Farewell, Dorothy Parker

Ellen Meister, Author
Ellen Meister. Putnam, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-15907-7
Reviewed on: 12/17/2012
Release date: 02/21/2013
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-101-60923-1
Paperback - 356 pages - 978-0-425-26471-3
Compact Disc - 8 pages - 978-1-62064-707-3
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-62460-005-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-62460-006-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-62460-000-5
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Meister casts Dorothy Parker as a blithe spirit in her fanciful third novel (after The Other Life). Though movie critic Violet Epps has become famous for her scathing no-holds-barred wit, off the page, Violet is “held captive by her own timidity”; she can’t seem to dump her freeloading boyfriend, her assistant walks all over her, and she rarely accepts social invitations. Worst of all, this shyness has resulted in her being denied temporary custody of her recently orphaned 13-year-old niece, just when the girl needs her “Aunt V” the most. A fateful dinner at the Algonquin Hotel (one-time Parker hangout) ends with Violet becoming haunted by the spirit of her greatest influence. The acid-tongued, gin-swilling ghost immediately sets to meddling in Violet’s affairs, in an attempt to help her grow a backbone. With Parker’s help, Violet takes risks at work, connects with a new man, and finds the courage to make an impassioned plea for custody of her niece. With Violet’s help, Parker’s spirit may finally find peace. Meister skillfully translates the rapier-like wit of the Algonquin Round Table to modern-day New York. There are no shocking twists, but pathos, nuanced characters, plenty of rapid-fire one-liners, and a heart-rending denouement. Agent: Andrea Cirillo, the Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Feb.)
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