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Summer at Tiffany Paperback – April 3, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (April 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061189529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061189524
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #708,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the age of 82, Hart, a professional cellist, recalls 1945, when she and her best friend, Marty, students at the University of Iowa, spent the summer in Manhattan, in this pleasant but slight memoir. Failing to obtain work at Lord & Taylor, the pair, self-described as long-limbed, blue-eyed blondes, were hired at Tiffany's—the first female floor sales pages, delivering packages to the repair and shipping department, for $20 a week. Hart details their stringent budget ("1. Two nickels for subway. 2. Sandwich at the Automat: 15 cents") and describes, somewhat breathlessly, what a thrill it was to see such luminaries as Marlene Dietrich and Judy Garland shop at the fabled store. Her romance with a midshipman, the combat death of her cousin, the news of the dropping of the first atomic bomb and a vivid account of the celebration in Times Square after Japan's surrender convey a sense of the WWII era, but without adding much illumination. She does, however, evoke New York City as seen through the eyes of two innocent smalltown girls. 16 pages of b&w photos and illus. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Although the country is still at war, Manhattan during the summer of 1945 is an intoxicating place, especially for two fresh-faced young coeds who step off a train from Iowa armed with little more than their youthful exuberance and the name of a very influential contact. The combination is enough to land Marjorie and her best friend, Marty, jobs as pages at the prestigious Tiffany & Co., making them the first female employees ever to work the sales floor. From this groundbreaking vantage point, the girls see and do it all, from assisting notorious gangsters and international playboys at the jewelry counters, to rubbing elbows with celebrities at the city's legendary nightclubs, to glimpsing General Eisenhower during his triumphant victory parade, to kissing soldiers in Times Square on V-J Day. Remarkably, this winsome memoir was written 60 years after that giddy summer spent pinching pennies and dreaming of diamonds, yet Hart's infectious vivacity resonates with a madcap immediacy, delectably capturing the city's heady vibrancy and a young girl's guileless enchantment. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Marjorie Hart was born in Story City, Iowa, graduated from the University of Iowa and received a M.A from San Diego State University. She taught at DePauw University and the University of San Diego and retired Professor Emerita. As a cellist, she was a member of the San Diego Symphony. Her memoir, Summer at Tiffany, became a New York Times Bestseller.

Customer Reviews

What a fun book this is to read.
Sarah B. Trowbridge
This is an interesting story of a young girls experience of working for the summer at Tiffany's jewlers.
Janet L. Jacobs
I read this book in just a few hours and loved it..
M. Lejeune

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 19, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful piece of history combined with a great story about young women having an adventure in New York City. I love the things that get left out of her letters home. It could be fiction as easily as biography. She's a really nice writer. You get a sense of life in a tight-knit Iowa town. I would really like to see more from Ms Hart about life in that area, that era. It's all so different from what kids are living today and at that same time some of the problems are the same. And so rich in history. I'm really not expressing myself well. I will recommend it for my 18 year old daughter who will be off to college in the fall, and to my sister who is a writer and critical of anything sloppily written (she won't have complaints about this one) and to my dad, who lived all of this from a different prospective, having grown up in Washington DC and having spent the war years in Hawaii and the Pacific.

Even if I didn't write the review well, Ms Hart wrote the book beautifully. I started it last night, and didn't get anything else done until I finished it.
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Format: Paperback
Coming to Manhattan with little money and one secondhand reference takes great bravery and pluck, particularly in war-torn America in 1945. Images from movies and the grand sweeping melodies of standard tunes of the era provide Marjorie Hart and her best friend Marty with a jumping-off point as tourists. But as they make do with what little they've brought with them, they end up becoming bonafide New Yorkers for a summer that ends triumphantly with love all around and a VJ Day celebration in Times Square.

