23 May 2011

Review: The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

Have you watched the film "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee"? Otherwise please please please don't watch it until you have read the book "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee" by Rebecca Miller" because as so it is so often the case, the book is much better than the film. Which is intriguing in this case because the film actually follows the book to the letter but somehow the film doesn't have the same soul as the book even though the visuals are great and it is somehow very pretty. But the emotions and the pain of the book has not translated well into film - at least I don't think so.

Pippa Lee is the perfect wife. She has devoted her life, her entire being to the role as best supporting act in the life of her much older husband Herb. She cooks, she decorates, she looks stunning at the age of 50 and she has raised two successful children. But now that Herb has turned 80, they have moved to Marigold Village, a last stop for the elderly and retired where Pippa is among the youngest. And maybe that is why she is so restless and why she finds herself thinking about her past lives. Not in a reincarnation sense but in the sense that Pippa is a woman who has led many different lives in her lifetime. Pastor's daughter and adored child, bohemian artist-groupie in New York and the other woman... She carries with her a sense of guilt for her past and it seems to fill the present.
This book is beautiful. The language is simple, in no way cluttered or dramatic but it captures everything so well. I liked the movie but I fell in love with the book. It made me think a lot about growing up and growing older and about the choices we make in life.
A stunning tale about living life to the fullest or paying the prize of wasting a precious gift.

Read it if: You are tired of the cliches and lack of food for thought in chick lit.


  1. I've not heard of the book or the film, but it does sound interesting. I'm always paranoid that I'm wasting my life and wondering what I will think when I look back on my choices years later.

  2. I haven't heard of both, but I love the sound of it. While I believe love can find people not matter the age, it might be strange to see a 30 year age gap very late in the marriage...I mean, she's in an old age home...it must be very difficult for her. Okay, now I'm intrigued.

  3. Great to hear that you like the sound of the book, it is a really interesting topic.