Please Excuse My Daughter
“Julie was not able to attend school yesterday as she was at Bloomingdale's with me having quiche Lorraine and salad and trying to decide whether a Perry Ellis trench coat made me look more like Jane Fonda in Klute or Inspector Clouseau. Please excuse her absence.”
Julie Klam was raised as the only daughter of one of the two Jewish families in the exclusive WASP stronghold of Bedford, New York—the other one was the (Ralph) Laurens. Her mother was sharp, glamorous, and funny, but did not think that work was a woman’s responsibility. Her father was fully supportive, not just of his wife’s staying at home, but also of her extravagant lifestyle. Her mother’s offbeat parenting style—taking Julie out of school to go to lunch at Bloomingdale's, for example—made her feel well-cared-for (and well-dressed) but left her unprepared for graduating and entering the real world. She had been brought up to look pretty and wait for a rich man to sweep her off her feet. But what happened if he never showed up?
After years of floundering in both her love life and her career, answering phones at her father’s insurance and financial planning firm, watching as her jailbird boyfriend “temporarily” moved in and then swiftly left her for a richer woman, things start to fall into place—albeit a little differently than she had pictured. When she gets married to a hardworking but not wealthy man—one who expects her to be part of a modern couple and contribute financially to the marriage—she realizes how ambivalent and ill-equipped she is for life.
Once she gives birth to a daughter, she knows she must grow up, get to work and instill in her child the self-reliance that she never learned.
Delivered in an uproariously funny, sweet, self-effacing, and utterly memorable voice, Please Excuse My Daughter is a bighearted memoir from an irresistible new writer.
“…she has written as effective a testament to the value of a working mother as any intended polemic…To review a memoir is always in some sense to review the life and sensibility of the person writing it, and to Julie Klam, one is inclined to award a dozen stars.” – The New York Times Book Review
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