I've seen the film (which is excellent, if you ask me) quite many times so I wasn't exactly blown by the book. But I loved it anyway.
***The instant she saw the letter she squinted her eyes and bent her lips in a tough tiny smile that advanced her age immeasurably. "Darling," she instructed me, "would you reach in the drawer there and give me my purse. A girl doesn't read this sort of thing without her lipstick."