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Book Review: There Will Be Lobster by Sara Arnell

Tuesday, August 17, 2021


Happy Tuesday, My Lovelies!  Today I'm reviewing a memoir, Sara Arnell's There Will Be Lobster.

About Sara Arnell

While working alongside acclaimed fashion icon Andre Leon Talley at Vanity Fair magazine in her mid-20’s, Sara was offered an opportunity to write a press release for fashion designer, Donna Karan, who was about to launch one of her acclaimed collections. This moment marked the beginning of Sara’s impressive thirty-year career in fashion, writing and advertising.

Sara worked as Chief Strategy Officer at one of New York’s most renowned and successful advertising agencies, eventually rising to CEO. Under her long tenure, she broke new ground, winning awards and global recognition for her agency and its clients. She traveled the world, working with some of the best known and most beloved consumer brands such as Pepsi, Samsung, McDonalds and Goop.

Today, Sara is a Professor at The New School’s Parsons School of Design and continues to consult with the world’s top brands on marketing strategy and brand design. She regularly advises start-ups and entrepreneurs and has served on several boards for educational institutions. She is a sought after speaker and founder of Karmic, a platform for ‘what-you-do-comes-back-to-you’ ideas and advice. Sara has a BA from Skidmore College and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She is the mother of three children and one small poodle.

According to Goodreads:

You know her. You’ve seen her. You may even see yourself in her.

If you’re arriving to the midlife crisis party—the one that’s serving low self-esteem, desperation, unreliable behavior, forgetfulness, carelessness, and the loneliness of loss—the stories and anecdotes in this memoir will assure you that you are not alone. 

For Sara Arnell, it took a rogue lobster, a dying rock star, an eighteen-pound tumor, a meditation guru, a famous medium, and a former monk to put her on a path toward light, hope, and healing. If reading this book helps even one person, according to Sara, then telling this story is all worth it.

“Sara Arnell is the only writer I know who can make self-deprecation and wisdom look like the same thing. There Will Be Lobster is a darkly funny memoir with a big heart, and it’s the exact comeback story we all need right now.” —David Hollander, author of Anthropica and L.I.E.

“This book is a deeply personal story that’s not afraid to show you the crazy moments that we all have, but often don’t admit to. Read this memoir if you want to learn how honesty, vulnerability, and sheer perseverance can help you step into your light and illuminate a new path—one that is happy, healthy, and full of hope.” —AndrĂ© Leon Talley, author of New York Times bestseller The Chiffon Trenches and former Vogue editor-at-large

My Review:

Sara Arnell is a good writer, and it's a shame she didn't turn to writing when she first started spiraling out of control when she lost her business.  She clearly placed her self-worth on her career and not so much on her role as a mom.  The way she describes her manipulation of her adult children is so sad.  It's even sadder that she pushed all her friends away and didn't have a "touchstone" friend to tell her to grow the heck up.  

She was a bit silly trying to find meaning via mediums, crystals, and tarot cards.  Her mistakes kept compounding from shooting two bottles of red wine at the same time (she did that to impress her son and his college friends and called it "the walrus") to asking her daughter to send her a powerpoint rather than having a face to face conversation about her decline.  I could go on about her self-pity and self-deprecation, but I won't.  I have to give her credit for her honesty, and she was self-aware enough to know that she was making terrible mistakes.

The true tragedy of Sara Arnell is she strayed from the faith she was reared on from childhood.  Her extended family was amazing according to how she describes them, and she was truly blessed to have had them and their loving support.  With such outstanding people influencing her during her formative years, how did she stray from her faith?  Did she lose her faith due to her liberal arts education?  (Being considered "cool" seemed to be important to her.)

I enjoy memoirs because it's enlightening to read about other people's lives and experiences.  It was hard for me to relate to Sara because our parenting styles are so different, and we have a very different worldview.  She repetitively made the same mistakes over and over, she whined a lot, and she really didn't share anything about how she came out of her (mostly) self-imposed funk.  However, I'm pulling for her, I really am: I'd like to know that Sara is okay physically, mentally, and spiritually.  I love her writing style, and maybe she can write a more uplifting sequel about all the good she's doing now.  One can always hope for the best!

Disclosure:  I'd like to thank TLC Book Tours for asking me to be a part of this tour.  They sent me an autographed edition of There Will Be Lobster in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. I enjoy memoirs and starting out in fashion and PR in NYC probably around the same time as she was working there, I think it'd be an interesting read. However, I think you and I are very similar in many ways/ views and so I'll probably come away with the same opinion.

  2. Thank you for the review. I think I will come away with the same opinion as well.

  3. I enjoy memoirs too and this one looks and sounds very interesting. I'm not sure I'd race to add it to my pile but a good free read!

  4. hmmm, sounds interesting but she does come across as very self involved which really shuts down my interest...I do so appreciate your honest and candid reviews!

  5. This definitely sounds like one I need to read this one, it sounds like it's up my alley. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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