I have a confession: I buy books, LOTS of books, and rarely ever read them. I don’t know why, but I’ll begin reading, get distracted or become uninterested and never finish. It’s quite disappointing, but I tend to fill my plate with lots of responsibilities and tasks and reading for pleasure isn’t a high priority.
Until a few days ago.
I brought the kids to Barnes and Noble last week and we spent the morning playing with the train table and looking at different books in the children’s section. We tend to do this a few times a month and sometimes we buy things, sometimes we don’t.
On this particular visit we played for a good hour and a half, and then made our way to the adult books. I could literally walk around Barnes and Noble for hours in a complete state of happiness…there’s just something about that place and makes my heart happy. (When I was a kid, I dreamt of having a library like Belle did in the Beast’s castle, so this love of B&N makes complete sense.)
On our way towards the exit, I saw a few book covers that caught my eye, but one in particular stopped me in my tracks. It had a lovely picture and an even lovelier title – Being Audrey Hepburn. I turned the book over and read that the author was the creator of the wonderful 90’s television show Clarissa Explains It All and I. was. sold.
Normally I buy a book, wait a few days to start, and then never finish.
But this time, I cracked my new book open an hour later. Over the next few days I used every available moment to read this enchanting book.
At night hiding under the covers with my book light?
Yes, yes, and yes. I read this book everywhere.
Time normally spent scrolling through social media was now being spent in NYC, Jersey, and the Hamptons with Lisabeth Dulac. For the first time in a long time, a book has totally transported me to a different world.
In this story, Audrey-obsessed Lisabeth tries on the iconic black Givenchy dress that Miss Hepburn wore herself in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and her life completely changed. She’s thrown into the world of celebrity and wealth, and this young girl from a broken home channels her inner Audrey to survive.
This Cinderella story is one full of fashion, friendship, romance, and the hardships of life, and I loved it all. Facts about Audrey can be found throughout the book, which made it even better. Lisabeth reminds me a little of Victoria from Judy Blume’s Summer Sisters, and honestly a little of myself.
As the author states in his acknowledgments, “The entire book attests to the enduring legacy of Audrey Hepburn, who intuitively and through her own self-design became the first movie star and actress of the poststudio age. Her personal transformation — the Pygmalion Effect, some call it — stands as a model for everyone, especially those young women living in the gray suburbs and forgotten inner cities aspiring to become something better and happier, intent upon the dangerous work of reinventing oneself despite whatever troubled origins they may have” (Kriegman, 2014, p. 325).
This statement very well may explain the charming nature that exuded and still exudes from Audrey Hepburn. I’ve adored her for as long as I can remember, from her beauty and grace to her work with UNICEF, she is exquisite in every sense of the word. I am so grateful for this novel. Over these few hundred pages, I’ve completely fallen in love with reading again, and if it’s possible more in love with Audrey.
Mitchell Kriegman, thank you for this lovely novel. Thank you for making Audrey an adventure, and for bringing her to life again. Your writing is inspiring, and I have much enjoyed getting to know your characters.