Farewell, Dorothy Parker
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When it comes to movie reviews, critic Violet Epps is a powerhouse voice. But that’s only because she’s learned to channel her literary hero Dorothy Parker, the most celebrated and scathing wit of the twentieth century. If only Violet could summon that kind of strength in her personal life.
Violet visits the Algonquin Hotel in an attempt to find inspiration from the hallowed dining room where Dorothy Parker and so many other famous writers of the 1920s traded barbs, but she gets more than she bargained for when Parker’s feisty spirit rematerializes. An irreverent ghost with problems of her own—including a refusal to cross over to the afterlife—Mrs. Parker helps Violet face her fears, becoming in turn mentor and tormentor…and ultimately, friend.
READERS GUIDE INSIDE
the Steinway grand. There was a mix of students, from beginner to advanced. Some made mistakes as they went along; all got enthusiastic applause. Now and then Violet glanced at Delaney’s face to see how she was handling the event. The girl seemed cool and composed, but her aunt could sense a layer of tension beneath. Please, Violet thought. Please let her play a happy song. At last it was her turn. Mr. Lawrence announced, “Our next student is someone I take extra-special pride in, and I’m
“There’s no rush,” Violet said. “We can ask the handler to bring them back outside. Which one do you want to see first?” “The tan one with the funny eyes, I guess,” Delaney said. Violet sat on a bench and watched while the girl played with the little dog. After about ten minutes, Delaney picked up the animal and sat on her aunt’s lap. “I still don’t know what to do,” she said. “I really like this one, but I like the others, too.” “Let me tell you a story,” Violet said. “When you were born,
a…date.” He smiled when he said the word, as if it was in quotes. Like it was a word that was so charmingly old-fashioned it deserved special reverence. “I know you were medicated the other night,” he continued, “so I don’t want to just assume you like me, too, though I hope you do. But if not, just say so and I’ll drop it. No weirdness, no hard feelings.” “Of course I like you,” she blurted, and then grabbed a chair for balance. Had she really just said that? Michael grinned, and looked like
her.” “I like her, too. I’m not going to get in the way of your friendship. I promise.” Delaney folded her arms and stared out the window. Violet decided to let her sulk until she was ready to talk again. When she finally did, it was with well-calculated manipulation. “I want you to take me to another screening. In the city.” “To make up for not taking you out for frozen yogurt?” “To make up for getting me caught in the middle of your stupid breakup.” “So you’re playing the guilt card?”
for these things. If she hadn’t gone to her when she did and spent the day talking to the girl, listening to her, taking her to visit her parents’ grave, who knows what might have happened.” “Why was Delaney suicidal?” the judge asked. “Because she thought I would lose this case,” Violet said. “That’s how badly she wants to come home. She needs me, Your Honor.” “Hearsay!” said John Gibb. “You can ask her yourself,” said Violet, who knew Delaney was waiting in the judge’s chamber with her