Book Reviews of A Likely Story : One summer with Lillian Hellman

A Likely Story : One summer with Lillian Hellman
A Likely Story One summer with Lillian Hellman
Author: Rosemary Mahoney
ISBN-13: 9780385477932
ISBN-10: 0385477937
Publication Date: 11/3/1998
Pages: 288
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 2

4 stars, based on 2 ratings
Publisher: Doubleday
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

4 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed A Likely Story : One summer with Lillian Hellman on + 347 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I had no idea exactly who Lillian Hellman was when I began this book; I was interested in the "I worked for a literary celebrity" angle. The author's summer job didn't work out as well as she'd expected - partly due to Hellman's being a rather "difficult" employer much of the time, as well as the fact that she'd been hired as a domestic servant (Hellman wanted her to wear a maid's uniform, but she got out of it), not a "companion": housework, errands, some cooking. Her employer does sometimes play deliberate mind games, as well as being subject to bad moods and forgetfulness. However, there are points where she's kind and patient as well; I was left wondering whether she contacted the author the next spring regarding coming back again? Mahoney does get a glimpse of the (Vineyard) celebrity scene, leaving me not at all sorry to have missed it myself - not that those folks are rude or obnoxious, but that they're so insular.
As for the book itself, Mahoney does a terrific job evoking the people and places involved, both on Martha's Vineyard with Hellman, and in the alternating flashbacks to her own life. The latter didn't interest me much, after getting the basic idea that she was one of seven kids, raised by a single mom, attending a very prestigious boarding school.
Overall, I liked the book, though perhaps not for the reason(s) the author intended?
reviewed A Likely Story : One summer with Lillian Hellman on + 11 more book reviews
The subject is difficult to read for anyone who has had to serve a tyrannical boss, or who wants to be one . Phillip Lopate writes on the back cover of the jacket: "'Never meet your heroes,' might be its motto. Though Rosemary Mahoney pulls no punches in her rendering of Lillian Hellman, she is equally honest in portraying the ... powerlessness of adolescence. Irresistibly readable..." Mahoney's prose and juxtaposition of details is indeed beautiful.
reviewed A Likely Story : One summer with Lillian Hellman on + 328 more book reviews
A compelling chronicle of a 17-year-old girl who wants to be a writer and goes to work for a 73-year-old woman who is a famous writer. A heartbreaking yet hilarious true story.
reviewed A Likely Story : One summer with Lillian Hellman on + 347 more book reviews
I had no idea exactly who Lillian Hellman was when I began this book; I was interested in the "I worked for a literary celebrity" angle. The author's summer job didn't work out as well as she'd expected - partly due to Hellman's being a rather "difficult" employer much of the time, as well as the fact that she'd been hired as a domestic servant (Hellman wanted her to wear a maid's uniform, but she got out of it), not a "companion": housework, errands, some cooking. Her employer does sometimes play deliberate mind games, as well as being subject to bad moods and forgetfulness. However, there are points where she's kind and patient as well; I was left wondering whether she contacted the author the next spring regarding coming back again? Mahoney does get a glimpse of the (Vineyard) celebrity scene, leaving me not at all sorry to have missed it myself - not that those folks are rude or obnoxious, but that they're so insular.
As for the book itself, Mahoney does a terrific job evoking the people and places involved, both on Martha's Vineyard with Hellman, and in the alternating flashbacks to her own life. The latter didn't interest me much, after getting the basic idea that she was one of seven kids, raised by a single mom, attending a very prestigious boarding school.
Overall, I liked the book, though perhaps not for the reason(s) the author intended?