Book Giveaway Just in Time for Mother’s Day

Do you remember the best summer of your life? Marjorie Hart does. The year was 1945 and the war was still on, and she and her best friend, Marty were fresh from the Kappa house at The University of Iowa when they came up with the idea of travelling by train to New York to look for summer jobs at the leading department stores of the day. But when they failed to get jobs there, a serendipitous connection from back in Iowa landed them jobs as pages at Tiffany’s, where they become the first females ever to work on the sales floor. Outfitted in store-provided Tiffany-blue shirtwaist dresses from Bonwit-Teller, the plucky girls managed to live on their $20 weekly salaries by budgeting nickels for subway fares and quarters for automat sandwiches. At work, they brush shoulders with mobsters and celebrities like Marlene Dietrich and Judy Garland, and in their off hours they dance the night away at nightclubs with handsome midshipmen, and experience their first glimpse of the ocean at Jones Beach. And of course, they are living history, hearing of the combat deaths of loved ones from back home and the dropping of the first atomic bomb. They join the celebratory throngs celebrating V-J Day in Times Square and manage to glimpse General Eisenhower during his victory parade.

More than forty years later, now retired from a career as a professional cellist and college arts administrator living in San Diego, Marjorie Hart set out to write her memoir for her children and grandchildren. Serendipitously, she met an editor at a writer’s workshop who saw gold in Marjorie’s account of her diamond-studded summer of 1945. And at the age of 82, Marjorie saw her memoir, SUMMER AT TIFFANY, published.

A few years ago, my editor at HarperCollins sent me Marjorie Hart’s luscious little memoir called SUMMER AT TIFFANY. I read it, I adored it. I bought more copies and sent them to my friend Barb, in Ohio, and my dear little Aunt Alice, in Florida, and to others. And now, finally, Harper has brought SUMMER back out in trade paperback, just in time for Mother’s Day. And Marjorie Hart, who I think is now 86, has a New York Times bestseller on her hands. You don’t have to be a member of what Tom Brokaw calls “The Greatest Generation” to love this book. This is a story for every woman who’s ever dreamed of running away to the big city, of romance, and diamonds and pearls, and even heartache. Buy a copy for your mom, or grandmom, and then buy one to keep too.
Better yet, leave me a comment about the best summer of YOUR life, and I’ll draw five names at random to win FREE copies of SUMMER AT TIFFANY. And no, you don’t have to be a mom to win–no purchase, no strings, just a wonderful read to start off your summer. Your comment must include your email addy so that I can notify you of winners. Drawing closes midnight Sunday May 9.

60 thoughts on “Book Giveaway Just in Time for Mother’s Day”

  1. My best summer was working in Mackinaw City in northern Michigan after my freshman year at the local jr. college. What a summer of "firsts" and "learnings"!

  2. That's a tough question. The best summer of my life was probably when my whole family went to Bermuda. I have a feeling this summer will be even better, though, because our son will graduate from college!


  3. Hi MK! Would it be the summer I turned 16?…. when I met my husband-to-be?…. when my oldest learned how to walk?…. when my youngest joined us in this world?…. when they were old enough to really love the pool and we spent hours in it each day? I honestly have a tough time recalling my best summer ever because they've all had something memorable about them! And, since I am still here, I hope there's many more memories to be made in summers to come! SUMMER AT TIFFANY sounds so wonderful, and I can't wait to read it! Just reading your review of it made me remember all the crazy dreams I had growing up! What would have happened if I'd acted on them? I'd love to win a copy! [email protected] (go DAWGS!)

  4. The best summer of my life was the summer of 1984. I was employed as an actress on The Showboat Becky Thatcher in Marietta, Ohio. Our company performed melodramas and olios and did 4 shows in rotating repertory. I met my husband that summer, he was the technical director for the company and he and I met within the first week and hit if off right away. By the end of that summer, spending every spare moment we had together, we decided we loved each other and it wasn't long after that we were engaged. So I spent that summer doing theater, which I love, and met the love of my life!

  5. Hmm…That's a tough one! I'm stuck deciding between 2 different summers! I'll go with the most recent one…This past summer of 2009. Let me set the scene for you…Stay at home mom of 3 boys (set of twins who will turn 7 yrs next week! Ugh! Where does the time go!?) Hubby & Wife who rarely gets time alone or had never taken a "real" vacation.

