Thursday, July 4, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Chocolates for Breakfast by Pamela Moore

Author: Pamela Moore
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Date of publication:  First published in 1957, re-released in June, 2013

Considered America’s answer to the French sensation BONJOUR TRISTESSE (also published by Harper Perennial), CHOCOLATES FOR BREAKFAST follows Courtney Farrell, a classic disaffected, sexually precocious fifteen year old. Courtney splits her time between Manhattan, where her father works in publishing, and Los Angeles, where her mother is an aging actress. This wild coming-of-age story, scandalous in its day, is also the story of Courtney’s close and ultimately tragic friendship with her boarding school roommate Janet Parker.

I went into this book knowing nothing about it other then it was being re-released and would be perfect for Throwback Thursday.  I found out that it was written by the author when she was 18 and was really the only successful book that she had published   Tragically, she committed suicide when she was 26. In addition to the story, the re-release contains extra content at the back of the book.  I found the section about the author very interesting as well as about the book.  If read anything, you should read those parts.

As for the story,  it is supposed to be a coming of age story set in the late 1950s which is when the book was written.  Instead, I found the book to be a pretty depressing commentary on what happens to a child when she is sorely neglected by her self absorbed parents   I felt bad for Courtney. She is severely depressed and needs help.  She is allowed free reign and finds herself having affairs with men much older then her.  I guess in a way this book could be considered relevant for today.  It's a pretty fast read, but I'm not sure it will be everyone's cup of tea.

About the author:

Pamela Moore, who went on to publish four other novels, committed suicide in 1964 when she was twenty-six. Her son, Kevin Kanarek, is in charge of the estate. Eager to see this book come back into print, he sought advice from his former French and Latin student, the writer Emma Straub, who put him in touch with her agent Jenni Ferrari-Adler, who was immediately captivated by the novel, as was the Harper Perennial team.

1964 TIME Obituary: Fledgling novelist who hit the bestseller lists at 18 with Chocolates for Breakfast, describing a girl's first bittersweet taste of adult pleasures and problems, but had less success with a second novel, and tound her inkwell dry part way through her third, about a washed-up writer who puts a rifle to her head; by her own hand (.22-cal. rifle); in Manhattan. 

1 comment:

trish said...

Funny how some things in life never change through the ages, like how children don't really thrive when given free reign.

Thanks for being on the tour!