Original date of publication:
My edition: 2010 (Bloomsbury Group)
Why I decided to read: I’m trying to read all of the Bloomsbury Group reprints
How I acquired my copy: Book Depository, June 2010
Technically, half of this book is a re-read; I read and reviewed Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris in 2008, so I was thrilled when I found out that it would be reprinted along with Mrs. Harris Goes to New York. They are two stories in and of themselves, but Mrs. Harris Goes to New York is best read alongside Mrs. Harris Goes to New York.
I’ve noticed that the plots of the two stories in this book (more stories than novels, really) tend to conform to a certain formula: Mrs. Harris is a charming sixty-something-year-old woman who uses her forceful personality to charm and sometimes manipulate people and situations. Her adventures sometimes strain credulity, but I really enjoyed following her all over the world. Mrs. Harris is perhaps not very intelligent, but she’s very warm and I love that she’s able to manipulate people around her, oh-so-subtly. It’s always interesting to see how she’ll get out of her various predicaments—and you know she’ll always get out of them. A larger theme in both these novels is how does one deal with adversity, and overcome obstacles along the way?
Gallico’s novels about Mrs. Harris are very funny in many places. Considering that Paul Gallico was a sports writer, it’s amazing how much he knew about and researched high fashion. I wish that Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris had been a longer novel, though…