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Breakfast with Tiffany: An Uncle's Memoir
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Breakfast with Tiffany: An Uncle's Memoir

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  525 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Edwin Wintle was a successful, urbane professional whose life, at forty, was very comfortable. He had reached the point when he looked around at his well-ordered, unfettered existence and wondered, "Is this all there is?" After a desperate call from his sister at her wit's end, his street-wise thirteen-year-old niece Tiffany--a writhing ball of adolescent anger -- comes to ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 14th 2006 by Miramax Books (first published June 15th 2005)
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3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  525 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Sep 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I wrote the damned thing. I'd better love it!
Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Beginning with a very clever word play title - author Ed Wintle takes us along an amazing nine-month memoir whereby he agrees to foster-parent his thirteen year old ‘problem-chile, too-intelligent-for-her-own-good’ niece before his sister ends up doing-in either her daughter or herself. Let me say right away that I take my hat off to Mr Wintle for his brave and, dare-I-say foolhardy, venture. I'm admit I’ve never been a parent, and after getting through to the end of this book - I'm quite certai ...more
Book reads quite well, but had the feel of a fiction piece to me as I went through it; not that he was making up details, but that they're so precise at times it was tough to accept such exact recall (though he mentions near the end he was taking notes, of a sort).
There were a couple of points at which I nearly gave up on the book, between Wintle's shallowness and his refusal to deal with Tiffany's manipulative behavior. And then, he'd come through with an honest (often somewhat painful) revelat
Jodi P
Apr 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-reads
This was an "eh" book. Even though it was a memoir, the story felt unauthentic. I felt that there were a lot of loose ends regarding Tiffany. Also, the entire time I was reading it, I felt like the author just wanted us to marvel over what an exceptional, generous human being he was for taking in his troubled niece. I had a difficult time sympathizing with anyone in this story.

Very happy that I did not buy this one at B&N.
Sep 09, 2009 rated it did not like it
1 1/2 stars. The story of a gay man in NYC taking in his troubled 13-year-old niece is obviously far from my own experience. That would have been OK. I was even prepared to read things that would try my patience with the girl's behavior, but I hadn't been prepared to so dislike the uncle. At it's core, this is a parenting book, and it does reflect that journey. However, the writer seems too pleased with himself throughout, and the end is unsatisfyingly abrupt.
Nov 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs
I found this book to be very funny and heartwarming although I will admit I didn't like the parts that alluded to the authors sex life but I adored the way he spoke of his niece even during her bad moments,his love for her was so apparent. I laughed out loud genuinely many times and thought Tiffany was exactly what her uncle believed she was and that is a brilliant,spunky,talented young woman who just needed to be believed in. I'm happy I read this book.
Feb 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
I accidentally bought this book when I meant to buy "Breakfast at Sally's." I mistook it because they're both memoirs and both have the word "breakfast" in the title. It was a good mistake to make...I loved this book. Not because it was so incredibly well written, because it wasn't. But the story was beautiful and completely poignant for me.
Sep 24, 2007 rated it it was ok
Occasionally amusing memoir about an uncle raising his rebellious niece in NYC.
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of my favorites. That has me angry, confused, laughing, and crying all in the same book.
M. Ezra
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this, but the beginning is bit slow. Besides that, I think it's very well written and very well illustrates the life of a new father/guardian. The characters are extremely addictive, I wish I knew about this book sooner.
Eleanor Luhar
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My teacher gave me a small stack of books to read upon hearing how much I love reading, and claimed that this was her all-time favourite. Honestly, the title is what really appealed to me - clearly, it wasn't anything to do with Breakfast at Tiffany's, but I appreciated the reference.

