Please Excuse My Daughter
This is one of the worst books I have read so far in my life. Its author, Julie Klam, is a definitive “poor little rich girl.” After a strange childhood spent shopping and sunbathing in New York with her wealthy relatives, our protagonist was left with few life skills and low test scores. Her mother often pulled her out of school just to shop at upscale department stores; hence, the origin of the book’s title, Please Excuse My Daughter. Klam’s life of princess privilege is so baffling, she decided to write a memoir about it (for some reason).
This is a sloppily-written collection of bourgeois remarks, self-pity, and bad judgment. Prepare to cringe at offensive comments (mostly sexist and fat-phobic), bad decisions (she loaned thousands of dollars to a deadbeat boyfriend), and exhausting celebrity name-dropping (David Letterman, Barbara Streisand, Rod Stewart). I kept wishing that she’d stop mentioning cashmere sweaters and “buttery highlights” all the time.
I tried to be fair while reading this book. I wanted to regard Klam with feminist alliance. I read diligently to see what wisdom she had to offer us. I used to love the TV show Pop-Up Video, which she worked for. I was morbidly fascinated by the details of her rich family’s extravagance. What could I learn from someone whose upbringing was the total financial opposite of mine? Not much, apparently.
Though Klam does an excellent job of persuading readers to raise their daughters to be capable and responsible, instead of pretty princesses, this book provides little else (besides lukewarm, “chick-lit” humor and tales from an alien world of great wealth and social status). Keep in mind that I felt tenderly sad for Klam when life slammed her with obstacles that would have stirred even the most weather-worn person. I can only imagine how difficult it was to deal with the cold reality of life after being incredibly spoiled. I’d hug her, if only she didn’t annoy me so much!