Alas, it was not meant to be. The novel has nothing of the fairy tale that the movie has, and, without this, all that is left is a bitter, cynic, sarcastic tale of two less than perfect people struggling between the need for a stable, homely environment on the one hand and the desire for independence on the other.
The novel starts with the unnamed narrator meeting Joe Bell the barman about some photos. A trip down memory lane ensues about a girl he used to know: Holly Golightly, a young girl who pretty much relies on her connections with older men of the underworld, receiving change for her trips to the powder room (which I really don't understand) and meeting with prison inmates to pick up "weather reports". She feels she does not belong anywhere, and her only purpose is to marry a "catch". She is depicted as a rough girl, using quite a lot of swearing (which was remarkably absent in the movie), but just as intelligent: she educates herself in subjects that will interest her prospective suitors. She loses out on two very respectable would-be husbands, only to flee to Brazil at the end of the novel, where she is rumoured to have found a wealthy señor... Meanwhile, the unnamed narrator is a struggling writer who at the end succeeds in publishing his work - and not rely on the financial contribution of the respectable, wealthy lady of the movie version (probably because Capote had acknowledged this character as gay).
I found the novel remarkably depressing in its description of the difficult road girls like Holly have to travel, originating from the South where they are born as Lula Maes, getting married at the tender age of 14, leaving behind husbands and families to go to the big city, where they rely on wealthy, much older men to make a name in society. Apparently, Capote based this character on many of his acquaintances who had succeeded in this transformation, but I suppose on many more that did not or were still en route. Still, I could not sympathise with Holly: I could not find any depth in her character, and by the end of the novel I rather disliked her superficiality...
What I missed in this novel was this sense of hope that I had in the movie version, that despite the many lemons we all receive in life, in the end all will be well. I have no doubt that this story resembles more an actual depiction of any Holly Golightly, but it did shatter my Breakfast at Tiffany's...L