HYPOCRITE IN A POUFFY WHITE DRESS: Tales of Growing Up Groovy and Clueless

Susan Jane Gilman, Author . Warner $12.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-446-67949-7

Gilman's memoir of growing up on Manhattan's upper Upper West Side in the '70s starts slowly but gathers momentum. Readers who find themselves drifting during Gilman's reveries on lying during show-and-tell will find themselves pleasantly riveted by the time she's getting in touch with her roots as a reporter for the Jewish Week . Gilman, author of 2001's Kiss My Tiara , a women's self-help guide, makes common scenarios fresh with humor and wry social commentary; on the first day of school, she quickly learns "boys might be fighters, but girls could be terrorists." Gilman's ear for dialogue is dead-on. When her brother asks their dad why their Jewish family celebrates Christmas, she doesn't miss a beat: " 'Because your grandmother's a Communist and your mother loves parties,' said my father. 'Now eat your supper.' " These one-liners don't detract, however, from a serious and moving look at one family's efforts to keep itself intact through divorce and other life challenges. After her parents separate, Gilman, then in her mid-20s, fears she and her brother had spent their childhoods in happy oblivion while their parents were "spellbound with misery." Probably not: Gilman's recollections of moving bumpily toward adulthood are keenly observant. She's nicely made the leap from self-help to narrative nonfiction. Agent, Irene Skolnick. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/01/2004
Release date: 01/01/2005
Paperback - 978-0-446-17496-1
Ebook - 978-0-446-51057-8
Open Ebook - 978-0-446-51058-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4159-1632-2
Open Ebook - 213 pages - 978-0-446-59228-4
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