37 pages in and I must say it's already quite an experience. First off, Howard covers approximately 55 yrs in 208 pages so it seems that maybe there just isn't that much to tell. Howard starts out when she was 19, tossing in a couple sentences about having Ann all to herself until the age of 15 and that her parents gave her the example of a strong, loving marriage and all the advantages of a very well off lifestyle.
Chapter 1 is prefaced with a headshot of a young Margo and she is gorgeous, too bad it's only skin deep. As Howard starts her narrative she freely admits to having no ambition, no desire to do anything other than find a husband because that's what girls after college, which Howard left after her first senior term.
The tone of Howard's writing is jarring, she sounds like that 19 yr old girl. It's unsettling. On page 1 she name drops Hubert Humphrey and Dr Bob Stolar, a dermatologist of some renown. Ann Landers knew a lot of powerful and influential people.
Talking about her internship for Humphrey (new dating pool!) Howard easily admits that not only does filing bore her she couldn't be bothered to figure out how to do it correctly. Oh, well. She sounds a little testy about JFK never hitting on her. Page 6 and Howard name drops 4 names including JFK and Henry "Scoop" Jackson.
She talks about her suitors and marriage proposals, three proposals and one engagement before she settled on suitor number 4. She talks for one paragraph about the beginnings of the women's movement and how it never interested her because she liked to bat her eyelashes. So do I but then I guess even at the same age I was already more complex than Howard. She comes off as completely self absorbed and rather dim.
She talks about learning later on the difference between loving and in love and we move on to chapter 2 which starts with a picture of the bride and groom, take 1. Husband #1 is thrown under the bus- he is cold, distant, ambitious, alcoholic and married. He proposed, she accepted and then this charmer tells her he needs to divorce wife #1. This does not deter Howard and I have this feeling that the dumber the decision the harder Howard is going to cling to it. Her parents and friends beg her not to do this but being the dumbest thing to do Howard keeps going.
I wore a demure Priscilla of Boston lace gown with seed pearls. The veil was anchored by a crown. (I would love a do-over on that one.) -from Eat, Drink and Remarry. My first thought? A bigger crown?
for the first three years of her life
They honeymooned in Spain and Portugal, Howard remembers Beluga caviar and the really rich older man she met by the pool who was a child of the shah and "endlessly fascinating".
Home again and after the thank yous are written Howard discovers she is pregnant. Easy pregnancy, hard labor, beautiful, sunny baby. Howard has a baby nurse for the first three months. As the three month period we'd engaged her for neared an end, I realized I hadn't been paying much attention to what she had done to care for Abra, and I still needed her to give me lessons in how to do this mothering thing myself. -from book
She talks of a difficult marriage, a distant husband and father and wonders if that is why she was so detached from her children when they were little and she says she regrets this and then wonders if a warmer, more loving husband would have made her a better mother. My younger two children seem to have some understanding of these early difficulties of mine and have forgiven me. The eldest, Abra, I feel has not- although it was she who had the most attention from me for the first three years of her life when she was an only child. - from book.
Am I the only one thinking somebody is angry and it's not Abra?
She had a bad marriage and a lot of money. Sounds like a description from a 40s pot boiler.They bought the townhouse of the owner of Mogen David wines and she had her "own" saleswoman at Stanley Korshak.
Howard relates a little story of being invited to dinner at the house of someone Coleman knew through business. After dinner in the parlor Howard asked who was the woman in the portrait? The wife said, "Well, that's me." Honest to God the next thing out of my mouth was,"No! Who would have a portrait of themselves with their old nose?" We were, and this is no exaggeration, shown the door three minutes later and the evening was over. (But seriously, who would not get a new portrait?) - from book.
Somewhere, back a few pages Howard mentions her mother starting the Ann Landers column and moving away from "the twin thing" and how the "twin" piggy-backed on it and became Dear Abbie. The resentment oozes.
Indeed, there seems to be a lot of resentment and pouting going on and, so far, Howard comes off as having all the depth of onionskin.
37 pages, my friends, this is going to be a looong, bumpy ride.