She Struck Him as a Fixer-Upper, a Block of Clay Ready for Pygmalion’s Chisel: The Overnight Socialite

Day 18) R is for Remake: Choose a Book that is a Retelling of a Classic

theovernightsocialite

The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark

I was in the college campus bookstore because I needed to buy some scantrons and decided to look around as my friend’s birthday was coming up. She is really into being environmentally friendly, so I was looking at the recycled products when I spotted one of my favorite things: Clearance Books. You know how I feel about that.

Books not shoes

I didn’t really see anything that I was interested in or would be a good gift for my friend. As I pushed the books around I spotted this one.

theovernightsocialite

The first thing that intrigued me was the cover and how the hair is butterflies. I flipped the back over and read that it was a retelling of Pygmalion, the story most would recognize as its musical form My Fair Lady.

2-My-Fair-Lady-quotesAudreyHepburn

I thought it sounded interesting and was reduced to a good price, but I felt like I couldn’t buy it as I didn’t have the extra money for myself and was supposed to be shopping for my friend. So I left it behind.

I don't need it.

I don’t need it.

Later I began thinking about it.

Good job screenwriters.

I just couldn’t get it off my mind so I ended up looking for it in the library.

myfairlady02LibraryHenryHiggins

But they didn’t have it!

1Star-Wars-Luke-NOOO-Not-my-father

But I was able to ILL (Inter Library Loan) it and I got it from another place.

Double double yay

I then read the story and quickly loved it, finding it hard to put down.

bookhumor

Now you know how I feel about remakes and sequels:

Bad Sequels psycho-1960-alfred-hitchcock-janet-leigh-pic-21

But this was nothing like that. I thought this book was absolutely amazingly written and was incredible in retelling the story.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

Background:

So the original play Pygmalion takes place during Victorian Era England. Eliza Doolittle is a woman from the lower classes who sells flowers to survive. She comes upon an angry Professor Henry Higgins, an aristocrat, who is appalled at how her cockney butches the English language. He makes a bet with his friend Colonel Pickering that he could take Eliza, teach her how to talk eloquently, and she would be able to pass off as a wealthy woman. He never imagined that Eliza would take up his offer, but she does and Col. Pickering insists on them continuing the bet.

nicetollokatnitbadlookingokay

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

Plot Synopsis:

In this version, we are in modern day Manhattan. Wyatt Hayes IV is from an old family stock, high in the community, and biological anthropologist with his doctoral degree from Harvard. He is bored with his life and stalled career, and disgusted with the way that these modern Manhattanites conduct themselves. More like the Kardashians, taking every bit of limelight they can, rather than being the Jackie Onassis.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

He breaks up with his longtime girlfriend, Cornelia, as all she cares about is becoming a “brand” and working on her “career” as a socialite.

That guy!

He heads over to his favorite bar to hang out with his friend Trip Peters, fellow Gothamite and complains that these women today, are just like the animals he’s studied.

Or them

Or them

Meanwhile, Lucy Jo Ellis is the daughter of a manicurist in Milwaukee. She came to New York in the hopes of becoming a fashion designer; but has barely been able to scrape by on her pay as an assistant seamstress for a designer. She believes she is given her dream when she is gifted an invitation at the designer’s fashion show, but that turns out to be a call for assisting in catering and does not go well.

ouch Hermione

Fired, and with zero options and no money; it looks like Lucy is headed back to Milwaukee.

1Star-Wars-Luke-NOOO-Not-my-father

Wyatt muses on this thought of society women like the animal kingdom, and as he drinks decides it is the perfect project for him…for a book! He could take any average woman and using his knowledge of the animal kingdom and New York socialites; he could change her into the top debutante.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

A chance meeting with Lucy, as she is trying to make her way home, he bets he can turn her into the top socialite.

Let'sdothis

Lucy reacts like any normal girl would, and freaks out thinking that he is crazy or trying to pick her up. She takes off.

I'm getting out of here

I’m getting out of here

However, with no possibilities coming her way and living on her last dollar she decides to take Wyatt up on his crazy experiment. Wyatt is eager for this to work as he has his book deal, which he has not told Lucy anything about (bad idea)

meettheRobinsonsPlannotthoughtthrough

And Lucy believes that when she becomes a socialite she can use that to create bonds with the right people, finding a new designer to work with or possibly even start out on her own.

Double double yay

Will Wyatt be able to make due on his bet and turn her into a real lady?

nicetollokatnitbadlookingokay

Or will the whole plan flop?

Not good

Not good

Will Lucy be able to score her dream job?

Yes-Man-yes-man-11097494-1280-1024

Or will she become the laughingstock of the upper crust and be kicked out of New York City?

And run fast

And run fast

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

How Does It Compare?:

I thought the characters were amazingly well done and I loved how the book was able to follow the map of the original story; but at the same time infuse it with their own style and create a new-old tale.

Some changes that the author, Clark, made , I felt enhanced the story. She added a girlfriend for Wyatt’s Professor Higgen’s character, being the catalyst for his bet. She is shallow, vain, and only cares about her image; being the foil for Lucy.

DrJekyllMrHyde

We also have a girlfriend for Trip (the Col. Pickering character), being Eloise. Eloise is a personal shopper/stylist ad gets recruited to assist in dress and makeup for Lucy. The two become fast friends and we become invested in her and her distress over Trip’s lack of commitment.