This novel, this memoir, is a truthful, brutally honest book about life. I can't say I know what it's like to be in the author's place - I'm not a man, I'm not gay, I am not the guardian of my niece and I don't even
Liu Zhen
Jul 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 11th
Title: Breakfast with Tiffany: An Uncle’s Memoir
Author: Edwin John Wintle
Pages: 352
Publisher: 140135999X (ISBN13: 9781401359997)

Breakfast with Tiffany: An Uncle’s Memoir is a story about a gay forty-year old uncle becomes the guardian of his niece, a thirteen year old girl named Tiffany. The story started out very interesting with the rebellious experiences of Tiffany from Connecticut. As soon as the story unfolds, I found the tone of the novel dull and drowning. I gave up reading before half w
What happens when a forty-something gay man living in New York takes in his troubled fourteen-year-old niece for a year (or four)? We find out in Breakfast With Tiffany. Edwin enjoys his New York lifestyle as a single gay man working a stressful job as a film agent. But the relationship between his sister and niece is deteriorating fast and Tiffany is getting into more trouble than her mother can handle. Edwin steps in and offers to move Tiffany to NY to live with him and try to get her back on ...more
Throughout this book I rooted for Tiffany and her uncle to make things work, to save Tiffany from falling in with juvenile delinquents, to give her hope for her future, and at the same time I was a little disappointed in the memoirist. He's more self-centered than I could sympathize with, even after learning what he'd been through in his own life from adolescence onwards. At times he was just as much a teenager as his niece, and that was his downfall in his conflicts with her. I suspect he at le ...more
May 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
Ed is middle-aged single gay man living in New York. His life is pretty cool - nice NY apartment, good job in the movie business - and then he offers to take in his troubled 13-year-old niece, Tiffany. This book chronicles one year of Ed and Tiffany living together. It's based on a true story, although Ed admits that some parts are fictionalized. Perhaps one such part is the fact that his 13-year-old niece is a freshman in high school. I'm not sure how the East Coast school system works, but whe ...more
Read for the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge - a book you've been meaning to read

I put this book on the first page of my actual, hard-copy "to be read" journal in 2005, when the book was first published, so it is kind of the ultimate "been meaning to read it" book for me. And me in 2005 would have loved it, I think, but me in 2015 very much didn't. It was (unexpectedly) about the Need to Make Art, a genre I once loved but now try to avoid because I find it largely insufferable. I also found
Jul 17, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2006booklist
Wintle, a 40-year-old, gay, obsessive-compulsive New Yorker, takes in his 13-year-old niece, Tiffany. Tiffany is being *saved* from her life in Connecticut, where she fought with her recovering alcoholic mother, associated with delinquents and feared her mother's violent boyfriend. Wintle portrays Tiffany as a complex teenager. She drinks, smokes and dabbles in drugs yet sings beautifully, writes poetry and excels in school when she tries. Throughout all the events in Tiffany’s life, Wintle stru ...more
Niki Haworth
Jul 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, more than I thought I would, actually. The mixed reviews had me leery, but my trepidation was unwarranted. The age difference between the author and his niece is approximately the same as between me and my (twin) nieces, and I found myself able to relate to much of what he wrote: the mercurial nature of the teenage female temperament, the desire to maintain status as the "cool" uncle balanced with the desire to establish boundaries and the struggle to keep a young per ...more
Oct 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-non-fiction
Someone recommended this book to me as the best memoir she had ever read. Suffice to say, it can be difficult to take book recommendations from people you only marginally know...
I have trouble with a book if I don't like the main character, and the author/uncle here is too promiscuous, reinforces too many negative gay stereotypes, and is too full of himself for the job he did "saving" his niece, for me to have many positive feelings toward him. The parenting struggles are certainly real, and kep
Lisa Fischbach
Sep 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is a great memoir about an uncle and his niece. Edwin Wintle is single, childless and gay living a stylish life in NYC when his recovering alcoholic sister turns to him for help with her troubled 13 year old daughter. Uncle Eddy moves Tiffany to NYC and enrolls her in school. While they have always gotten along quite well on their numerous overnight and weekend visits, he is unprepared for the reality of parenting a 13 year old. Heartwrenching, honest, humourous and smart this one will like ...more
Jan 12, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: tried-to-read
I told myself I would read to page 50 before I stopped if I still didn't like it, but when I started skimming and skipping pages around page 35, I figured I'd just give up.

