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What an appealing review of this book. I would think that some of Kate's experiences, kept from parents (like the gypsies), were things children, especially those in the big cities and especially those who were immigrants, may have been more common than one would think. My father and his siblings and their cousins often told stories that I'm sure their parents didn't know about.

This sounds like a memoir I will be seeking to read.


Penny--It's funny how quickly kids learn just what they can tell their parents and what not! I really enjoyed this and would love to read more about this period--other memoirs. I think in a way she must have had a pretty typical upbringing for the time place and circumstances. I can't wait to read the next book!


It does sound like a very interesting memoir. I love memoirs when they are well written and honest. I need to keep it in mind.


Annoyingly, my library doesn't have this so it's going on my Amazon wishlist.


This does sound like a good memoir especially since it sounds so honest and non-nostalgic about the "good old days."


WHAT a coincidence - I just finished reading this myself and was equally fascinated by it. The tales Kate tells were so interesting as they seemed so fresh despite being told from the point of view of a childhood 100 years ago - the difficulties of watching a parent's marriage unravel, or the excitement of going to the cinema on the weekend, the feeling of dread at the thought of maths lessons...all of these experiences could have been told today. The addition of the period details and the tales of a New York that is partially recognisable to me but also sepia toned in its antiquity also charmed me. I'm looking forward to her other memoirs too - she writes so well and so frankly.


Caroline--I think you might like this one. Not sure how readily available it is in Switzerland, but maybe you'll come across a used copy? She writes very honestly.
Cath--Wishlists are great things! My library didn't have it either, but I bought copies of the books when I was working in a bookstore some years ago. I'm glad now I bought such a variety of books as I enjoy picking up different things from my shelves that have been sitting there a while.
Stefanie--Yes, I was a little shocked by some of the things I read--not what I was expecting, but she was very matter of fact about it all. I shouldn't be surprised really, but I always think we're so much nastier now than before--apparently some things just never change...
Rachel--I'm so glad you enjoyed this. It would be even more interesting to be familiar with the places she writes about--good books for you to read while you're in NYC! I think I was expecting Kate Simon and her brother to have such sheltered lives, but some things really just don't change. I do hope that wall of silence is gone, however! I also plan on reading the other two books--not sure when I will get to them, but I have them close at hand.


I ordered a used copy from the US. The prices on amazon marketplace are ridiculously low. :) I really would like to read it.


You know I have a soft spot for a good memoir! Funnily enough I have almost finished Russell Baker's memoir, Growing Up, that is focused mostly on the Depression era. It is also very matter of fact and humorous about the dreadful poverty and worry people lived in back then. Life was certainly very different to the comsumer splendor we live in now!


Caroline--I'm glad you found a cheap copy--I never know how a vendor can afford to sell a book for a penny--as I also take advantage of those sales! I do hope you like this and can't wait to hear your thoughts. I am tempted to start her second book, but now I've started reading about Lee Krasner...only it's such a heavy, big book (and a library book, too, so not sure how much longer I have to keep it...).
Litlove--Thanks for the recommendation--I've added it to my list and might just have to break down and buy that one. I seem to have a fixation with the Depression era--not sure why. Life was terribly difficult and so different than today. I suppose it was all some people knew and therefore they just made the best of it? I hope you'll write about it.

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