NothingThatcan'tbeunfixedcommonsenseMissPettigrewLives4aDay

Clark also extends the characters of the Eynsford-Hill family; the mother, daughter Clara, and son Freddy (Max in the book). Mrs. Eynsford-Hill is a social climber; trying to overcome her family’s downfall by trying to marry her children up. Her daughter is closer to the mother while Freddy is ruled by both women in his life. In the play, they treat Eliza poorly when they see her as a peasant, Freddy later becoming one of her biggest admirers, falling in love with her. In a way they are seen as Eliza’s accomplishments; so well trained in being a lady they don’t even realize she is the same women from before.

2-My-Fair-Lady-quotesAudreyHepburn

In this book we spend a lot of time in their head and learn that Clara wishes to have wealth and fortune, but is willing to put that aside for love and true happiness. Freddy, Max in this book, isn’t interested in continuing “wall street business” but is more comfortable creating things and doing capentry. He has a lot more to him, and eventually strikes out on his own. He later becomes a love interest for Eloise, who is tired of Trip’s stalling.

moveonSarahDessen3

I thought this was a fantastic read and highly recommend it.

Iloveit love

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

escaperealityreadbooks

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

To star the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to A Quest of Swords and Wizards: The Crown Conspiracy

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more retelling classic literature, go to Midnight in Austenland

For more modern remakes, go to Is Love at the Thanksgiving Parade Really Just Pride & Prejudice?

For more on Oprah Winfrey, go to I Have A Problem

christmas-flowers-banner

Today’s Christmas carol is Silver Bells. It was written in 1950 and composed by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. At first it was called Tinkle Bells, until Livingston pointed out the other meaning of tinkle.

clueless mybad oops

There is a big conflict as to where the idea came from. Livingston was quoted saying the idea came from hearing the Salvation army bells, while Evans said it was a bell on their desk. Oh well, it doesn’t really matter as a great song came out of either source.

The song was orginally sung by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in The Lemon Drop Kid, but the first official release of the song was done Bing Crosby and Carol Richards.

christmas-flowers-banner

For more Bing Crosby, go to I’m the Happiest Girl on Prince Edward Island: Anne of Green Gables

For more Christmas Carols, go to So You’re the Little Woman Who Wrote the Book that Made this Great War: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

 

Advertisements

Considering Lily

consideringLily

9) Something That Has Inspired You

Something that has really inspired me is the book Consider Lily, by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt.

The story is of an Californian, Christian girl, Lily Traywick, who is the daughter of true fashionistas and owners of the humongous department store Traywicks. Lily didn’t inherit this fashion gene, as she hardly knows what goes together, and also is bemoaning her lack of ever being on a real date. She starts writing a blog and becomes famous as her pseudonym “Fashion Victim”;  starts a bet with one of her best friends Lily promising to get a makeover and follow everything to the letter, while her friend promises to come to three Sunday services; and sets out to try and win the man of her dreams. Of course nothing is perfect as the guy she originally likes is not her, the fame from her blog gets her a real job writing but her editor turns out to be horrible, the cute Christian boyfriend she lands ends up dumping her, and everything she has ever ranted gets spilled in the San Francisco Chronicle. What’s girl to do?

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trust in the Lord.

GodhasaPlan

And everything turns out alright.

Now I have loved this book because the main character is a lot like me. We have had trouble in not having a date either because the guy sees us as too much of a friend:

welcome_to_the_friend_zone_card-p137754528915651724z85p0_400

Doesn’t want to date us once they find out we are a Christian and plan on waiting for sex along with our other beliefs:

StarTrekBonesMcCoyPoorGirl PM

Or wants the whole marriage and tons of kids thing instantly

Run Away

We both had a love of sports, writing, and are fashion-challenged. Although she is worse than me.

We also had a similarity in dating, although her guy turned out alright in the end, while mine was a rotter. But ah that is fiction versus reality.

BoysinBooks

I loved the idea of her blogging, and  this book really inspired me to start my own blog and share me thoughts on the internet with others who would be receptive.

Gotcha!

I mean it’s not that my friends or family don’t like listening to me, but if you have been following you know that when I like something, I really like it and love to talk about it. Sometimes making it annoying for those who don’t care about it as much as me, or who really don’t care about it at all.

AmericanWerewolfinLondon

So having a blog is a great way of releasing all that, without making those close to me bored.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

This book also taught me that it is probably best to keep the topics away from friends and family, just in case they ever read it or you were exposed. I try to not talk about them, or if I do I have given them all fake names so I can deny it was them I was talking about.

princess-leia-i-dont-know-what-youre-talking-about

And it made me kind of want to be a writer too. Too bad I don’t have a friend who can fix me up with a great job like she does in the book. But once again, that’s fiction versus reality.

Reality Sucks

But I loved this book, and it inspired me to create this blog, of which I have had a lot of fun these last few years. Thank you Anne & May, as without you’re lovely character Lily, janeaustenrunsmylife.wordpress.com would not exist.

psych thank you

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to Musical Madness

For the previous post, go to GISHWHES Girl

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more on May Vanderbilt, go to Fashionably Postworthy

For more bookish posts, go to Going on a Treasure Hunt