Bettina’s Take: Book Party for ‘George & Hilly’

It takes guts to go to couples therapy, publish the whole emotional roller coaster in the Observer, and then put it all together in a book. It takes brains to do it with humor. It takes heart to finally propose to your fiancee at your book party, in front of dozens of your friends, family and fans.

George Gurley has guts, brains and heart. He enjoyed every minute of the book party at Doubles for George & Hilly: The Anatomy of a Relationship. After humorous speeches given by Jim Windolf and Peter Stevenson, Gurley gave a speech of his own, then got down on his knees and proposed to his long time love, Hilary "Hilly" Heard—they've been together for ten years.

"It felt humiliating— I can't deal with crowds, audiences—but so sweet and touching," said Heard, with her characteristic sense of humor, a quality shared by Gurley. "I love George so much. The most wonderful thing was seeing George up there, especially after hearing his editors introduce him and talk about it, and feeling so proud that he got an ounce of the recognition he deserves. That was the winning moment for me."

Gurley was clearly happy, no small feat for someone who has never experienced being happy, as he explained to us in his speech.

"I'm getting nostalgia for the present, I want to relive it!" he told FashionEtc. "Stay together, stick with it, go to couples therapy. Get it out early, all that stuff, and stick together, like the Bryan Ferry song."

The crowd was a mix of literary and media types, plus friends and family, including Gurley's mother Katherine Bryan, Vicky Ward, Celine Rattray, Molly Jong-Fast, Amy Fine Collins, Euan Rellie, Christopher Mason, Ivana Lowell, and Veronica Bulgari.

Guests went on to Pop Burger and the Electric Room and celebrated well into the night. When's the wedding, you ask? That just might be material for the next book.

Photos: George Gurley (top left); Amy Fine Collins and Ivana Lowell (bottom right)