Rosemary Mahoney: A Likely Story One Summer with Lillian Hellman



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Have been titled I Was a Clueless and Resentful Teenager and Lillian Hellman Was No Picnic Either The poor things Seems they both had a really bad summer If you have any remaining illusions that Lillian Hellman was a nice person read this book But I think it s greater appeal is as a cautionary tale against hero worship and about the importance of seeking out your own path however slow difficult and dreary that search might be Unlike some of the other reviewers I m pretty sure the author is Loving James (Surviving Elite High, fully aware o I was struck as I progressed through this book with theact that I switched sympathies Bedford Square (Charlotte Thomas Pitt, from the protagonist a teenage girl to the elderly and cranky Lillian Hellman This is a true story which the author based on her journals of a summer job at age seventeen housekeepingor the writer Lillian Hellman at her summer house on Martha s Vineyard Generally one identifies with the young heroine in a coming of age novel right However this young woman was so self involved so convinced that the planet ought to be recognizing her in some way and in particular that a distinguished writer ought to befriend her as well as employ her that I lost patience And thought that maybe instead of expressing her dismay and disgust with the trappings and inconveniences of old age she might show a little empathyOr maybe I am just getting old and cranky myself Uncanny parallel to my experience with Oriana Fallaci another brilliant difficult write. S of the acerbic Hellman and her retinue of celebrated acuaintances By turns heartbreaking and uproariously I See Rude People funny A Likely Story portrays the coming of age of a brilliant and troubled young woman a universal tale of illusions shattered and an object lesson in the often misdirected searchor heroe.

Enjoyed a memoir about her HVAC Design Sourcebook family than one about theamous author I d actually never heard of her with whom she lived Melvin Menchers News Reporting and Writing for a summerHere s why I ended up with the 2 star decision there was no reliefrom the negativity The woman with whom she lived Lillian Hellman may not have been the nicest person in the world but she obviously had some redeeming ualities since she had plenty of The Far Dawn (The Atlanteans, friends But it was exhausting reading Mahoney s account of Hellman almost demonizing herWhat was most off putting was howreuently the author complained about Ormen i Essex feeling ignored Hello She was hired as an employee Granted Hellman could have been nicer but she was an old eccentric crotchety woman so give her a breakInairness the author was 17 at the time she worked Bare It All (Love Undercover, for her but she s writing a book that s looking back on that time of her life and it justelt mean and snarky especially with her constant physical descriptions of an aging woman That was just awful Most of the time she sounded like she just wanted to write this book to dispense her rage And her snotty attitude and petty revelations about other Bare It All (Love Undercover, famous people who visited the house were eually distasteful to meThis book would have been really good if the author had presented a holistic portrait of Hellman if she d given us some comic relief andor if she had written the book as a humorous reflection on her own ineptitude and lack of ualificationor a job which she got by lying This could. Her the An Elusive Victorian famed woman of American letters might need domestic helpor the summer When Hellman responded affirmatively Mahoney imagined an idyll on Martha's Vineyard of mentoring and riendship But in reality Mahoney's summer unfolded into an exuisite and grueling exercise in humiliation at the hand.

I can t believe I m giving such a low rating to such a well written book This is Mahoney s memory of the summer she was 17 and worked as Lillian Hellman s housekeeper on Martha s Vineyard Guess what Hellman treated her as if she were an employee She never invited Mahoney to eat with her or to join her and amous guests Staging Tourism for drinks When Hellman was served her meals she expected Mahoney to leave the room not join heror breakfast She expected Mahoney to clean the The Last Imaginary Place floors and cook the meals and help her dress Can you imagine that she expected this of the woman she hired to workor her At this point in her life Hellman is 73 close to blind alcoholic scared unable to do much without help Mahoney is so ungenerous in her portrait of Hellmann so mean spirited it is shocking Do we really need a description of how awful her 73 year old breasts look Is it necessary to repeatedly mention her yellowed teeth wrinkled skin etc And most of the shocking stuff Hellmann supposedly did is ar rom She cheated at Scrabble She passed off cheap wine as expensive wine She cursed She yelled Big surprise Well written yes but so mean spirited that it was impossible Cassidy Harte and the Comeback Kid (Outlaw Hartes, for me to enjoy This is a tough review because I vacillated between a 2 and 4 star which seems strange but here s the thing Other than an excessive use of metaphors it was beautifully andrankly written In some ways it was a good story or at least it held my interest but I would have. Now in paperback rom the author of the acclaimed Whoredom in Kimmage a moving controversial and supremely intelligent memoir of a bright and vulnerable teenager's hellish summer jobIn 1978 Rosemary Mahoney an aspiring young writer of seventeen wrote her personal idol Lillian Hellman inuiring whet.

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