that feels oh so right. To miss this golden opportunity for Dorothy Parker delights will haunt your reading days and night,to be sure:

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