I know it's a memoir and not a novel, but I just couldn't muster a care for the teenager and the writing was stilted. Kind of like that. I think teenagers who are going through the usual parental angst might enjoy the book, at least to live vicariously through the teenage girl who gets to go live in NYC with her gay uncle.
May 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kaitlynn by: Mom, Uncle Kenny
This is such a great memoir! It was recommended to me by my mom and my uncle Kenny. After reading it, I realized that, while I am not rebellious and out-of-control like "Tiffany," this book pretty much sums up my relationship with my Uncle Kenny, which is one reason I think I loved it so much. Uncle Edwin is my uncle in so many ways, especially in the relationship he keeps with his niece. Read it, especially if you are extremely close to your uncle (and even more especially if that uncle is gay) ...more
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is probably the 4th or 5th time I've read this book. I can't remember why I bought it, or when I got it, but I've always really enjoyed it, and I can't even tell you why exactly. Maybe, being a well behaved A student, having grown up in a middle class suburb, I find it intoxicating to live through Tiffany's not so normal upbringing? Maybe I just love a good gay uncle? Maybe I love seeing Tiffany succeed with the assistance of Uncle Eddy's love? Who knows? But for whatever reason, I find mys ...more
Sep 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Maybe he's not a great writer; but he surely is a great uncle. He's a 40 year old gay man (a self-confessed "drama queen") who takes in his 13 year old neice. She is having some issues with her mother, her sister, school, discipline, drugs, unsavory friends, etc. He is trying to steer her in the right direction and decides to bring her to New York City where she will live with him and go to school. I can't resist a good book about New York City.
Aug 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I have no idea why I decided upon this book. It is not a genre I typically read, but I think I read a review and thought it sounded interesting. Anyway, brilliantly written. Funny, touching, sad, and honest. This memoir is about as good as it gets. The relationship between the uncle and rebellious teen niece is close and strained at the same time. Read it for an eye-opening experience, but also to find out that your relationships with your family aren't dysfunctional, but normal!
Jun 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: gay men, single parents, manhattanites, and their friends
Shelves: memoir
A forty-year-old, gay Manhattanite suddenly becomes the guardian of his troubled 13-year-old niece. It's a very sweet memoir with funny moments and sad moments. As cheesy as it sounds, it reminded me of a group dynamic catch phrase I learned at RA training: forming, storming, norming and performing. You truly see Uncle Eddy and Tiffany go through these stages in the book. Go ahead and read it.
Patricia Herlevi
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I couldn't put this memoir down because I found the story intriguing and bittersweet. The synopsis of a gay uncle taking in his troubled teenage niece grabbed my attention. At first, I thought I'd be reading a novel, but felt delighted when I noticed I was reading a memoir--true story with real people.

I don't think I will forget Uncle Eddy and Tiffany anytime soon. They grew on me like friends.
Evie Rabeck
Feb 10, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to Evie by: Ruth Cannava
It sounds like a sitcom: "troublemaking teenage girl from the sticks moves in with gay uncle in the city." It's a true story and both uncle and niece learn about each other and themselves -- without the story ever degenerating into cliches or sappiness. An honest, amusing, and sometimes poignant memoir. Recommended by Ruth, who has always read something worthwhile for her bookclub!
Aug 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
What a wonderful read. An uncle has his niece move to New York to live with him and get away from a difficult home situation. As they both learn about each other they learn about themselves and mutual respect develops. It made me laugh and even get teary at times. I'd love the chance to meet them both.
Jul 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved it. Made reference to a lot of iconic pop-cultural and newsworthy events of this decade, which I think made it all the more relatable. It was very cool the relationship that Uncle Eddie was able to establish with his niece, which helped him to examine himself a little closer and so be more honest with himself.
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