    We went to Savannah, GA. for an entire week WITHOUT children! lol I was so excited (not only over no children) but about going. I had wanted to go for as long as I can remember! It was beautiful & such an incredible place! I feel in love with it! We also spent a lot of time at Tybee Beach which was (needless to say) amazing! By far the best vacation of my life! We hope to travel back there this summer & vacation WITH our sons (lol) at Tybee Beach! Crossing Fingers!


  6. Mary Kay, this book sounds like one that my wife Sandy would really enjoy reading. Thanks for the recommendation. Blessings!

  7. One of my best summers was in 1973. I was 16 and spent the whole summer living with a French Family in France. I learned to be and speak French. The family became my French family and to this day I have two families. That year taught me a lot about life!

  8. My best summer was during my first year of marriage to my husband. Since I was new to Texas, he wanted me to see the best of what Houston and the cities around us had to offer. I don't think I have ever had so much fun.

  9. My best summer was the summer of 1973 when I was 16. I lived with a French family in France. Learned French attitude and how to live life like a French girl!

  10. My best summer was when my now husband and I first said I love you at Lake San Rayburn. We were both guests of our best friends, whose families were sharing a cabin for a week. They had it planned before we were even together. I truly don't know if we really loved each other at 14 but we're married now at 22 and loving it!

    [email protected]

  11. I think the one where I was the most carefree was the summer after graduation–before all the resposibilities set in. But the summers with the grandchildren and going to the beach for all day of swimming and picnicing were right up there too.

  12. "Summer at Tiffany" sounds like a great read. My best summer was in 1985. I spent 2 glorious weeks at a friend's beach house on Sullivan's Island. I spent many summers there but 1985 was the best. I had just graduated high school and was nervous and excited about college.

    [email protected]

  13. My best summer was the summer of 1969, most of it spent on the shores of Lake Michigan, knowing that it was to be my last full one there . I made certain that I said goodbye to all of my friends & it was bittersweet, but the best part was making new friends in NC, where I still reside to this very day. I knew then that I would be okay, that there were good people here as well & even friendlier. While being very resentful at the time, the move proved to be the best thing for me both personally & professionally. I hope to have another best summer this year, as I finally move to a new city at the end of the month, but I will still be calling North Carolina home.

  14. So I'm going with summer 2003 when Fiddle Dee Death came out, and Caroline Cousins went on tour thru the South and saw all our people, you included.

    I'm going to have to get this for Mom. She spent the winter of 51-52 in NY w/my dad on temporary assignment. She worked in Empire State Building, they had apt at Iroquois (next to Algonquin), celebrated New Year's in Times Square — and I arrived nine months later!

    Hugs, Nancy
    (Meg's fourth grandddaughter arrived last week!)

  15. Best Summer Ever – sometime between 1980 and 1984 – when I spent my summers writing neighborhood newspapers with my bestie, selling Easy Bake Oven Cakes to my neighbors, planning carnivals, walking to the 7-11 for penny candy. Good times

  16. This year Mother's Day lands six days before our youngest's high school graduation. My best summer was any summer between about 1994 and 1999 – when our days were filled with backyard sprinklers, picnics, sandboxes and dandelion boquets, and they still thought Mom was the best! 🙂

  17. the summer of my life was last summer. i moved from coast to coast, by myself, with no job or place to live waiting. i learned a lot about myself during that time and grew up a lot! (i had some fun too.)

    i feel compelled to go in the store every time i pass a tiffany so this book sounds amazing!

    meaghan_koci (at) yahoo (dot) com

  18. The best summer I've had is probably the summer I met the man who would become my husband! The first date, the walks in the warm summer sun, the first kiss. Oh, brings back sweet memories….

  19. Best summer of my life was when I drove cross-country to grad school. We took over two weeks and stopped at every National Park (and all the little ones in between) that we could squeeze in. Book sounds great – thanks for the giveaway!

  20. The summer of '74 was my best. That was the year I first met 'him', the man I would eventually marry. It was a summer of romance, discoveries and love. He made me feel desirable; a word very new to me. I remember how thrilling it was to see him at the door, and the excitement and anticipation of seeing him again…for the first time I knew what love felt like.

    [email protected]

  21. This is a tough one! Summer is my favorite time of year, and many were enjoyed driving to Madison and then two women and six kids (sometimes seven) driving in two cars to Tybee Island. We stayed at The Oleander Apartments, and with three girls on "Hunky Guy watch", the guys who had military duty there were our eye candy for sure. My favorite of these summers would be the one when we went to Tybee and when I also met my future husband at home in SC on an arranged date (I was furious) at a weiner roast at my house. I think the year was '58!

