Loose Diamonds: And Other Things I've Lost (And Found) Along the Way

Overview

With her wonderful sense of humor, marvelously candid voice, and astonishing perception, Amy Ephron weaves together the most insightful, profound, and just plain funny stories of her life to form a tapestry of a woman’s experiences from childhood through young adulthood, marriage, divorce (and remarriage), and everything in between. Writing with great honesty and exacting prose, Ephron gives us an evocative, engaging, and often piercing look at modern life.

Throughout Loose ...

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Loose Diamonds: And Other Things I've Lost (And Found) Along the Way

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Overview

With her wonderful sense of humor, marvelously candid voice, and astonishing perception, Amy Ephron weaves together the most insightful, profound, and just plain funny stories of her life to form a tapestry of a woman’s experiences from childhood through young adulthood, marriage, divorce (and remarriage), and everything in between. Writing with great honesty and exacting prose, Ephron gives us an evocative, engaging, and often piercing look at modern life.

Throughout Loose Diamonds, Amy Ephron celebrates unforgettable memories and friendships, and the things that make life livable (such as her Filofax, which she would be lost without), all with a quick wit and a delicate eye.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Novelist Ephron (and sister of Nora, Delia, and Hallie) has some colorful and memorable decades under her belt, which she gives a glimpse of in this essay collection. As a child, she befriends neighbor and famed architect Stiles Oliver Clements, who was the largest collector of tropical birds on the continent. He builds a habitat at home that Ephron visits during one magical summer. She briefly alludes to her mother's mental illness, but it goes unexplored beyond a mention of a teenage Ephron seeing her posh and polished mother duck into a seedy bar one day. In 1971, during the Manson trial, as an aspiring writer of 19, she interviews "Squeaky" Fromme, a Manson follower, at the "Family" ranch. When she goes into labor with her first child, she has the surreal pleasure of sharing her room with Elizabeth Taylor's daughter-in-law, with Taylor and her dog in tow. There's the considerably less glamorous, showbiz part of her L.A. life. Her second marriage produced a postmodern, blended family with multiple children from each spouse's first marriage. The book's tone is entertainingly breezy, but lacks depth. The seeming randomness and paucity of material makes the slim volume feel like a dry run for a longer work. (Sept.)
Booklist
“Readers will enjoy her poignant accessibility. This is a great women’s interest title, appealing to lovers of Ephron’s historical fiction and to fans of humorous essays alike.”
Shelf Awareness
“A frothy, lighthearted, often witty collection of essays about marriage, motherhood and the power of a good piece of jewelry.”
The Daily Beast
“In Loose Diamonds, Ephron offers a deeply honest and compelling look at the events that made her the woman she is today.”
Jewish Journal of Los Angeles
“The tales are variously charming, funny, poignant, and even hair-raising, as when [Ephron] finds herself spending an afternoon with Manson family alumna Squeaky Fromme.”
BookLoons Reviews
“Well-written, empathetic, and a joy.”
BookRoom Reviews
“Actively intelligent and utterly descriptive, Amy Ephron always makes you feel as if you’re right there with her feeling what she’s feeling and seeing what she’s seeing… Loose Diamonds is a sincerely-written book…that you shouldn’t miss.”
Morgan Murrell
“Must read ... goes back to her Los Angeles childhood and goes through her marriage, divorce, and remarriage.”
Claire Howorth
“A little gem... she is an expert at introspection as entertainment...the collection masters brevity and range.”
Julia Gazdag
“A fun and engaging read... the pages turn themselves...Not only do the essays stand up on their own, the overarching themes unravel
Annie Bostrom
“Readers will enjoy her poignant accessibility... this is a great women’s-interest title, appealing to lovers of Ephron’s historical fiction and to fans of humorous essays alike.”
Laura Shultz
“All of these fascinating experiences and relationships described in Loose Diamonds add to the richness of this loosely woven set of essays. Ms. Ephron’s thoughts on marriage, divorce as well as her ‘Tips for Women getting a Divorce’ are written with wit and panache.”
Kirkus Reviews

Sex and the Citymeets Erma Bombeck in this gossamer gathering of recollections from novelist Ephron (One Sunday Morning, 2005, etc.).

