Through No Fault of My Own is brilliant. Every word in this book made me exited and had me wanting to go out and cause trouble. Through No Fault of My Own: A Girl’s Diary of Life on Summit Avenue in the Jazz Age tells of life for a 13 year old girl, Coco Irvine, in 1927. She gets into SO MUCH TROUBLE, though most of it is “through no fault of [her] own.” Through her diary, we are able to attend dancing classes, sail on the lake, and go through the daily drama of being a teenager in the roaring twenties! A lot of her entries revolve around a Him that she likes and thinks like her back, but it isn’t for certain as she is keeping record of their encounters in her diary to better determine his feelings. Goodness, so much happens in such a small amount of time.
“A very sinister thing has turned up in my family. It appears my mother is gambling on the stock market. She has been taking her winnings from Mah Jongg and also some of her own personal funds and buying something by the name of Kennecott Copper.” (pg 23)
The book’s intro lets us know that Coco had her diary typed up and bound before she died. Peg Meier later found a copy in Minnesota Historical Society archives and had it printed for us to read, and I am so glad she did! I discovered this book on a family trip to Minnesota. I went into a local book store, Common Good Books, and asked if they had any books by local authors and this was highly recommended to me. I was a bit hesitant since it was so small and wasn’t really what I felt like reading at the time, but this was a wonderful purchase.
“There is much I find wrong with my life. Like I am not given any credit for being an exceptionally intelligent person for my age — or even Mother’s, for that matter. I know, for instance, what I am perfectly capable of doing that she has no idea of.” (pg 27)
Coco’s voice is so innocent and you can’t help but fall in love with it and believe, on some level, that none of the trouble she caused was actually her fault. I mean, if her parents had just let her wear heels, none of that would have ever happened 😉 The full year of diary entries makes me wish I could go back in time and go to dancing class with her or even play with her paper dolls. Since my male doll would have been up to the task of marrying her girl doll, even though she did get pregnant before marriage, I think we would have made great friends.
“In the worst trouble I’ve ever been in, still through no fault of my own. I can not understand it.” (pg. 9)