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Kitchen Privileges: A Memoir

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,042 ratings  ·  297 reviews
In her long-awaited memoir, Mary Higgins Clark, America's beloved and bestselling Queen of Suspense, recounts the early experiences that shaped her as a person and influenced her as a writer.Even as a young girl, growing up in the Bronx, Mary Higgins Clark knew she wanted to be a writer. The gift of storytelling was a part of her Irish ancestry, so it followed naturally th ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published November 19th 2002 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2002)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  2,042 ratings  ·  297 reviews

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Diane Wallace
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Honest,funny,modest and a recollection of her past life:ups & downs....(paperback!) ...more
Jeanette (Again)
I actually liked this better than her novels. It was interesting to see the background she has. I especially liked the part about her early life. As I recall, it got less interesting later on.

I copied one cool passage about deja vu from the book:

"I felt as though I'd come 'home.' I had the most extraordinary sensation of being in a place I knew intimately. I don't believe in reincarnation, but I do wonder sometimes if it isn't possible that we inherit memory. If we can look exactly like someone
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mary Higgins Clark's autobiography is as engrossing as one of her popular suspense novels! As a little girl living in the Bronx when there were still fields and meadows, she would probably not have believed that she would someday be worth $140 millions dollars! She has worked hard to get to where she is today, being left a widow with five children after only 14 years of marriage, she rose every day at 5 to write before getting her children ready for school and catching her carpool for work at 8 ...more
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-books
I have not actually read any of Clark’s book but I always love a good nonfiction about a strong woman! She had many hard things happen to her but she found the will to fight for herself and her family. Quick listen, read by the author!
Rehan Abd Jamil
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Beautifully written, i simply love it!
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I remember in several of my English classes discussing whether the author's personal life and story should be considered in examining their body of work. Many critics say it should have no consideration, while others say yes it should. Perhaps it is due to my fascination with people, but I always find it interesting how an author's personal life shaped their work. I have to confess I have only read one of Mary Higgins Clark's fictional works. After reading this memoir, I want to read her body of ...more
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Kitchen Privileges: A Memoir is a brilliant, short read. The audio version read by Mary Higgins Clark was entertaining, informative and realistic. Her drive, her enthusiasm and love of her family were evident in her memoir. The reader can both cry and laugh, as Mary Higgins Clark relates her many moments of pain and job. I certainly could relate when she talked about her wallpaper experience.
Omar Abu samra
May 27, 2020 rated it liked it
A beautiful memoir

- Mrs. Clark, your stories are light, slight, and trite

- You’re the best writer in the world, and the reason these people aren’t publishing you is because they’re do busy publishing their friends
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this memoir. Mary Higgins Clark certainly overcame a lot to be the accomplished author she is today. It was great reading about her life while she was poor; what a contrast to the photos in the back of the book where she's sooooo overdone and high-maintenance looking. I got a chuckle out of that. Especially since the book ends at the point when she starts earning money. Makes sense, though. I wouldn't have wanted to read about diamonds and second homes as much as I enjoyed readi ...more
Bam cooks the books ;-)
#2015-Reading-Challenge--Week 21: A book your mother loved.

My mother always enjoyed Mary Higgins Clark's mysteries and was thrilled to read this memoir of her life because they were more or less contemporaries and had had similar life experiences. She urged me to read it too but I wasn't too interested at the time, to tell you the truth. I am reading it now in her memory.

Final verdict: 2.5 stars rounded up.
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I haven't thought about deja vu as being an inherited trait, I always thought of it as remembering something that you have already experienced yourself, but this really got me thinking.

"I felt as though I'd come 'home.' I had the most extraordinary sensation of being in a place I knew intimately. I don't believe in reincarnation, but I do wonder sometimes if it isn't possible that we inherit memory. If we can look exactly like someone who lived hundreds of years ago, if we inherit that person's
Katrine Solvaag
Mar 07, 2018 rated it liked it
A Christmas gift from my father a few years back. I’m almost ashamed I haven’t managed to read it until now, seeing as him giving me this book was his silent acknowledgement and support for the fact that I wanted to be a writer.

I always find reading about another women’s life experiences interesting, especially as Clark lived in an entirely different country and time from myself, and the stories are rendered flawlessly by Else Frogner who translated the autobiography into Norwegian (the edition
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Mary Higgins Clark is one of those novelists who churns out 1-2 books every yer and continues to do so even though she is now 90.

