Book · Book Review

Book Review : The Private Lives of Pippa Lee


It is just disappointing when someone turns out not to be the person you thought they were.

I got this book from a recent Book Sale last July and it got me hooked and finished reading it in one week. It’s just a thin, short book but is full of emotions and content. To start of, Pippa Lee is your perfect “fuck-up-turned-into-an-aristocrat-wife” heroine so she got some of the lost souls’ sympathy right here. She grew up in a conservative family with a Pastor father and a Dexedrine-addicted mother. Her relationship with her Mom started from a nurturing kind to a bitter, tragic one, all of these because of her Mom’s addiction. After getting caught of having an affair with a teacher, teen-age Pippa run away from home and went on to live in New York. It is in this place where she eventually meet new circle of friends that led her to the path of the dashing debonair that is Herb Lee. Although married, Herb couldn’t get enough of Pippa so they eventually got together leaving Herb’s former wife (who was an Italian heiress) committing suicide right in front of them (oops, spoiler).. Herb and Pippa went on to form their own family then and in their golden years of existence (Herb 80, Pippa 50) they found what it is that kept their relationship alive..

The book is about how a woman struggle to find meaning in her life as she looks back in her past as a daughter, a mother and a wife. Pippa realizes how her relationship with her daughter mirrors that of what she has with her Mom. One that couldn’t quite get it right; the young daughter trying so hard to please her Mom that eventually turns the former to despise the same Mother she adored in her growing up years. Among the many aspects that this book had tackled, I am most affected by the relationship between Mother and Daughter that have been depicted between Pippa’s Mom and Grandmom, Pippa and her Mom, and Pippa and Grace, her daughter. It’s this thing that I know most women could relate to as our Moms play a big role in our lives, whether we admit it or not.

This book is highly recommended to those teen-age girls that are in that stage in their lives where running away (from home) tops their priority list. I’ve been there you know, and believe me, it’s just a phase.. No matter how desperate you are, you will definitely miss home when you’ve found a way to run from it.

It’s also ideal for every middle-aged women who are constantly feeling inadequate in life. To every married couples that have been together for years and feel like love and passion is slowly slipping out of their relationship.

I’d give this a 3.5 out of 5 stars as it captures in me that raw emotion I get when Moms are brought up, when marriages are tested, when old-age is taboo-ed, when rebellion is considered a side effect of puberty. Rebecca Miller is a straightforward author that doesn’t linger too long in a subject. Once the message is delivered in a chapter, she’ll move on to another subject that made this book filled with stories yet so thin in overall packaging.

Every once in a while, I appreciate these kinds of short books (yet complete in meaning) as it is a fresh break from all those thick-paged books I often bury my nose in. If you’re looking for that “fresh break” too, you better try this book.


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