Scarlett’s family owns, and lives in, a stately old hotel in Manhattan, but both the hotel and the family have seen better days. They barely have enough money to make ends meet, Scarlett’s brother’s last chance at an acting career is crashing, her older sister is stuck in an Austenesque relationship with Wealthy Fratboy McYacht, her younger sister is recovering from cancer, and Scarlett herself is looking forward to a long, dull summer working at the hotel while her rich friends travel the world. And then Amy Amberson, umeboshi-plum-eating, tea-drinking, kimono-wearing agent to the Broadway stars, takes up residence in the hotel and takes over Scarlett’s life.
Maureen Johnson is my go-to gal for funny, clever comfort books. The characters and situations are outlandishly hilarious, there are just enough Serious Issues to lend the book the weight of reality without lending it much weight at all, and everything more or less works out in the end. They’re like eating a grilled cheese in the park, which is exactly what I wish I were doing right now.