The details of the time, the mores and concerns of a young lady in this pre-women's-lib period, are wrought quite skillfully and imaginatively by Hart, a first-time memoirist. A cellist by trade, she never lets go of either her Iowa good sense or her little girl's love of all things romantic and exciting. So she becomes a first-rate tour guide through a New York that remains only between Trump-sized towers and well-known chain stores. The drama --- for example, of saving enough CHANGE to take public transportation each day (a nickel!) or trying to figure out what kind of drink to order in an elegant cafe you've read about in movie magazines your whole life --- is small but never really quaint. There is enough in Hart's experiences for even the most jaded techno-kid of this age to find some commonalities between that world and today's.

But it is the girls' experiences in Tiffany & Co. that make the book what it is. After Marty brazenly drags Marjorie into the store and, using a reference that may or may not come through, more or less demands jobs for them --- making them the first female pages in the history of Tiffany --- their lives take a dramatic and fantastic upswing.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Mitchell on April 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
The story of Summer at Tiffany is just as cute as the gorgeous book cover portrays! This is a quick, easy read that highlights a summer Marjorie Hart spent in NCY during college with her friend Marty during the late 1940's. The pages take you back to a charming and magical era, when shopping at a department store was an elegant experience. The fun times that Marjorie has are all captured in an easy to read and well written manner. This was a feel good book and one I will look forward to re-reading again. Highly recommended!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By jeanne-scott on September 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
Okay, let's be honest, YES, it was the Tiffany blue book cover that drew me to this book!!! Beyond the cover the subject captured further attention.
This memoir is a wonderful story of two best friends who decide to leave their Midwestern lives and head into the challenge of life in the big city. They head off to NYC and find jobs working at Tiffany's. This story is wonderful and heart warming and gives an open and honest look at life through the eyes of two young women during a time of change. The friends meet the challenge of limited budgets, proper dress codes, new boyfriends and the backdrop of WWII as it comes to an end. This is a delightful story that is so much fun to read and it gives an understanding of life in the 40's that is impossible not to enjoy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Mcwilliams on May 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
Thanks go to Marjorie Hart for giving us the opportunity to share her magical summer in New York as World War II is ending. As a former Iowan growing up in a neighboring town during the same time, I relished her descriptions of the wonders and glamor of New York. Summer at Tiffany is a lively, delightful book. Enjoy!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tamara J. Buchli on April 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
This sweet story reminded me of the 'bachelor girl' books by women such as Cornelia Otis Skinner, Ruth McKenney and Helene Hanff. I always enjoyed those books and I enjoyed this one too. A charming picture of times-gone-by. I found the chapters on the end of WWII to be particulaly moving, but the entire book was really just a delight.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ms. HJR on June 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
A trip to Tiffany always cheers me up, but unfortunately, I won't be visiting Chicago or New York again any time soon. So, what's the next best thing to visiting Tiffany & Co. along Michigan Avenue in Chicago or the one along Fifth Avenue in New York?

READING about WORKING at Tiffany!

This wonderful memoir by 83-year-old Marjorie Hart takes place during the summer of 1945 when she and her best friend, Marty, worked as pages at Tiffany & Co., making them the first female employees ever to work the sales floor. As pages, they were responsible for delivering packages to the repair and shipping department whenever one of the salesmen discretely "rapped" on the counter. There is a really funny story about how Ms. Hart mispronounced one of the salesman's names - which would ultimately cause her trouble later in the story -- because she had misunderstood the person who had told her the salesman's name due to the person's thick Brooklyn accent.

What I find almost more interesting than Ms. Hart's memories of working at Tiffany - there's another really funny story about all the stress she endured while riding in the elevator with a bunch of loose pearls bouncing around as she tried helplessly to catch them -- are the ways she tried to save money! For instance, she cashed in empty soda bottles, at a nickel each, to help pay for her $40 round-trip train ticket from Iowa to New York and budgeted her weekly $20 paycheck right down to the last penny (e.g., ride the subway daily for two nickels, eat a sandwich at the Automat for 15 cents, use penny postcards to write back home -- no 3-cent stamps!)

While the book is a fun light read, there's also some serious moments. Even though Ms. Hart is working at Tiffany -- TIFFANY!
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