How to Be a HepburnThe late, great wit Dorothy Parker once claimed, “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” Well, every once in a while I’m going to come across a book that should truly be thrown with great force. Hence, I’m starting a new series: I Read It So You Don’t Have To.

I do not want to write bad reviews, but sometimes I am compelled to because I come across a book so odious that I want to keep other people from wasting their time from reading total dreck. Please avoid the following dreck:

In a world of D-list celebs like table-tossing Real Housewives, teen moms turned porn stars, and famewhores whose last name starts with K, it can be a miracle to find a celebrity we can look up to for her talent, compassion, elegance and all-around good manners. No wonder so many people still look up to Audrey Hepburn even though she’s passed away over twenty years ago.

I am a huge fan of the late Miss Hepburn so at first I was thrilled to find Jordan Christy’s How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World: The Art of Living with Style, Class, and Grace. Because if there is one thing we can use more in this world it is style, class and grace.

Sadly, Christy’s book is less about style, class and grace and more about slut-shaming and ripping apart other women, or as Christy snidely puts it “Stupid Girls”. Throughout this book Christy cattily calls out women she deems cheap and low-class. What makes a woman cheap and low-class? Apparently a woman is cheap and low-class if she owns a bedazzled cell phone, wears a mini-skirt and dances on top of tables at nightclubs. Christy also spends time whining about her lack of popularity in high school while ripping apart a couple of her class nemeses who she’s convinced are still horrible bitches. Gee, Christy those two horrible bitches could have grown up to be perfectly nice people who live responsible, decent lives. Did you even think of that?

Well, I guess not. Christy doesn’t quite grasp on how people change over the course of their lives, and she also barely touches on how Hepburn can truly inspire us to be our best selves. Instead she name drops celebrities, and behooves the reader to invest in pricey, materialistic items. Christy just has to brag about one of her designer handbags and how everyone is jealous of it. She also intersperses this book with vapid, pointless personality quizzes that make those quizzes you find in Cosmo look like the New York State bar exam.

When Christy isn’t discussing celebrities, offering advice on fashion, or encouraging us to take her pointless quizzes, she’s telling us how to behave in the workplace or how to find and keep a man. When it comes to our jobs we should work hard, take on challenging projects and exude a professional attitude. I’m sure your mother taught you the same things. And even when discussing the workplace, Christy can’t refrain from ripping apart another “stupid girl”-her former intern whose antics sound completely made up (or Christy was too stupid to get references from her intern’s former employers or professors).

And what’s Christy’s advice on nabbing that elusive man, the ring and a trip down the aisle? Well, never call or text a guy because then he’ll think you’re a crazed stalker. Instead, let the guy ask you out a dozen times even though you’re not interested because eventually you acquiesce. Christy’s male input comes from mostly her husband, a half of dozen guys with the same mindset, and rock musician John Mayer. Yes, John Mayer; you might remember him as the guy who called actress Kerry Washington “white girl crazy” and his ex-girlfriend Jessica Simpson “sexual napalm.” Ugh.

Ultimately, this book is more about Christy’s fabulous and perfect life and less about Audrey Hepburn. Audrey Hepburn is not a brand to sell books; she was a complex human being. She barely survived World War II as a child. Her parents divorced when she was young. She was estranged from her father and had an icy relationship with her mother. She was married and divorced twice and suffered from several miscarriages.

On-screen, Hepburn was so much more than a fashionable gamine. In her most notable role, Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” she pretty much plays a call girl. In “A Nun’s Story,” Audrey plays Sister Luke, a woman who at times doubts her faith and her vocation. And in “The Children’s Hour,” Hepburn and Shirley MacClaine play headmistresses who are accused of having a lesbian relationship-pretty heady stuff for the mid-1960s.

Off-screen, Hepburn could be bawdy, admitted she sometimes cussed, smoked, and enjoyed a glass of Scotch. She was a devoted mom to her sons Sean and Luca, loved to garden, paint and cook, and spent her final years with the love of her life Robert Wolders.

And what was truly inspiring about Hepburn, was her tireless work for UNICEF to help children in third world countries obtain proper nutrition, healthcare and education. If only Christy would have spent more time discussing this aspect of Hepburn’s life rather than ripping apart women who bedazzle their cell phones or telling us what eye shadow we should wear. Hepburn’s memory deserves so much more than the vacuous, judgmental and mean-spirited musings in How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World-The Art of Living with Style, Class, and Grace.

Cleansing the Palate

Instead of reading Christy’s awful books just go to the source-Audrey Hepburn herself! Just click to find books on Audrey Hepburn. Happy reading!

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