Written by Karen Von Hahn
Being left with a strand of even the highest quality milky-white pearls isn’t quite the same thing as pearls of wisdom to live by, as Karen von Hahn reveals in her memoir about her stylish and captivating mother, Susan — a mercurial, grandiose, Guerlain-and-vodka-soaked narcissist whose search for glamour and fulfillment through the acquisition and collection of beautiful things ultimately proved destructive. A tale of growing up in 1970s Toronto in the fabulousness of a bourgeois Jew-ish family that valued panache over pragmatism and loafers worn without socks over substance, von Hahn’s recollections alternate between satire and sadness, ultimately questioning the value of the things we hold dear — and, after her complicated, yet impossible-to-forget mother is gone — what exactly remains.
Karen Von Hahn
KAREN VON HAHN is a columnist with the Toronto Star and the editor of KingWest magazine. For more than twenty-five years she has reported on trends in life and style for publications such as the Globe & Mail, More, Fashion, House & Home, en Route, and Toronto Life. She was also the host and producer of a television series called The Goods for the Slice network. Her first book was Karen von Hahn’s Hip Guide: Toronto.