From Publishers Weekly
In her debut memoir, Klam chronicles the clash between her privileged upbringing and the real-world problems she faced as an adult. Growing up as the princess in a 1970s Bedford, N.Y., house with two brothers, Klam recounts her childhood as a series of shopping trips with her extravagant mother, often at the expense of her education. With her parents as an emotional and financial safety net, Klam's transition from coddled child to independent woman is anything but smooth. She falls in love with film at New York University, but spends several aimless years trying halfheartedly to find a job in her field. Her life takes a turn for the better when she lands a job writing pop-up videos for VH1 and eventually marries the show's producer, Paul Leo. When a series of health and financial problems rock the couple's relationship, Klam struggles to find her footing in a world where her actions have real consequences. The reader desperately wants to identify with Klam, but while her hardships are real and often heartbreaking (with flashes of sardonic wit), the voice is too infused with self-pity to earn empathy. (Mar.)
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Fortysomething Klam’s debut memoir is alternately funny, touching, and tiresome. A quintessential Jewish American princess raised in a wealthy Westchester County household, Klam is ill-equipped to cope in a world where growing numbers of women are gainfully employed. Her mother, who spends her days sunning, gossiping, and shopping, would have been perfectly happy to have her daughter snag a rich husband and settle down. Klam manages to land a couple of plum gigs: as an intern on the Late Show with David Letterman and as an assistant on the VH-1 television show, Pop-up Video. At the latter, she falls instantly in love with Paul, the show’s producer (and her boss), whom she eventually marries but not before she has an abortion, Paul is diagnosed with diabetes, and terrorists attack New York. Writers like Karen Karbo (The Stuff of Life, 2003) and Dani Shapiro (Slow Motion, 1998) have set the memoir bar very high, and in comparison Klam’s musings seem decidedly mild. Still, it has its moments. Her account of a search for a wedding dress is likely to make all but the girliest girls wince. --Allison Block