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Saturday Evening Book Review: “The Sky Isn’t Visible From Here: Scenes from a Life,” “Glamour, Interrupted: How I Became the Best-Dressed Patient in Hollywood” and “Mommies!”

March 15th, 2008

Reviewed today:

Two memoirs, and a baby book. Happy Saturday to you.



I have hesitated to review Felicia C. Sullivan’s memoir, “The Sky Isn’t Visible from Here: Scenes from a Life.” Not because of the quality of her memoir — it’s one of the best I’ve ever read, right up there with Mary Karr’s “The Liars’ Club” — but because it moved me so much. It left me reeling.

Her rough early years, growing up in Brooklyn with a mentally ill, drug-addicted mama. The hideous “friends,” men and characters who moved through her life. Her coke habit. The Ivy League. A successful career. A struggle, followed by another struggle, followed by… life.

Felicia and I came across each other because of her work as a publicist, and because of her blog. (“Author/foodie/rockstar,” indeed.) She’s a great writer, and I always look forward to her e-mails. Then comes a note that her book is about to be released. Fantastic! I promptly requested, and received, a review copy when the book was published — I took a couple of days to read it. Now I’ve gone all weird and protective and can’t write about it. It’s a marvelous book. It’s a grim book. She is no… what’s her name? I have no idea what her name is. The girl from Eugene who faked her memoirs. You know how I knew Felicia was telling it straight? The parts she thought were not that bad, I found horrifying. And the parts she found horrifying left me wanting to call her up and say, Girl, I’m sorry. No girl deserves this. She is such a good kid, Felicia. Go buy her book.

And now, something intense, and almost as harrowing in its own way. Some boys are just really excellent girlfriends and they add such sweetness to a woman’s life. And when bad things happen to them, it is so clear that life is just completely unfair and randomly cruel. From the first page of Steven “Cojo” Cojocaru’s memoir, “Glamour, Interrupted: How I Became the Best-Dressed Patient in Hollywood (Collins) you feel as if he’s just settled down on your couch and you’ve handed him a glass of champagne, and maybe some strawberries, then sat down to hear about all of the crazy stuff he’s just gone through.

“Girl, you are not going to believe this one…” Believe it. He has a flair for the dramatic, but that flair is what keeps him — and his story — flying and surviving.

The start to his career, as a 16-year-old fashionista, growing up in Montreal, who decides to cold-call Iona Monahan, “a Canuck Anna Wintour,” and ask for assignments for the Montreal Gazette. His jump to America, his assignments for People Magazine’s “Style Watch” column; his gig on the Today show, E!, VH1, and Entertainment Tonight. His exhaustion, the partying, the forgetting to eat or sleep. The doctor’s pronouncement that his blood pressure — 200/100 — was too high, time for tests. The diagnosis of polycystic kidney disease. The fears. His fight. Such an engaging guy, and such an entertaining writer and presence.

“There was work to be done. It was if I’d put yellow police tape around my feelings that said, SCENE OF AN EMOTIONAL MASSACRE. KEEP OUT.”

Last, but not least: “Mommies.” I am no chic mama, but I felt like one reading this kid book by Kate Spohn. (Random House; 12 pages not including flaps.) It’s a board book, geared for the littler set, but my five-year-old got some giggles from the dogs wearing frou-frou sweaters, the twins in a bubble bath, and the baby growing like a daisy. Nice illustrations, sweet rhythm to the dialogue. And cute shoes!


  1. Felicia says

    Thank you for the wonderful, sweet, honest and kind review. My heart is truly warmed.
    xoxox, f.

    March 15th, 2008 | #

  2. WackyMommy says

    You are more than welcome.

    March 15th, 2008 | #

  3. melissa lion says

    You’re the second person in two days to mention Sullivan’s book to me. Must pick it up.

    March 16th, 2008 | #

  4. edj says

    I think she’s a fantastic writer from her blog. Dang–wish I’d requested a review copy early on!

    March 16th, 2008 | #

  5. nan says

    Oy! Thanks for adding a book to my list of books to get when I travel to Northern Climes. That list just keeps growing!

    March 17th, 2008 | #

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