True to its title, the book flaunts the glimmers of memory that the author haphazardly crafts into vignettes detailing her bohemian-chic adventures in Los Angeles and New York—with an emphasis on the chic. Starting off as a wild child in the 1970s, she recounts swilling champagne with glamorous friends, buying couture from Saks Fifth Avenue and interviewing Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme at the Spahn Ranch. Ephron's most entertaining anecdotes date from this era, as she name-drops celebrity friends and shines a light on the inner workings of theNational Lampoonduring its heady countercultural years. Less sparkling are her attempts to frame her contemporary life with her second husband and five children as a Beverly Hills version ofCheaperby the Dozen. Readers may find it difficult to conjure much empathy for a woman who disparages Elizabeth Taylor's gigantic diamond ring as extravagant, but laments the theft of her own baubles fashioned by the likes of Tiffany, Cartier and Elsa Peretti. This theft, one of several that hit the Los Angeles area, understandably shook up the author, and the event functions as a sort of connecting thread for the collection. However, even when commenting on the serial burglar's habit of creating a different persona for each house, she fails to delve further. Accounts of the hostile mothers at her son's private school similarly fail to engage. While Ephron has enough of a sense of humor to keep these pieces from completely lacking in self-awareness, her writing too often skims the surface, even for comic musings. Likewise, the more somber essays addressing her mother's depression and Ephron's own experience with date rape are meandering and unfocused.

These bagatelles offer glittering diversion but little of lasting worth.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061958786
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 298,497
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Amy Ephron

Amy Ephron is the bestselling author of the acclaimed novels One Sunday Morning and A Cup of Tea. Her magazine pieces and essays have appeared in Vogue; Saveur; House Beautiful; the National Lampoon; the Los Angeles Times; the Huffington Post; Defamer; her own online magazine, One for the Table; and various other print and online publications. She recently directed a short film, Chloe@3AM, which was featured at the American Cinematheque’s Focus on Female Directors Short Film Showcase in January 2011. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alan Rader, and any of their five children who happen to drop in.

Biography

Amy Ephron was born in Beverly Hills, CA to parents Henry and Phoebe Ephron, both East Coast born and raised screenwriters. She is the sister of Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron and Hallie Ephron. Amy Ephron is the author of several novels. Her national bestseller, A Cup of Tea, spent 37 weeks on the LA Times bestsellers list and has been bought by film producer Jerry Bruckheimer. A Cup of Tea won Ephron the 2005 Southern California Booksellers Association award for fiction, received the Booklist Best Fiction of the Year 2005 award and was a Barnes and Noble Book Club selection.

Ephron is a frequent contributor to Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, ELLE, LA Times, Saveur, National Lampoon, The Realist, LA Weekly, LA Style, and The Huffington Post.

As a film executive she worked on A Little Princess, Born on the Fourth of July and Out of Africa. She also runs her own food website called One for the Table, which publishes articles and recipes about food, love, and politics.

Amy has been married twice, first to film producer Sasha Harari, with whom she has three children, Anna, Maia and Ethan, and currently to lawyer Alan Rader.

Good To Know

Some fun and fascinating anecdotes from our interview with Ephron:

"My first job was in the P.R. Department at the New York City Parks Department. I was 16. I was the complaint lady. That summer there was a caterpillar infestation. I received 120 complaints a day from irate mothers about the caterpillars in the parks and playgrounds. They were fairly harmless and there wasn't anything to do about them (except spray, which someone sensibly decided wasn't a good idea). Once, they let me name an animal that had been born in the Central Park Zoo, a baby doe. I named it Sparkle."

"If I have a hobby at all, it's gardening, although I'm better at directing someone where to plant something than doing it myself. I do get out there and prune and cut. I love to go to nurseries and have a bad habit of buying plants online. Our garden's a funny mixture of English garden, roses and lavender, and cacti and California indigenous plants. And, always, recovering from one disaster or another as we have a lot of deer (and no fences) and gophers -- and I don't believe in insecticide."

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    1. Hometown:
      Los Angeles, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 21, 1952
    2. Place of Birth:
      Beverly Hills, California

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    These eighteen short memoirs are entertaining well written fluffs that are fun to read.

    These eighteen short memoirs are entertaining well written fluffs that are fun to read. The first entry title story "Loose Diamonds" starts when the author is eight living next door to The Secret Garden and closes with the recovery of stolen loot. She was a child drawing on the sidewalk when Marion asked her to meet her ailing employer who the child thought was Mr. Samuel Clemens in the "Birdman". Amy Ephron was tossed out of the exclusive Isabelle Buckley School for violating the dress code with her new red "Expensive Shoes"; there she met her first attraction Lenny Footlick. In 1971, teenage Ms. Ephron discusses "My Afternoon with Squeaky Fromme at the "Manson" Family ranch. The author spent "Labor Day" sharing a hospital room with one of Elizabeth Taylor's daughter-in-law as both give birth while criticizing the actress' gaudy diamonds. Although the compilation is shallow with none of the entries containing profundity, fans of the author will enjoy her look back at her life in Los Angeles and New York.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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