Book Review: Farewell, Dorothy Parker

Title: Farewell, Dorothy Parker

Author: Ellen Meister

Narrator: Angela Brazil

Running Time: 9 hours 40 minutes

Published: February 21, 2013 by AudioGo

I went into this book knowing almost nothing about who Dorothy Parker was. I had done a small amount of research before I started listening to this audiobook just to give me a little bit of knowledge about who she was but the majority of what I learned about her I got from this book. The story is an overall interesting one with a movie critic by some accident, or was it a deliberate move, acquiring the ghost of Dorothy Parker who is essentially trapped/tied to the guest book from the Algonquin Hotel.

The narrator, Angela Brazil, did an excellent job with this book. While the various voices of the characters were fairly similar to one another, there was just enough difference between them to easily distinguish them while listening.

Loved the characters, I really felt a connection to Violet’s character since I too am the shy socially inept type like she was in the beginning of the book. Seeing her slowly grow into a more confident person, with the aid of Dorothy Parker was nice, though I think I would have been okay with her remaining as the shy person throughout. Violet’s surprise was interesting, I didn’t see it coming even with a couple of hints given earlier. There were parts when I wanted to reach through the pages and give Violet a good shake to try to get some sense into her.

Delaney was another nice character, she definitely had that teenage spunk throughout the novel. I felt sorry for her having to go through everything she went through but it was nice to see her deep love and connection to her aunt Violet.

Dorothy Parker was obviously a very strong character whose influence on Violet really shaped how event turned out for her. And yet there were times when Dorothy’s presence and advice seemed to hinder Violet’s life.

I think one of the best parts about this book is the fact that not only did Dorothy Parker help out Violet with her various issues and through that bolster the woman’s confidence but Violet did the same for Dorothy Parker. The two women may have butted their heads more than a few times throughout but in the end when one needed advice, help or just someone to listen or bounce ideas off of the other was there. Their friendship was a huge part of this book and without it the story would have turned out much differently.

Now there was one thing that I didn’t like about this book and it was a pretty major thing for me. At one point Delaney goes missing, her grandmother hit her heart medication thinking it would prevent her from running away but of course it doesn’t. There is a large search involving the police to try to find Delaney before anything bad happens to get and to get her medication in her since she is nearly due for another dose. It is mentioned multiple times in this section that she needs this medication right away and yet when Violet finally finds her niece all mention of the medication stops. Now obviously there would be that moment of relief in finding a lost child and in that moment one may not instantly think about getting her the medication and yet they become reunited, talk about why the girl ran off, and then Violet runs after Dorothy Parker as the woman decides it’s time to finally leave. And in this entire time not a single mention of the medication was made. I feel that is a huge mistake give the gravity of Delaney’s situation while everyone is looking for her. There should have been some mention of the medicine at this time even if ti was small such as Violet telling her to go to the car and take her pills.

Though I knew next to nothing about Dorothy Parker before reading this book I have to say it has made me want to go out and read her various works. I had in fact read some of her poems before hand but didn’t realize or remember that it was her who had wrote them. I will also be looking at reading more books written by Ellen Meister as she has a nice writing style, great characters and this book had a really nice flow to it. I would recommend this book to those who know about Dorothy Parker as well as those who don’t and who are looking for a quick but great read.

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