With all the blogging and online diaries, it's hard not to be jaded about yet another person who I've never heard of talking about herself. So it was with gentle cynicism that I opened Susan Jane Gilman's memoir, Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress.
Despite the influences of a new-age, artistic mother, Gilman manages not to take herself too seriously. In an easygoing style Gilman describes some normal, some not so normal coming of age experiences growing up in a tough Upper West Side neighborhood. Hypocrite amuses even when events are less than remarkable, thanks to Gilman's ever-present wise-cracking and wry commentary.
Like everyone else, Susan is desperate to find meaning in her life and her work. Things turn serious with her first post-graduate job as a journalist for The Jewish Week when she is assigned to cover a large group of teenagers touring concentration camps in Poland. Later when divorce shatters her family, her sense of humor helps to reconcile her parents' separate lives. But it is not until she tries on a pouffy white wedding gown, antagonist to her feminist sensibilities, does she reach an epiphany that she is a beautiful, unstoppable, spectacular woman.
P.S. Check out more reviews for Hypocrite at Amazon.