Chocolates for Breakfast – Pamela Moore

coming of age


Image: Title page art by Carter Kegelman. Designed by Michael Correy. Amazon


To the next person who reads this book:

In this coming-of-age story, Courtney sets out to experience all she can as she becomes a ”woman” – but seems haunted by a certain “ugliness” in all that she does.

We follow Courtney through love affairs, family drama and cocktail parties as she splits her time between her parents homes in New York and Los Angelos.

This novel is written with a certain charm – a charm which lives in the descriptions of its  intriguing characters and settings. Particularly memorable in this respect are our introductions to the boarding school where Courtney lives, and her best friend, Janet.

But at the end of this book – I felt deeply affected by the ‘about the author’ section, which reveals the parallels between protagonist Courtney Farrell and author Pamela Moore.

As well as Chocolates for Breakfast Moore wrote four other novels – though none were as successful as her first. The “ugliness” Courtney speaks of in the novel seems to have been something that also haunted Pamela Moore, who, unlike Courtney, didn’t survive the ugliness.

Read the book – then read about Pamela Moore. It’s influence when it was published in 1956 was far reaching – so it shouldn’t be forgotten now. This is a story that, like Emma Straub puts it in the foreword:-

is the very best kind of story – a tale of imagined sophistication, of New York City apartments, of Hollywood has-beens, of family tragedy, of beatnik intellectuals, of private school crushes, and of time traversed through fiction.

It deserves to be read.