The Book Cook

What Would Audrey Eat?

There are a good many reasons to want to be Audrey, or at least emulate her. She was gorgeous, had impeccable style, was an amazing actress and a talented dancer. She was the Gwyneth of her time. Although Gwyneth has a divorce or two to get to catch up with Audrey. I guess not everything about her life is to be coveted.

Before reading What Would Audrey Do? Timeless Lessons for Living With Grace and Style by Pamela Keogh, I had totally practical reasons I wanted to be Audrey. Namely, I wanted to eat a Danish in a LBD in front of Tiffany’s at sunrise. Seems to me like the perfect life. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you haven’t seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s and you are dead to me. Not really dead, I guess. But you ain’t living.


The format of this book is simple. Every chapter covers a different lifestyle topic and is full of the author’s Audrey-based suggestions on how to make things fabulous and anecdotes from Audrey’s life. Then comes the “Would Audrey…” segment that surmises what Audrey would do in various hypothetical situations, based on her life. It is rather repetitive. You could choose to read either section of the chapter and get the same information. All the same, if you are an Audrey-phile you would enjoy this book.

Keogh does manage to cover a lot of life territory. She writes on how to handle love, home decorating, entertaining, fashion, fitness, travel, being famous…normal stuff. A good deal of the advice is essentially to accept your fabulousness and just keep on being fabulous!! You know, if life gets you down why not surprise everyone by just jetting to Paris for art lessons! And go ahead, don’t hold back! Have a fling with that handsome millionaire! I wish I had read this sooner. If I had a nickel for every handsome millionaire I’ve turned down in favor of staying in Los Angeles and moping…

Some of Keogh’s advice is more practical. For instance, did you know that you don’t have to own amazing vases to display flowers in your home? You can use your Limoges sugar and creamers! And to think, all this time I’ve been shoving my 400 dollar sugar bowl in the junk drawer right next to my under-used diamonds.

Oh, and you will learn to iron. Provided your freezer has room for blouses.

As for food, I didn’t know what to expect. Keogh talks about how very slim Audrey was, and how she had an insane metabolism because growing up she and her family had been starving in Holland during WWII and somehow that messed up Audrey’s body. According to a lot of folks Keogh cites, Audrey could take down the food. Keogh also breezes over the fact that Audrey was pretty keen on the cigarettes and occasionally embarked on a a cigarettes/salad/beef tartar/no exercise diet. But that was when she wasn’t dancing in 21 shows a week, as she did before fame struck.

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  • Gabrielle Felts

    I am a huge Audrey Hepburn fan, but I think I will avoid buying the book after reading this disparaging review. I will, however, try that pasta recipe!

    • Ellen Clifford

      I hope you do! Audrey had great taste in pasta, it turns out;)

  • Susan Nickason

    It is insulting to Audrey to compare her to

    • Katie Baker

      My thought exactly!

      • Ellen Clifford

        I think I have to apologize to everyone who read this and took me seriously! They are worlds apart and I was being sarcastic but I don’t think it came across in my writing. Perhaps if there was audio of me reading my writing it would have been more clear, haha…

    • Ellen Clifford

      Well, I was trying to make a joke but based on the Facebook backlash I’m realizing that my sarcasm doesn’t always translate well in print! Oops.

  • Haley J Rigsby

    Penne alla vodka is my favorite! I think it’s pretty darn cool that Audrey and I have the same favorite pasta dish.

    • Ellen Clifford

      Nice! I had never actually had it until I was writing this, but it is staying in my repertoire of things I make-good stuff!

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