Synopses & Reviews
“Hart has a genuine gift for conveying the texture of midcentury Manhattan…. [She makes] the dilemmas of her own young life both compelling and contemporary.”
“[A] glorious once upon a time fairytale come true….I loved every moment!”
—Adriana Trigiani, author of Very Valentine
A memoir acclaimed as “reminiscent of The Best of Everything and Breakfast at Tiffanys” (BookPage), Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart is the true story of two best friends experiencing the time of their lives in New York City during the summer of 1945. The Cleveland Plain Dealer raves, “Hart writes about that stylish summer with verve, recollecting with a touching purity a magical summer in Manhattan, seen through the eyes of two 21-year-olds, just as the end of World War II approached.”
"At the age of 82, Hart, a professional cellist, recalls 1945, when she and her best friend, Marty, students at the University of Iowa, spent the summer in Manhattan, in this pleasant but slight memoir. Failing to obtain work at Lord & Taylor, the pair, self-described as long-limbed, blue-eyed blondes, were hired at Tiffany's the first female floor sales pages, delivering packages to the repair and shipping department, for $20 a week. Hart details their stringent budget ('1. Two nickels for subway. 2. Sandwich at the Automat: 15 cents') and describes, somewhat breathlessly, what a thrill it was to see such luminaries as Marlene Dietrich and Judy Garland shop at the fabled store. Her romance with a midshipman, the combat death of her cousin, the news of the dropping of the first atomic bomb and a vivid account of the celebration in Times Square after Japan's surrender convey a sense of the WWII era, but without adding much illumination. She does, however, evoke New York City as seen through the eyes of two innocent smalltown girls. 16 pages of b&w photos and illus." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Do you remember the best summer of your life?
New York City, 1945. Marjorie Jacobson and her best friend, Marty Garrett, arrive fresh from the Kappa house at the University of Iowa hoping to find summer positions as shopgirls. Turned away from the top department stores, they miraculously find jobs as pages at Tiffany & Co., becoming the first women to ever work on the sales floor—a diamond-filled day job replete with Tiffany blue shirtwaist dresses from Bonwit Teller's—and the envy of all their friends.
Hart takes us back to the magical time when she and Marty rubbed elbows with the rich and famous; pinched pennies to eat at the Automat; experienced nightlife at La Martinique; and danced away their weekends with dashing midshipmen. Between being dazzled by Judy Garland's honeymoon visit to Tiffany, celebrating VJ Day in Times Square, and mingling with Café society, she fell in love, learned unforgettable lessons, made important decisions that would change her future, and created the remarkable memories she now shares with all of us.
SUMMER AT TIFFANY is a memoir of the summer of 1945, when Marjorie Jacobson and her best friend Marty travelled from the Kappa House at the University of Iowa to New York City, hoping to land sales jobs at Lord and Taylor or Sak's Fifth Avenue. Turned away from the top department stores, they made their way to 57th Street where refusing to be deterred, Marty lead Marjorie into the legendary Tiffany store, and somehow these best friends talked their way into positions as pagesandndash;the first women to ever work on the sales floor. Their salary left them penniless and pondering the "Wheaties and Celery Diet," but their diamond filled dayandndash;job was the envy of other romantic minded girls who had flocked to New York City that steamy June. Their dream was made complete by their Manhattan apartmentandndash;conveniently close to the dashing Navy Midshipmen at Columbia University, and their college friends summering on Long Island.
Their workdays found the girls dazzled by the likes of honeymooners Judy Garland and Vincent Minnelli, Marlene Dietrich in her USO uniform, and legendary playboy Jimmy Donohue. They delivered and modelled priceless jewels, nearly lost precious pearls, and encountered Old Man Tiffany himself during a rare visit. In between getting lost in Harlem , witnessing the Eisenhower Parade, VJ Day in Times Square, and mingling with the Cafe Societyandndash;Marjorie Hart fell in love, learned lessons and made decisions that would impact the rest of her life.
About the Author
Marjorie Hart is the former chairman of the Fine Arts Department at the University of San Diego and a professional cellist. She lives in La Mesa, California.