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Please Excuse My Daughter Paperback – April 7, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
That was Samuel Johnson, writing in the unthinkingly chauvinist 1700s.
If he were writing now, he'd be noting the rash of memoirs by women, especially ones that try for humor. Because there's money in funny, and publishers and writers know it --- why else would a writer as talented and sophisticated writer as Nora Ephron feel bad about her.....neck?
Ms. Ephron condescends. Julie Klam, in contrast, is genuinely funny. The difference is not in the writing; both women are deft storytellers. It's in the truth of the tale, the sense that the events described actually happened even though they are crazy and wrong and life ain't supposed to be like that.
In other words, I buy Julie Klam's premise.
That premise is simple: She's a Princess, not born but bred. Her father has achieved a house in Bedford (the Westchester town that is the weekend home to Ralph Lauren, Martha Stewart and a legion of WASPs) that comes with many acres and the appropriate assortment of animals. But Dad's busy. She's her mother's daughter. And her mother, no feminist, spends her time reading, yakking on the phone and shopping.
Does Mom care that Julie is flunking everything?
Me: "Wow, Jenny Doe is doing really well. She's a Rhodes Scholar, studying theoretical mathematics and counterterrorism and is very close to discovering the cure for cancer."
My Mother: "Yeah, but she has those hairy arms."
Julie drifts and stumbles through school. She applies to 26 colleges. She gets into two.Read more ›
Well written, fast paced, funny and sad. I was able to relate on so many levels that it brought back lots of my own memories (although my parents weren't millionaires). Interesting to follow Ms Klam's life and how she learned to adapt when she fell outside of the privileged world of Bedford. I highly recommend this book. Looking forward to her next one.
I love memoir and I love transformation-and-growth stories.
But as one reviewer said, it's hard to feel sympathetic to Julie Klam. She writes well. She had some up and down moments. Her childhood didn't prepare her for the real world of work. Maybe this sort of dynamic is interesting as a study in adult development, but it's neither unique nor especially suspenseful. I empathize more with her brother Matt, who can't see why she's still without a job.
Julie Klam had some great gigs. She got an article into O magazine. She knew how to work the publishing world. We don't hear about that. Instead, we hear about how she wasted time, how she got ready for her wedding, and infinite details of her difficult pregnancy.
One test of memoir is, "Could anyone but the author write this book? Is this life truly unique enough to compete with novels?"
I suspect millions of women could write about pregnancy, beloved grandparents and varied family members. The author needs to find not so much a voice but a subject worthy of her writing talents. How about a how-to book on, "How to get Esther Newberg to be your agent?"
That's more of an achievement as writing this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Please Excuse My Daughter" (2008) is bestselling author's Julie Klam's memoir where she hilariously recalls her Jewish upbringing, her unconventional family, coming of age... Read morePublished 8 months ago by missmickee/bookreview
If youre a fan of Julie Klam's other books, you will like this one as well. Her only "non dog" book I have read, but I enjoyed it just as much.Published 11 months ago by The Chapps
Loved every minute of this book. Could not put it down. I want Julie Klam to be my best friend!!!!!Published 13 months ago by Susan S
WOW. Just...wow! How did this book get published? How did this book get good reveiws? There is NOTHING to this story, nothing to the author, nothing worth reading. Read morePublished on January 25, 2013 by D D H
I can't speak to the content of this book, because I didn't buy it! The reason I didn't buy it is because I wanted the Kindle edition (I have too many 'real' books and do 99% of my... Read morePublished on April 30, 2012 by Sapphire
What an oddly feminist book. I'm not sure how the author--a person who pats herself on the back for settling for a $2700 wedding dress instead of a $7000 or $8000 wedding... Read morePublished on March 29, 2012 by Jennifer D. Munro
I really enjoyed this book! I also read her other book titled "You Had me at Woof" which was also an excellent book. Both of these books are based on her life. Read morePublished on March 11, 2012 by Regina Helcher Yost
I really wasn't sure how Klam's story was going to unfold -- another whoa is me story from someone who has well-off parents? Read morePublished on November 11, 2011 by jmz
Growing up with money but with more importance placed on shopping than on school, Klam developed deep insecurities. Read morePublished on September 28, 2011 by Natasha Smith