AN IMAGINARY FRIEND
Jane Margaux is a lonely little girl. Her mother, a powerful Broadway producer, makes time for her only once a week, for their Sunday trip to admire jewelry at Tiffany's. Jane has only one friend: a handsome, comforting, funny man named Michael. He's perfect. But only she can see him. Michael can't stay forever, though. On Jane's ninth birthday he leaves, promising her that she'll soon forget him.
AN UNEXPECTED LOVE
Years later, in her thirties, Jane is just as alone as she was as a child. And despite her own success as a playwright, she is even more trapped by her overbearing mother. Then she meets someone–a handsome, comforting, funny man. He's perfect. His name is Michael...
AND AN UNFORGETTABLE TWIST
This is a heartrending story that surpasses all expectations of why these people have been brought together. With the breathtaking momentum and gripping emotional twists that have made James Patterson a bestselling author all over the world, SUNDAYS AT TIFFANY'S takes an altogether fresh look at the timeless and transforming power of love.
Part One | Once Upon a Time in New York
I WILL NEVER FORGET that day, in the same way that someone who survived the Titanic can't just put it out of her pretty little head. People always remember the worst day of their lives. It becomes part of them forever. So I remember my ninth birthday with piercing clarity.
That day after school, Michael and I got ready. Then we went to the theater and sat in our VIP seats for the opening of The Problem with Kansas. I hadn't seen Vivienne all day, so she hadn't had a chance to wish me a happy birthday yet. But Michael had met me at school with flowers. I remember how grown-up that made me feel. Those apricot roses were the most beautiful things I'd ever seen.
I hardly remember the play, but I know that the audience laughed and cried and gasped in all the right places. Michael and I held hands, and I had a fluttering excitement inside my chest. Everything good was about to happen: It was my turn. A birthday party, hopefully a puppy, Michael was with me, my mother would be happy about the play. Everything seemed wonderful, everything seemed possible.
At the curtain call, Vivienne walked onstage with the cast. She pretended to be shy and shocked that everyone liked her new show so much. She bowed, and the audience stood and clapped. I stood up too, and clapped the hardest, and I loved her so much I could hardly bear it. Someday she would love me back just as much, I was sure of it.
Then it was time for my birthday party at our apartment. Finally!
The first people to arrive were the dancers from my mother's play. I could have predicted that. Dancers don't make that much money, and they were probably starving after dancing so much. In the front hallway with the black-and-white marble floor, a group of them were taking off their coats, revealing stick-figure bodies. Even at nine years old, I knew I'd never look like that.
"You must be Vivienne's daughter," one of them said. "Jill, right?"
"Jane," I said, but smiled to show I wasn't a total brat.
"I didn't know Vivienne had a kid," one of the other stick figures said. "Hello, Jane. You're cute as a button."
A flock of gazelles, they moved into the huge living room, leaving me to wonder if I'd ever seen a button that qualified as cute.
"Holy Stephen Sondheim!" one dancer said. "I knew Vivienne was rich, but this place is bigger than the Broadhurst Theatre."
By the time I turned around again, it seemed as though there were a hundred people in the room. I searched for Michael and finally saw him standing near the piano player.
The room was as noisy as a theater during intermission. You could barely hear the piano over the chatter. Near the door to the library I saw that Vivienne had arrived, and she was talking to a tall, silver-haired man wearing a tuxedo jacket and blue jeans. I'd seen him at a couple of rehearsals for Kansas and knew he was some kind of writer. They were standing very close to each other, and I got a sinking feeling that he was auditioning for the role of Vivienne's fourth husband. Ugh.
A little old lady who played the grandmother in The Problem with Kansas hooked me with the handle of her cane.
"You look like a nice girl," she said.
"Thank you. I try to be," I told her. "Can I help you with something?"
"I was wondering if you could go to that wet bar over there and get me a Jack Daniel's and water," she said.
"Sure. Straight up or on the rocks?"
"My goodness. You are a sophisticated one. Could you possibly be a midget?"
I laughed and glanced at Michael. He was whispering something to the piano player. What was he up to?
As I began to walk toward one of the bars, I heard a loud voice. "May I have your attention, please?" It was the piano player, and the crowd quieted down immediately.
"I've been told . . . and I'm not sure by whom . . . that this is a very special day for someone. . . . She's nine years old today . . . Vivienne's daughter."
Vivienne's daughter. That's who I was.
I smiled, feeling happy and self-conscious at the same time. Everyone's eyes turned toward me. The leading man from the show picked me up and stood me on a chair, and suddenly I was taller than everyone in the room. I looked for my mother, hoping she was smiling proudly, but I didn't see her anywhere. The writer was gone too. Then music began, and everyone sang "Happy Birthday." There's nothing like having a professional Broadway chorus sing you "Happy Birthday." I think it was the most beautiful "Happy Birthday" I've ever heard. A shiver went right through me, and it probably would have been the happiest moment of my life if my mother had been there to share it with me.
When it was over, the very nice actor put me down, everyone applauded, and the party went back to being an opening night party. The birthday part was over.
Then I heard a familiar voice call my name. "Jane! I think I know this big, beautiful girl." I whirled to see my father, Kenneth. He seemed awfully tall and straight for someone who was supposed to be "spineless."
"Daddy!" I shouted, and ran into his arms.
Copyright © 2008 by James Patterson
Ellen Archer is an award-winning narrator, actress, and singer. She has performed extensively on the New York stage and in regional theaters across the country in addition to frequent appearances as a soloist with chamber orchestras. Ellen has narrated a number of bestselling audiobooks. She is also a 2007Audie Award winner.
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Alyssa Milano, who also serves as producer, stars as Jane Claremont, who, as a young girl, would accompany her mother Vivian (Stockard Channing) to Tiffany’s in New York every Sunday and bring along her imaginary friend, Michael. Now, 20 years later, Jane is a successful businesswoman, set to marry Hugh (Ivan Sergei), her handsome fiancé, until Michael (Eric Winter) suddenly reappears, all grown up, to warn Jane about the path her life is on. Initially shocked and in disbelief, Jane slowly realizes that not only has Michael returned to her when she needs him most, but he may also be her one true love.