  22. The best summer of my life was when my only daughter was declared 5 years cancer free! Good Lord willing, she will be 14 years cancer free this year!

  23. My best summer was our first European trip to London, Edinburgh, and Dublin. A trip of a lifetime!

  24. My best summer was when my kids were little and we spent it at little cottages on the beach….those were great times!!
    If you are recommending this book…I gotta get my hands on it!!
    Happy Weekend xOxO Nerina

  25. I commented yesterday but I don't think it made it to your blog. The summer after our oldest son was born (24 years ago) was wonderful. We had a child and being able to put him in the stoller and walk around the neighborhood enjoying our friends was so much fun. My email is [email protected]. Thanks!

  26. My best summer was two summers ago. We took our first family vacation after my dad passed away and went to the Keys. It was so relaxing! We celebrated my dad's life and made new family memories to cherish forever!

    [email protected]

  27. The best summer so far was the summer of 2009. I was in the middle of a divorce and for the first time in 13 years I was able to do things that I wanted to do without my girls. The girls are great and I could not live without them but I now have the freedom to enjoy life as an adult. Life is Great!!!

    [email protected]

  28. My best summer would have to be 2008…. That July my son became a Marine…. Our summer was filled with a roller coaster of emotions…. But the pride felt when we saw him in that uniform for the first time was one that I have never known before and probably never will again….

  29. The best summer was the one where we were able to get all of my family and my brothers family at the beach at the same time. We had a shrimp boil, made homemade icecream and ate all our meals together. We had a group picture made at the beach. Such good memories justing sitting around visiting with one another. Love my family and the beach.

  30. Summer 2008. We attended our son's graduation from Trinity College, Cambridge University in England on Saturday and flew back to Atlanta on Monday to attend our daughter's graduation from Kennesaw State University on Tuesday.

  31. The best summer of my life? My best friend, Mary and I ditched the husbands one weekend in 2002 and took off for a BFF road trip to Galveston, TX. It was wonderful. We laid around on the beach drinking margaritas and talking trash. Loved it! Matter of fact, it's time to do that again!
    Cara Cotton
    [email protected]

  32. Since I love summer so much it is hard to pick a best summer. One in particular does stand out. It was the summer of 1968 and my father had passed away. I felt very sad and somewhat alone. A family friend asked my mother to let me go with her to Daytona Beach and help with her kids. She treated me like an adult still letting me have childish fun. She also introduced me to Patsy Cline! It helped my torn feelings and saved summer. I was 13. (heading to Athen to graduation at UGA for my Niece Mary Margaret's graduation…the start of another good summer! Can't wait to read Summer at Tiffany!

    [email protected]

  33. I had SO many good summers, its hard to pick just one. Since this is mothers day weekend I will pick 1993, the summer my daughter was born. Arguably it was also my most miserable summer since I was 9 months preggie. In August. In Georgia.

    [email protected]

  34. That is a tough decision to make, but I would have to say….when my family and extended family and friends went to the Bahamas. It started out with just me, my husband, and our 2 daughters & ended up being 12 that all flew out together. It was just a great time to relax, reflect, and have much laughs. It was a trip that all of us talk about often!

  35. I'd have to say my favorite summer was the summer Star Wars came out. I spent a great deal of the summer at my grandma's house in a tiny Eastern Oregon town and got to visit my aunt as well. Since the whole family minus me went to see the movie without me, when I got home I got to go to the movies with just my dad. It was a great great summer, before responsiblity and divorce.

  36. The best summer of my life was in 1973. The year after college graduation, my college roommate and I traveled to Germany and Austria where I got to visit with my aunt and family, whom I had never seen, in Munich and my grandmother in Salzburg, Austria. the day after I got back, my father drove me to Hazlehurst, GA, from PA, to start my first teaching job. What a life-changing summer!

  37. My best summer was 1977, the year Star Wars came out. I spent a great deal of time with my grandma in a small Eastern Oregon town. She was a librarian and let me help out. I swam and played tennis. I got to visit with my aunt that lived there too. When I got home, my dad and I went to see Star Wars, just the two of us because they all went without me while I was away. It was great summer before my parents divorced and responsiblities and pressures intruded on childhood.

    [email protected]

  38. Hrmmm. My best summer would be the one I got to spend on maternity leave with my sweet Andrew. My miracle baby that God blessed me with at 36~

  39. Working on a ranch in New Mexico. Being 16 and thinking I was all grown up and working my first job away from home and all by myself. And, yes, that very first love of my life, who truely did arrive riding a big, white horse!

