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Our Hearts Were Young And Gay Paperback – March 15, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Of course with any story turned into a film, it was kissed with a bit of Hollywood glamour and parts were left on the cutting room floor, but the story is truly witty, charming and fun and follows very closely to the book. See the movie if you can catch it on a classic movie channel! It hasn't been released on video or DVD yet. As for the book, the pages are worn and the dustjacket is ripped but it will always be in my library and I look forward to reading it over and over again.
OUR HEARTS WERE YOUNG AND GAY is a travel essay that appeared in 1942. Within, co-authors and best pals Cornelia Otis Skinner from Bryn Mawr, PA and Emily Kimbrough from Indiana share the experiences of an independent trip to Europe made in 1920 when young, footloose and relatively free of parental oversight. Skinner's parents were traveling on a parallel but more or less separate itinerary.
The charm of this delightful narrative lies in the fact that it's a recollection of girlish innocence, naivete, and silliness told from the perspective of a more mature adulthood that achieves an engaging, self-deprecating wit. Had the two travelers been teenage boys, I doubt that such a retrospective tale would've been conceived and told by their grown-up counterparts; it's just not a Guy Thing.
From Montreal to London to Paris, our heroines' misadventures are myriad. Their passenger ship runs aground in the St. Lawrence Seaway. Cornelia contracts measles in the mid-Atlantic and must be virtually smuggled ashore on reaching England. The two get lost in the maze at Hampton Court. Misdirected to recommended lodgings in Rouen, they spend the night on the top floor of a brothel, to the bemusement of the house madam, and never have a clue. (Teenage boys would've noticed, you think?) At the Rouen railroad station, Emily's overstuffed purse looses its contents onto the tracks just as a train pulls in. Bedbugs attack Skinner in the City of Light. Lunch at the Paris Ritz proves mortifying. A treacherous hair net ("Venida double-mesh") manifests itself during Cornelia's introductory acting lesson with a French stage idol.
Of course, not all of the mini-Grand Tour was comprised of frivolous mishaps.Read more ›
One of those granddaughters has her 14th birthday in a couple of weeks, and I came to Amazon today expecting to have to buy a used copy, not realizing that it has been reissued.
(OOPS! I see now a few months later that it's once again out of print. A used or remainder copy shouldn't be hard to find.)
So few books of this genre are truly interesting or truly funny. Most of them consist of anecdotes that leave you thinking, "I guess you had to be there". Not this one. Those two girls were disaster-magnets. I think only David Niven's "The Moon is a Balloon" has made me laugh out loud as many times, and it's a much longer book.
The writing is seamless and authentically witty, the line drawings are almost Thurberesque in the way they stay in your mind's eye forever after.
This is a true American classic. Don't miss it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read Our Hearts Were Young and Gay as a teenager, many years ago and laughed out loud through the whole book. I decided I had to own it and read it again. Just as funny. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jane Brydon
Gay is a wonderful word, denoting fun, joyous, lighthearted, never mean or vengeful. and that's what this book is, a gay romp about two American girls (still in school) that spent... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Rapunzel Smith
It brought back great memories and is as funny and unique as ever.Published 12 months ago by camerabug
An old favorite, enjoyable as a re-read for the third time! A reflection of the author's wit and fun loving nature as she seeks out trouble on her first big solo trip to Europe.Published 15 months ago by Barbara S. Brookes
Our Hearts were Young and Gay tells of a first trip to England and France by fresh young Bryn Mawr graduates Cornelia Skinner and Emily Kimbraugh. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Phred