Marjorie Hart recalls the summer that made a difference in her life with her memoir “Summer At Tiffany,” and it is truly a summer never to forget.
World War II finally seemed to be winding down, and for Marjorie and her best friend, Marty Garrett, the summer of 1945 seemed to hold a glimmering sense of expectation with a promise of a fresh future. These two Iowa sorority sisters had headed for the bright lights of New York City in hopes of finding a little adventure as they searched for summer jobs.
After being turned down by some of the best department stores in the city, the girls bravely approached the legendary Tiffany & Co. to inquire about available positions. To their surprise, they were offered the chance of a lifetime – to become the first two women to be hired as pages at the magnificent, distinguished store. The following months would be filled with diamonds, celebrities, and even a bit of romance as Marjorie and Marty experienced New York City in a rarified moment in time.
In this charming and fascinating memoir Hart relates her memories of those glorious days at Tiffany with such clarity that the reader feels like they are right there along with the girls as they try on their Bonwit-Teller Tiffany blue dress uniforms for the first time and set out to make a bit of history. Imagine the thrill that the two experienced seeing Judy Garland and her new husband, Vincent Minnelli come in to pick out honeymoon jewelry; when Marlene Dietrich stopped by resplendent in her USO uniform, or when Mr. Tiffany himself dropped in on a rainy afternoon. Hart includes letters that she wrote to the folks back home describing her experiences – the arrival of the Queen Mary back from Europe with its passenger load of soldiers and sailors returning from war; the devastating crash of a military plane into the Empire State Building; the dazzling nightlight and entertainment spots, and celebrating the end of the war on V.J. Day in Times Square with millions of people. Hart also includes sketches of the beautiful store she was privileged to work in, as well as personal photos from the time period.
“Summer At Tiffany” is a unique look at a moment of American history during World War II that many might forget about, but that is equally important – the life and times of the folks back home and how they sacrificed and carried on while young men and women fought to keep the world free. Marjorie Hart’s memoir can proudly take its place among the chronicles of The Greatest Generation with the gentle memories and important lessons that she and her friends learned that summer long ago.
Take a moment to remember the best summer of your life as you join Marjorie Hart in her remembrances of the season that would change her life.
I read this book as a part of the Word Shakers Online Book Club, sponsored by Sheila DeChantal at her blog, BookJourney. (http://bookjourney.wordpress.com/) Sheila will be posting an author chat with Mrs. Hart soon, as well as discussion questions regarding other's experiences reading the book.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Avon Books.