Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A Likely Story: One Summer with Lillian Hellman Paperback – November 9, 1999
Up to 50% off select Non-Fiction books
Featured titles are up to 50% off for a limited time. See all titles
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
During the summer of 1978, Rose quickly discovered that some bad moods were beyond glorification. Relations between employer and employee were out-of-kilter from the start, since Hellman's version of the job gave "part-time" an entirely new, 24-hour definition. The gig was a far cry from Mahoney's vision of the two of them "sitting at her table together, smoking cigarettes and making toasts to this and that with upraised glasses of a glowing amber drink (never mind that I had had only a few disastrous experiences with smoking and drinking), laughing sagely and discussing books and people and the world and life." Instead Mahoney's dream job was a mixture of tension and tedium as she bumbled around the house and stubbornly refused to admit how much she wanted to be thought worthy. What's more, the teenager felt deeply out of her element amid such Vineyard glitterati as William and Rose Styron, James Taylor and Carly Simon. Some might find her descriptions of the increasingly infirm Hellman less than generous, but the older Mahoney is very much watching herself in the wings and finding her younger self just as wanting. A Likely Story is a cautionary tale about adoration and celebrity from one of our more gifted journalists--each scene literally leaps off the page, fraught with emotion recollected not entirely in tranquillity. --Kerry Fried --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Rosemary was 17 when she wrote to Lillian Hellman, asking for a part-time summer job. To her surprise, Lillian hired her as a part-time live-in housekeeper, which became more than part-time. When Rosemary applied for the job, employment was the farthest thing from her mind. Rosemary was really only thinking of herself. What she really planned was to read, write, and becoming great friends with Lillian Hellman. But, Lillian had other ideas for Rosemary. And what Rosemary got was something else indeed.
This book is about the innocence's of a 17 year-old girl, her touch with reality and her painful coming of age. At times it's heart breaking to read, other times it is uproariously funny. Rosemary Mahoney makes you feel as if you are her, in her shoes, living her experiences, and feeling her emotions.
It's a good read for those times when you don't want to concentrate on a story line or try to solve a plot. Everything you need is right there for you. I hope you like it. I did.
Pam Stone back to the top
Rosemary Mahoney was a child when she worked for Hellman, so we can forgive the child for being somewhat of a nervous wreck during that summer. We can also forgive her (maybe) about being less than generous concerning Hellman's infirmities and what it means have to rely so much on those around her. Still, I wish Mahoney had more to offer in retrospect, from an adult's point of view.
In this book we read of the trials and tribulations of her seventeen-year-old self who spend an illusion-shattering summer in the employ of the notably acerbic Lillian Hellman (emphasis on the "Hell" part of her name, in this case), in which she discovers the sad and lamentable truths that a leopardess does not change her spots, and that one should be careful what one wishes for, as you may get your dream (or in this case, nightmare) come true. (In other words, Hellman was impossibly difficult to get along with during the best of times, and with old age became increasingly difficult to deal with; and wishes may come true, but not in the way you had hoped.)
Anyone that has read about Hellman's life would agree that during the best of times, she was -- let's be charitable here -- an exasperating, acerbic personality who didn't mind telling people off. It's also a truism that, in old age, one becomes very particular, for better or worse, and younger people, especially those pumped up by idealism, will inevitably find points of friction: in this case, an unsure teenage girl with unrealistic expectations of what it'd be like to be around a literary celebrity, a girl who thinks she'd be welcomed and recognized as a budding literary talent, instead of thinking she'd be exactly what she was: a temporary hired hand for an older person who could no longer care for herself.
A person who values her privacy -- you can search the Internet and find little about Ms.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mahoney, in this book as in all her others, comes at things in her own uncanny way A Likely Story is a brilliant memoir by an American writer with few equals.Published 8 months ago by Matthew
I am in the midst of a move and re-examining my library of books, trying to decide which I'll take with me to the new place and which I'll heave-ho. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Francie Nolan
The description on the book jacket sounds exciting; a teenage girl lacks confidence in the early 1980’s, feels out of place at her posh New England private boarding school, and... Read morePublished on July 22, 2014 by B. Wolinsky
I read this book years ago. I remember it as the single worst book I've ever finished reading. Hellman didn't hire this young girl to drink
coffee and talk about literature. Read more
Rosemary Mahoney is a genius writer. You saw every aspect of Lillian Hellman, down to the inside of a wrinkle. I couldn't put it down and was so sad when it ended.Published on June 23, 2013 by turnwrite
This is a truly fascinating insight into a young woman's attempt to understand her own feelings about her troubled mother and her tragic father, set against the reality of meeting... Read morePublished on April 23, 2012 by peter stevens
A Likely Story: One Summer with Lillian Hellman
Very well written... absorbing account of a young writer's summer on Martha's Vineyard with Lillian Hellman.
No one, not even a famous tartar like Lillian Hellman, deserves to have their privacy and dignity stripped away like this, for no greater crime than hiring someone as a housekeeper... Read morePublished on November 28, 2006 by reader