This book is about a woman named Sarah. She is as elusive as she is interesting. Her life is interesting and evocative but much of it consists of lies and the reader, as well as the author, is never sure what is truth and what is fiction. Some of her fantasies are so convoluted that it is difficult to even make sense of them. At one point, Hellman hired private detectives to check up on Sarah’s stories.
I love the easy way that Hellman talks about her partner, Dashiell Hammett. The scenes of Hammett out cold with the pianist serenading Lillian and Sarah with Berlin and Gershwin bring back a smile to me.