Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kitchen Privileges

a memoir by Mary Higgins Clark
Finished July 29, 2009
I'd never read anything by Mary Higgins Clark, who is famous for suspense novels. I've always considered her books to be cheap horror mysteries. But I've also always confused her books with V.C. Andrews' books. Poor Mary Higgins Clark. I'm sorry for the comparison! In any case, I should read one for myself and then make a judgement. The Mary Higgins Clark I met in this memoir doesn't write trashy horror.
I needed to read a biography for the last spot on my Summer Reading card. I don't like full biographies. So I searched for the keyword "memoir" in the library catalog and came up with this. What's not to love about the cover and title of this book? And the jacket flap told about Clark's childhood as a little Irish Catholic girl growing up in the Bronx. The title comes from the sign that mother Higgins put up to advertise her boarding house "Rooms to Rent with Kitchen Privileges."
Unfortunately, not enough of the book was about that childhood and the people that lived in the Higgins' boarding house. No matter, though. It was still a very enjoyable memoir. I learned the highlights and lowlights of the author's life. I found out how she became a bestselling writer. She was a very ordinary mother and wife who had a lot of heartache throughout her life. She remained optimistic and worked her way into being a real, published author. It wasn't easy as a woman and single mother to find a place in the working world at that time.
Obviously, she did become a success. Where Are The Children was her first suspense novel. I will read it now. I feel, after getting to know her through this memoir, that I owe her that much.

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