  40. The best summers of my life were spending them at my grandparents' houses in, oddly enough, Iowa:)
    I loved going there and getting spoiled by both sets of grandparents:) I would love to read this book especially with the start off Iowa connection. My family is in Cedar Rapids which is only about 30 minutes from Iowa City.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    email bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

  41. I have had so many wonderful summers of my own. They have always been spent with friends and family that love me and make my life fun.
    The thing is that I swear the best, most romantic, summer of my life is the year Bo & Hope FINALLY got together on Days of Our Lives. They escaped and hid out together at a plantation house in Louisiana. They dressed up in antebellum cloths and exchanged vows. It was so exciting, beautiful, and steamy hot.
    That was more than 25 years ago and I no longer watch soaps, but it was a wonderful fantasy for my prepubescent existence. Now days with all the reality tv, books are my escape into the fantasy lives I love to delve into. Thanks MKA for such wonderful characters that you love to love!
    [email protected]

  42. My best summer hasn't happend yet, gives me something to look forward too : ) I can't wait to read this new book!! I hope I'm the winner : ) Happy Mother's Day to you Mary Kay!!

  43. I have posted 2 comments but they don't seem to be appearing on your blog, so I must be doing something wrong! Best summer was 24 years ago with our first baby, strolling in the neighborhood, making friends and memories.

  44. The best summer of my life would have to be the summer I started dating my husband. I felt like a princess being spoiled with dinners out and ice cream several nights a week. I still get spoiled today.

  45. My best summer would have to be when I was about 13. My Mama and I would take day trips all over Georgia once or twice a week. We visited Juliett, GA where part of Fried Green Tomatoes was filmed. We went to a museum in Macon, fished various places, researched old cemeteries, checked out the GA Stonehenge, and relaxed out by our pool. Sadly, it was the last summer we enjoyed together before my teenaged ways took hold. However, we did just take a day trip together up to Helen and Cornelia Georgia. I forgot how much I missed our time together.

    [email protected]

  46. I can't say I have ever had "A Best Summer." I have just always loved ALL summers! The swimming, the ballgames, and the cookouts are what summer is all about. I wait all year long for summer when I can stay up late, relax, and spend time with family and friends. 🙂

  47. The best summer of my list has to be the summer after I graduated from college. I went to college in Los Angeles, and my home was North Carolina. So after graduation, my mother flew out and we drove home across country. We didn't have a schedule or a set time to be back home. So we took so many detours, and saw so much of the country. She told me during that trip, that we would probably only do this once (both the trip and life in general) so we might as well have a good time! She was right, and even though she is no longer with me, those memories are the best! Happy Mother's Day everyone!

  48. Since I love summer so much it is hard to pick a best summer. One in particular does stand out. It was the summer of 1968 and my father had passed away. I felt very sad and somewhat alone. A family friend asked my mother to let me go with her to Daytona Beach and help with her kids. She treated me like an adult still letting me have childish fun. She also introduced me to Patsy Cline! It helped my torn feelings and saved summer. I was 13. (heading to Athen to graduation at UGA for my Niece Mary Margaret's graduation…the start of another good summer! Can't wait to read Summer at Tiffany!

    [email protected]

  49. My best summer was in 1967 when I visited a friend in Bellflower, California. We met Richard Carpenter and got his and sister Karen's autographs. It's the only time I've ever met anyone famous and we had a blast, besides!

  50. The best summer was after the birth of our first child, 24 years ago. Having him was so wonderful and we loved putting him in the stroller and enjoying our neighborhood. Lots of fun memories.

  51. Hi, Mary Kay. I have to say my favorite summer was the year I was about 17. I spent the summer with my sister in Cleveland. I got to go to lunch at Higbees and shop at many malls. I was raised in a small rural area, miles away from any malls or fancy restaurants, so this was a very big deal.

    Just love your humor, choice of settings, and characters, Mary Kay. Thanks to you for all that time devoted to writing and giving us light-hearted novels we can enjoy. It's a great escape from Reality TV and real life in general. I love the Southern settings and characters, as I'm a Southern Belle at heart!

    Best to you and yours,

  52. Summer of 1986. Sixteen years old…6 weeks in Southern California with out my family (but staying with family friends). No responsibilities…I'd yet to experience the drama of falling in love or suffer heart break. It was all about the sun, waves, getting a tan, music, movies and dreams! Life was in front of me and anything seemed possible! [email protected]

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