PLEASE EXCUSE MY DAUGHTER by Julie Klam

PLEASE EXCUSE MY DAUGHTER

A Memoir

KIRKUS REVIEW

Droll account of a circuitous path to responsible adulthood.

Enabled by a monthly allowance from her parents, Klam rolled through her 20s and into her 30s in a nebulous haze of bourgeois depression and daydreams about making it as a writer. Weeks and months floated by as she spent entire days listening to her headphones while walking around Manhattan in overalls, now and then reluctantly clocking in to work in her father’s office. Occasionally, her not-very-post-adolescent torpor was interrupted by an interview for a job as, say, Barbra Streisand’s assistant, or by an affair with a parasitic ex-con whose sponginess and lack of interest in being accountable rivaled the author’s. This material could well be annoying if Klam weren’t so funny, setting her scenes with an incisive, self-deprecating slant. Her memoir isn’t driven by action, but by conversational humor and revealing, original stories. (When her therapist touted the satisfactions of self-sufficiency, she countered, “But isn’t there also a satisfaction in getting someone to take care of you?”) Another appealing highlight is the author’s engaging rapport with her mother. Despite her avowed laziness, Klam landed a writing job at VH1, where she met her future husband and was nominated for an Emmy. The weakest part of the book is devoted to her obsession with such wedding trappings as a diamond ring and a tiara, the only acceptable accessories for “a beautiful princess in a ball gown.” Subsequent pages atone by chronicling Klam’s late introduction to real life. Her husband grappled with serious diabetes and joblessness; she sold her jewelry and was forced to find her professional footing. She gave birth to a daughter and found moderate financial success as a freelance writer for women’s magazines. Today she relishes, albeit somewhat sardonically, the rewarding flipside of growing up.

Like spending time with your least ambitious and most charming friend.

Pub Date: March 27th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59448-980-8
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Riverhead
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2007




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