mistress's daughter

Book Club: Rules for Saying Goodbye

Synopsis: At 13, Katherine Taylor left her family's home in Fresno for an elite private school in New England, only to grow up and move to a rent-controlled apartment in New York, work as a bartender and date a string of foreigners. So what in God's name is she doing with her life? If only she — and we — could figure it out. THEA (FASHION CREDITS EDITOR) I liked the beginning, when she talks about her prep school days a lot more than the rest of the book. It was the only time she seemed to have genuine emotions and opinions — she was in awe of her friend Page, she loved her other friend Clarissa, she was repulsed by her first boyfriend... But once she left boarding school, you never really knew what the hell she was thinking or feeling. YAEL (ASSOCIATE EDITOR) Actually, I felt like the boarding school part could've been cut. I didn't get how all the prep school stuff connected to the rest of her life. It was almost like two different stories. LAUREN (ARTICLES EDITOR) The thing that bugged me was, the main character never changed. She attaches herself to one guy after another, then ditches each one because they don't "get" her. And then — always begrudgingly — she runs back to her family. I mean, I liked her voice. I loved it when she says her cousin Doris, "understood the tight knot of hatred and overbearing love between our parents and their siblings, between our siblings and ourselves, and Doris understood how those relationships formed a map of how we felt about everyone else." But that's just gravy. I wanted her to evolve and she never did. YAEL And the funny thing is, the book jacket says "With intelligence and charm, Rules For Saying Goodbye chronicles that heart-grabbing moment when you stop waiting for things to happen to you and go in search of them for yourself." Um, when did she go in search of them? Did I miss something? ELIZABETH She was on a wild goose chase. She wasn't searching for anything except a good time. THEA But a lot of people are like that. I have a friend just who reminds me of Katherine. I've known her since the fifth grade. To this day, we're great friends but I have no idea if there's any depth to her or if she ever genuinely feel emotions. She never seems angry, or excited, or annoyed, or depressed. She ends every sentence with a giggle. Even when we're having serious conversations! So maybe it's just hard for us to relate because all of us are really much more like Type As. YAEL Ugh, she was a lazy ass. I had no sympathy for her. All of a sudden she's like, "I needed extra cash so I was running around doing celebrity profiles for a big men's magazine." And it's like, wha? Especially since I've been working my ass off since I was twenty-two and I have yet to write a big celebrity profile! It's like, Screw you! LAUREN Not to mention that her parents repeatedly bail her out. She sips fancy cocktails at hotel bars and she describes it like she's playing at being rich. But she is rich! Don't get me wrong. I like a well-made sidecar, too but at least I'm paying for it. ELIZABETH I think she's either laughing at herself and our generation or being outrageously condescending. I mean, we all know people who float from place to place, job to job. And I think Katherine takes pride in the fact that she embraced her impulses and traveled all over and took these random jobs and got her Masters. But the four of us take pride in the fact that we're playing by the rules. I think it's annoying to us that she didn't.

Book Club: The Maytrees
THE PLOT: Pulitzer Prize–winning author Annie Dillard spins a poetic…
the septembers of shiraz
The Septembers of Shiraz
The Septembers of Shiraz, about one family's struggle to survive in …
Book Club: The Mistress's Daughter
The Mistress's Daughter
MC Editors explore the mind of an adopted woman in the memoir, the M…
cover of let the northern lights erase your name
Let The Northern Lights Erase Your Name
This month the MC book club considers one womans search for her fath…