The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy

When people ask me how autobiographical the book is I say, all the impulsive things my heroine does, I did.  All the sensible things she did, I made up.  Elaine Dundy

Ever get the urge to leave town, the country perhaps, and just Live in another place and meet eccentric people, stay up all night, eat what you want, and have adventures? Sally Jay Gorce has always felt that way. She wanted Freedom. After twice running away in her early teens, once to be a bullfighter, the other to be a singer in a jazz band, her wealthy and understanding Uncle Roger made a deal with her. Finish school, including college, and he would pay Sally Jay a monthly allowance to go and do whatever she wanted for two years.

And then, Paris! First thing on Sally Jay’s list was to have her first affair, and who better with than Teddy, a man with a wife and a mistress.  That didn’t go so well. Then she decided to fall in love with Larry, an old American friend from school. He wasn’t very interested but at least gave her a couple parts in the plays he was directing. Sally Jay wants to be an actress almost as much as she wants her freedom.  Then she meets Jim who first wants to paint her nude (good) then tries to marry her (bad).

Sally Jay runs from one romance and one misadventure to the next.  But there is no time to ponder it when she finds herself in real trouble from a person never imagined.

Published in 1958, The Dud Avocado is a lighthearted, cheerful comedy.  Dundy gets inside Sally Jay’s head where there is a wonderful mix of bubbly vivaciousness, curiosity, optimism, and hope.  It has a nice happy ending, perfect for any Sally Jay.

This book is a departure from my recent heavy reads and I really enjoyed this time-out.