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Authors: Kristina Riggle

Tags: #General Fiction

Vivian In Red

BOOK: Vivian In Red
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Real Life & Liars

Hope Out Loud

The Life You’ve Imagined

Things We Didn’t Say

Keepsake

The Whole Golden World

Famed Broadway producer Milo Short may be eighty-eight but that doesn’t stop him from going to the office every day. So when he steps out of his Upper West Side brownstone on one exceptionally hot morning, he’s not expecting to see the impossible: a woman from his life sixty years ago, cherry red lips, bright red hat, winking at him on a New York sidewalk, looking just as beautiful as she did back in 1934.

 

The sight causes him to suffer a stroke. And when he comes to, the renowned lyricist discovers he has lost the ability to communicate. Milo believes he must unravel his complicated history with Vivian Adair in order to win back his words. But he needs help—in the form of his granddaughter Eleanor— failed journalist and family misfit. Tapped to write her grandfather’s definitive biography, Eleanor must dig into Milo’s colorful past to discover the real story behind Milo’s greatest song
Love Me, I Guess
, and the mysterious woman who inspired an amazing life.

 

A sweeping love story, family mystery and historical drama set eighty years apart,
Vivian in Red
will swell your heart like a favorite song while illuminating Broadway like you’ve never seen before.

 

 

 

 

For Bruce

It had to be you

S
he called me a vine; said I twisted into all her spaces, wrapped around all her branches. I remember she was missing one round-toe shoe, which made her stand at an odd, broken angle. Her hat was twisted into a ball of felt in her hand. She’d torn the hat from her head, turning her neat curls into a spray of hair something like a halo.

She said that to me, then she was gone out of my life, and for half a century I’d forgotten her, same as I’d forgotten the name of my Hebrew school rabbi and the minute details of what my father had really looked like.

Until yesterday, my God.

My son Paul had asked me to come in to the office to discuss business. Always business with Paul, holding down the fort at Milo Short Productions. So far, we’re holding our own, even with the falling chandeliers and rotating stages and all that mishegoss, not to mention Mickey Mouse storming Broadway now with his productions of movie cartoons that mainly existed in the first place to plug cheap plastic toys. I mean, some of those songs are all right, but everyone’s already heard them. Say “Tale as old as time” to anyone and see if they don’t start singing along like Angela Lansbury as a teapot of all things. I prefer Mrs. Lovett and the worst pies in London, if it’s all the same to you. Now Sondheim. That’s writing for you.

If my granddaughter Naomi gets her way, we’ll be making
Star Wars: The Musical.

Anyhow, I was up early, and Esme knocked and said, “Good morning, Mr. Short, it’s a hot one out there already,” and began to make up the bed as I was fixing my tie in the mirror. My son David was forever telling me that I don’t need to wear a suit to the office anymore, that a shirt with an open collar is fine, and these awful tan pants he liked to wear. “You’ll overheat wearing all that,” he would tell me and I’d laugh, because you want heat? Try banging out tunes on a warped old piano in a tiny box of a room with an aging vaudeville act dripping sweat on you with nothing but a clacking metal fan stirring maybe three hairs on your head. Nowadays the buildings feel like the North Pole and it’s the contrast that’s a shock to the system, if you ask me.

Thinking of David made me start to feel my age properly. Eighty-eight years old I am, and David himself was fifty-seven, rest his soul, but there’s no age at which losing a child doesn’t knock you to the floor.

BOOK: Vivian In Red
3.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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