Book Review: Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson

It seems like forever since I last posted on this blog. I wouldn’t excuse myself, though, from being absent in my own home. By the end of April or early March I’m going to write a post about what really happened in the past two months just to wrap up the story of my student life.

In the mean time, I’m enjoying my initial summer vacation inside house, avoiding the heat outside and reading James Patterson books that I got from a relative who decided to dump her collection in a garbage bin. Of course I came to rescue them.

The first book of Patterson’s I read was Sundays at Tiffany’s. I just finished reading Sail a few hours ago and I’m kind of starting to make up my mind to leave his books alone in the corner and not bother myself to read them for the rest of my life. I’ll tell you why probably in the next book review post.

Sundays at Tiffany’s is a story about an eight-year-old girl named Jane Margaux who is deeply loved by her mother… not. Vivienne, Jane’s mom, is a producer in a major theater company in Broadway and has very little time for her daughter except every Sundays when she takes Jane out at St. Regis for a dessert before heading to Tiffany’s and gaze at the set of jewelries as a ritual. At St. Regis, Jane happily eats her coffee ice cream topped with a hot fudge sauce and plays with her imaginary—and perfectly invisible—friend, Michael. Michael is in his thirties, good-looking, smart, charming, sweet, kind, and everything Jane’s mother is not. However, Michael has to go on Jane’s ninth birthday, leaving the poor girl more alone than ever. He promises that Jane won’t be able to remember him when she woke up the next day—which did not happen at all, as little Jane remembered every bit of their friendship.

Flash forward to 23 years after, Jane is still the same alone girl, but with a work as a playwright in her mom’s production company and has produced a very successful play titled “Thank Heaven”. Now, she has a perfectly—scumbag—handsome stage actor boyfriend named Hugh. Not Jackman, not Grant. Jane and Michael’s paths have crossed, without them knowing the reason why. Spending days together brought the friendship and memories back and it was the key to finally make their way in each other’s heart.

ADVISORY: EXPECT SPOILER AHEAD

I sort of enjoyed this baby. A light romantic and quite unreal, fast paced read. Michael has been officially added to my “book boyfriends” list. Except that  his age does no longer suit the brand. Probably fits the “book husbands” list better, with how mature— manly—his attitude was. Men might want to take notes from him.

I think Patterson and Charbonnet could have lengthen the story a bit. I don’t know, this is me coming from Stephen King’s veeery lengthy Under the Dome—this might have affected my wanting a lengthy and finely detailed plot. Chapters consist of only two pages each—like I’m reading between hiccups. Though I enjoyed how fast approaching the plot was and how it was easy to read considering its theme and very conversational words, I would have liked to see other characters’ development—Hugh, Owen and Patty. Especially Hugh and Owen. They seemed pretty important to Jane and Michael’s self-discovery. Not to mention how surprised I was in the sudden, rather abrupt, turn of attitude—from an unforgiving and hand of steel woman to a loving and vulnerable mother—of Vivienne when she was dying, I was left with “where did that come from?!“. Although I understand the tight view of how it was written switching from second person (Michael) to first person (Jane) perspective, I think these supporting characters deserve a little brighter spotlight than what they had been given with.

Or could it be the reason why these characters weren’t given enough development was because Patterson and Charbonnet intended that they weren’t really suppose to progress? LOL, just a wild guess.

Two things I have questions about, though: 1. In the end, did Michael magically start aging like how Adeline (Age of Adeline) realized that she started growing gray hair? And; 2. The story wasn’t entirely set in Central Park during winter. Why does the book cover suggest a crisp, chritmas-y ambiance? That does the contrast. As if whoever made the cover did not think about it carefully. Or wasn’t aware of the story at all.

image

And one last thing I find a little mind boggling: I know I gushed about how perfect of a leading man Michael was but he confessed that “for years, I prayed that I would see you again… as a grown-up. I prayed for this to happen, Jane” (say whut?!) and remarked “this will be good. Has to be. It’s all been leading here, to this moment” when they were about to make love, and “I love you so much, Jane. I always have, and I always will” when they are making love. I don’t know about you but I see a very little hint of pedophile right there. If he loved her this much—this way—always have, doesn’t that fall him under the creepy category when Jane was still a child? Somehow at some point when I was reading, and really trying to read, I did find their relationship sooooo weird. But anyway…

From Jane and Michael’s reunion, to the scenes from their trip to Nantucket, both characters  were put in situations where they cannot find answers to their own questions, which weren’t really answered at all. So it seemed to me that the authors have decided to put its readers in the same position as Jane and Michael’s—leading me to a slightly confusing inner turmoil I’d witnessed from the two, and kind of digging its own plot holes as I find inconsistency with how Jane and Michael’s character and story developed. At some point all of them were like all over the place, heading to infinity and beyond. I am reminded that there’s a fine line between cliffhangers and simply not knowing where the story is headed.

My reasoning is this: I did not find enough motivation as to how the characters thought and acted apposite to each other. What I’m saying is that reading and understanding a literary work are like acting in theater—or TV and movie, for that matter. As an actor I’ve got to have reasons and motivations to each of my spoken lines, even in which way I’m going across the stage. Why did I say that? Why did I do that instead of doing this? Why? From where my character is coming, that should be loud and clear for me as an actor, as much as it is for my audience (otherwise, I fail as an actor). That wasn’t the case with Sundays at Tiffany’s. Seems to me that even Patterson, and the other author, did not completely know who exactly and what kind of characters they were writing. Everything’s on the surface—to each of their own two-dimensional picture. Therefore whenever Jane and Michael act and speak their minds, even how the story progresses, I end up frowning for I was lost in their real purpose.

Speaking subjectively, I enjoyed a romantic story that Sundays at Tiffany’s offered—regardless of how odd, and super fictional, it may seem. But in a literary sense I’m going to have to give it two (2) stars for its plot holes and lack of, simply, literary sense. I recommend this book to anyone bored in their house who doesn’t mind being interrupted and reading a book with not much of a depth.

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Author: Danica Aquino

Tied the knot with performing arts since fourth grade; is an amateur writer (currently on her quest to writing her first novel); book and animal lover; always entranced by nature.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson”

  1. Hi,
    I know Andrew.
    This was a great review. I am a huge Stephen King fan.
    I know Danny Ray. I met you on his site. Congratulations on being his featured blogger. I was his featured blogger too. Maybe you can check out my site if you need a blogging tip or two. That’s what I write about.
    Janice

    Like

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