This is a memoir of her life growing up in the Bronx, her school days and how she became a writer. It's a pleasant tale, but there is nothing here that's very dramatic, and it almost seems like after making tons of money for her publisher, they let her do this book as a vanity project.
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I could not sleep one night and picked this book up from a stack and started reading it. To me the first section, about her early life, was the most interesting. She does offer tips to would-be writers and I was impressed with her modesty. She has had, believe it or not, a very tragic life but has worked so hard to support her 5 children.
Mar 04, 2020 rated it liked it
When my book club picked Mary Higgins Clark for our April author I wasnt sure where to start. I haven't read any of her many published books. I saw this one and thought it would be a good place to start. I listened to this and Mary was the reader. It was delightful. Lots of stories of her early life, school, marriage, children, living as a widow and the beginnings of her writing career. 3.5.
Linda Spyhalski
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2019
Not sure why I picked up this book. I am not a big mystery reader but have always heard about her books. Her life is amazing and the book was interesting and an easy read. Glad I picked it up!
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it
A quick read about one of my favorite authors.
Michele Bonnell
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely book for any author to read. Grit, tenacity, and humor are all reflected in this inspirational book. Thank you Mary Higgins Clark for writing your memoir!
Sally Lindsay-briggs
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this short book in a day or so. It was excellent. I have read most of her books but very little about Mary and her life. It was poignant, illuminating and even funny in places. It was very interesting that her early short stories were submitted to many magazines but she received so many rejections it was unbelievable. She persevered! She also wrote despite having a job and five children. If you pick up this novel, you will be pleasantly surprised and pleased you read it. Despite many deat ...more
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I would like to thank my friend, Jennifer Das, for recommending this memoir to me! Mary Higgins Clark not only writes great suspense novels, but a highly entertaining memoir as well. Starting from humble beginnings and rising to the famous novelist she became, I enjoyed reading how her life and writing career progressed. You'll laugh, you'll cry...give this book a try.
Janie  R.
A very interesting and informative book about Mary Higgins Clark. I admire the way she dealt with tragedy and sorrow in her life. After her husband died at an early age, she raised on her own a wonderful family. I loved her positive attitude in all she did, she is a great inspiration of a person! I really enjoyed reading this book, and highly recommend it!
Elaine Cougler
Aug 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Kitchen Privileges by Mary Higgins Clark reads like a diary in some ways--the writing does not equal her suspense novels. But it's okay. Her wonderful personality and cheery disposition make this an intimate sharing rather than an arms length telling. Interesting to see the person behind the books.
Feb 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Mary Higgins Clark autobiographical story of her childhood/life and what made her the writer she is.
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mary Higgins Clark's career has spanned many decades. In this memoir, which concentrates on the days before her name was a worldwide sensation, the author shares the foundation of her life and her work. Mary Higgins was born to hard-working parents living in The Bronx before The Great Depression. She had two brothers, and later a husband and five children; a common thread throughout her life is that family was paramount. Warren Clark, her would-be husband, was someone she'd known from afar for y ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pleasant memoir about the famed/mystery suspense author. Short and easy read, often humorous, good for Higgins Clark fans and aspiring writers. Following your dreams, faith, and strong connections to family and friends have been the cornerstones of Higgins Clark's successful life.

The book concentrates on the early part of her life--more or less up to the point where she becomes a successful author. Although this book lacks the drama of your typical screwed-up childhood memoir, Higgins Clark suf
Jan 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: given-to-gloria
I was surprised for a fiction writer that her biography would be such a snooze fest! Parts were so boring I skipped over them and the other parts were her raving about how great she is. I know you have to have an ego to even pen a biography but I feel she must suffer from convenient memory cuz she sure was awesome in every thing she did. The sad parts of her life, like her husband dying, were just glanced over so she could talk about how great her family and kids are. Really didn't help me to li ...more
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audio version of this book and thoroughly enjoyed the Author’s voice and way she spoke. She sounded so classy and elegant and spoke in a tone that was just pleasing to my ears. Not all good Author’s have a good speaking/ story telling voice, and MHC does indeed.

Her memoirs were so interesting to me and really kept my attention that I listened to the book quite quickly. I know nothing of this Author, and have never read anything by her, and found this book suggestion because of
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The author, Heather B. Moore (Condemn Me Not), mentioned that the book Kitchen Privileges by Mary Higgins Clark was a book that most influenced her writing. Clark decided that she could find the time to freelance write if she wrote uninterrupted from 5-6:45am. She was a widow raising 5 children and working a full time job. Moore was inspired by this and was a fan of Clark's mystery/suspense stories. Though this genre of writing is not a favorite of mine (I have never read a Mary Higgins Clark bo ...more
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are a few things I really love and hold my interest , my Busia who was born in 1923, Depression era stories, and old New York. This book contained all three,or at least close to it. Mary Higgins Clark was born in 1929 while my Busia was born in 1923 and while my Busia decided to remain a widow after my DziaDzia passed, Mary Higgins Clark did for almost the remainder of her life as well. I found this to be an excellent read. Truth be told I listen to my books and I couldn't wait to get back ...more
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: biographical
In high school, Mary Higgins Clark was my favorite author. I read her books faithfully until I found I always figured out "who done it" well before the end of the book. I was excited to find this book at the library book sale. This is the interesting story of her life from birth until her writing career took off. It was sad, funny and inspiring. Ms. Clark is a hard-worker and a person of faith. I admire her tenacity and her appreciation for life.
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2015 Reading Chal...: Kitchen Privileges: A Memoir by Mary Higgins Clark 2 10 May 26, 2015 09:22AM  

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The #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark has written thirty-eight suspense novels, four collections of short stories, a his­torical novel, a memoir, and two children’s books. With bestselling author Alafair Burke she wrote the Under Suspicion series. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five more suspense novels.

Clark’s books have sold more than 100 milli

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