Imagination is a powerful thing. So is lunacy. Is Libby Lomax inventive or just nuts? Who cares? She gets to hang out with Audrey Hepburn, the epitome of Hollywood grace, style, sophistication and brunette beauty, as vibrant and lovely as she was when she starred in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and other such classics.
The trouble is, Audrey’s advice doesn’t always steer Libby on the right track. Libby’s main problem is lack of self-esteem, a willingness to do silly things to get the object of her attentions and follow the orders of her demanding sister and her domineering mother. The latter is the monster that haunts showbizness—the stage mother. A Mamma Rose in her own right, Mrs. Lomax has never let go of her ambitions for her children and her hatred of her ex-husband, Libby’s father.
The book bubbles with charm but is solidly freighted with modern-day tribulations and technology. It’s hard not to smile as the author imagines her Audrey going gaga over gadgets like espresso machines, iPads and cell phones. Ms. Holliday’s Hepburn can be alternately fragile and steely. Libby’s difficulties in dealing with this figment and one (or is it two?) potential boyfriends are fun to read.
It’s a romance story with a difference. It is often short of romance, mainly because Libby, like so many modern women, has never had it. Audrey is appalled and saddened that no man has ever brought her flowers, gone on a proper date with her or come to pick her up from her home. She refuses to accept that chivalry is dead preferring to believe that Libby has been badly treated by her boyfriends. Maybe she has a point.
I found this book a sparkling mix of fizz and fantasy, both disheartening and cheering, funny and serious. It’s a breath of fresh air in the romance genre and a welcome reminder that, in a world devoted to the new and faddish, there’s nothing wrong with an occasional retreat to the classics.
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