Through No Fault of My Own

A Girl's Diary of Life on Summit Avenue in the Jazz Age

By Coco Irvine; Peg Meier (Introduction by)
(Univ Of Minnesota Press, Paperback, 9780816673063, 104pp.)

Publication Date: April 2011

Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.



A young teenage girl’s escapades as part of St. Paul’s social elite in the 1920s.

About the Author

A lumber baron’s daughter, Coco Irvine Moles (1914–1975) grew up on St. Paul's prestigious Summit Avenue. She and her sister Olivia Irvine Dodge donated their family home to the state of Minnesota in 1965, and since 1966 it has served as the governor's residence. Peg Meier was a reporter at the Star Tribune for thirty-five years. She is the author of many popular books, including Wishing for a Snow Day, Bring Warm Clothes, and Too Hot, Went to Lake.

Praise For Through No Fault of My Own

"The glimpses of Coco's privileged life in the Roaring 20s are intriguing and humorous, but what makes this account so appealing is the clear evocation of what it is to be 13—impatient to be grown up yet still childlike in many ways. Coco's innocence will make today's readers smile. Her newfound interest in boys, especially one she calls "He," who might or might not like her, will resonate with middle-school girls. Peg Meier's introduction explains the story's provenance and provides some context; her conclusion summarizes the rest of Coco's life. Give this actual diary to readers who have enjoyed books in the Dear America series." —Kirkus Reviews

"This charming little reproduction of the year she recorded will resonate with contemporary teens and readers who remember the Irvine sisters." —St. Paul Pioneer Press

"An unrepentant attention-seeker, Coco gets into frequent trouble at home and at school, but her exuberance, defiance, and sweetness will win over readers from her first entry. This effervescent journal demonstrates Irvine’s early, intense enthusiasm for writing and independent thought, as well as her unmistakable talent. Photos of Coco and an afterword about her (fairly tragic) adult life round out an otherwise blithe glimpse into the past." —Publishers Weekly

"The diary is concise and consistently charming, often unintentionally so, and definitely worth a read. If Coco hadn’t really existed, nobody would believe someone this exuberant and madcap could be real. Readers who like strong characters with an unforgettable voice and a unique view on life will find Coco’s Jazz age adventures deeply satisfying." —Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune

Indie Bookstore Finder

Indie Bestsellers

Confessions of a Self-Help Writer
Benjamin Dehaven
Lagniappe Publishing
Jeff VanderMeer
FSG Originals
The Martian
Andy Weir
Kent Haruf

Make Your Own Wishlist

More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.

For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand β€˜on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events.

Update Profile