Through No Fault of My Own
A Girl's Diary of Life on Summit Avenue in the Jazz Age
Publication Date: April 2011
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A young teenage girl’s escapades as part of St. Paul’s social elite in the 1920s.
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.
"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