This was a nostalgic read for my boyfriend, he had fond memories of reading it with his mother - and there is still a lot of value in that. Unfortunately Stoddard is astonishingly out of touch and her basic message of living well through appreciation of the little things is drowned out by her excess of privilege.
Make everything a ritual she declares, set your lunch table with those lovely bowls you picked up on your last vacation in Provence. If you're having trouble organizing she recommends a lovely shop on 5th Avenue that sells file boxes covered in artisan paper. Keep an exquisitely bound journal for every thought. Indulge yourself, while in school she skipped meals so she could have a freshly cut hyacinth in a crystal bud vase on her writing table every day. She is a master of the 80s humble-brag when talking around her vast array of clients, her husband, the lawyer, and her two gifted children. Her husband Bruce, the lawyer, often comments on her many thought journals and lacquered greeting cards organized in paper covered boxes stacked amongst the ruffled skirts of her damask covered bedroom suite.
Our nightly ritual of reading her words out in lofty tones to one another between bites of stone-ground wheat crackers and aged cheese, I know of the perfect little place in Grafton, Vermont to obtain some, was just too elegant to bear.
Her message is not unique and you can find it in much better places than here.