Suite Scarlett

Suite Scarlett  - Maureen Johnson I wasn't as pulled into this book as I was with 13 Little Blue Envelopes, nor does it have an easy "sell line" like the other does. Scarlett lives in an aging art deco hotel with her family. The hotel has been struggling for ages and her parents have been laying off staff to the point that each child, on their fifteenth birthday, is awarded the dubious distinction of being put in charge of one of the suites -- apparently to be at the beck and call of its guest(s). Scarlett's suite soon houses Mrs. Amberson, an aging actress who is quick to make use of Scarlett as an assistant. I kept trying to picture Mrs. Amberson as an aged Sally Bowles, but in truth, she didn't every really get off the page. In an effort to save her unemployed-actor brother from a culinary-school scholarship, Scarlett gets pulled into an avant-garde production of Hamlet, and the presence of Eric, a hometown Southern boy attending NYU on the proceeds of a TV commercial. While a fun read, Suite Scarlett didn't have near the scope of 13 Little Blue Envelopes. Perhaps it was all the descriptions of the heavy heat of a Manhattan summer -- kept the lid on the action, so to speak.