Kimm's Reviews > The Secret Papers of Madame Olivetti

The Secret Papers of Madame Olivetti by Annie Vanderbilt
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's review
Dec 05, 2009

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Read in December, 2009

I took The Secret Papers of Madame Olivetti with me as a vacation read. I was looking for a light read to help pass the time of a very long car ride. Wow, I really should have read the book description a little closer before choosing it as my companion for the journey! The brightly colored cover looked fun and whimsical…not so much the story. It was sad and a little depressing. Definitely, not a let’s party like it’s 1999, kinda book.

I felt for Lily, the centerpiece of the book. We see her life from the beginning all the way through middle age. Joy and grief. Reflection and despair. They all play a part in her life and shape her as she goes along. She makes some not so smart choices, enough to where you feel like hitting her upside the head; however, if you try not to judge her, you begin to understand what drives her decisions.

This book made me very sad and a little “book depressed.” Another time, another place and it may have been the perfect book for the occasion, but as I was in the midst of trying to have fun on my vacation…all it did was drag me down. Still, I hung in there to finish it and am glad that I did, because I always want to give the writer my all in appreciation for their hard work. It is certainly worth a go if you are interested, just be forewarned that there’s no frivolity in sight!
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