Julie Klam’s memoir reads like witty diary entries strung together from events in her life. From visiting her grandpa in Florida with her brother to her parents’ Lower East Side beginnings, their move to Riverdale, White Plains, and finally the homestead in Bedford, she gives us a thin backdrop of her cultural setting. She feels her mother an accomplice in her academic failures, yet her analogy of jump rope in elementary school describing “the real good jump roper who would walk up to the spinning rope sort of rocking back and forth with their hands up to get the rhythm and then jump in; whereas I stood there and did the readying but the rope was still waiting for me when the sun set,” best describes her own progression after moving to New York City and her successive stints at David Letterman, her father’s insurance company, and Pop Up Video. It is only after her marriage to Paul, her difficult pregnancy with Violet, and her ensuing dire financial difficulties that she stoops to selling her family’s jewels and then figures out who she really is and what she’s made of. She blames her lack of self-actualization on her stereotypical “princess” upbringing, especially her mother’s sheltering presence. Yet one thing is certain; with this memoir Julie Klam has finally jumped in the game with her very own self deprecating wit and description.
Karen J. Hauser received a B.A. in art history from Stanford. She has worked at various museums and at Sotheby’s and currently does communal volunteer work.