In 1950s Los Angeles, Anne Ford was the epitome of the California golden girl, a former beauty queen and model-turned-fashion-designer whose success and charm were legendary. So how is it possible that such a woman could die in squalor, an alcoholic street person brutally murdered in a burned-out West Hollywood building? In searching for answers to the heartbreaking trajectory of her mother’s life, writer Laurel Saville plumbed the depths of Anne’s troubled past and her own eccentric childhood to untangle the truth of an exceptional, yet tragic, existence.
What she discovered was a woman who was beautiful, well-educated, and talented - yet tormented by internal demons and no match for the hedonistic culture of Southern California in the 1960s and 1970s.
With unflinching honesty and stirring compassion, Saville explores how what we bring forward from previous generations can shape our own lives, and how compassion and love for a difficult parent can be a person’s bridge to a better life.
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Choked and sputtered before it took off
Misleading title: it is a memoir of the daughter
There should be a huge warning sign on the front of the book: "this is a memoir about the daughter, NOT a biography of the mother".
On a positive side, the author can write well. Unfortunately, she doesn't have a good story. The book is all about the daughter's feelings about her mother and some of her childhood stories. I bought the book thinking that it would show why a successful woman (the mother) turned into a bum and an alcoholic. Unfortunately, this is the only thing that is not in the book. The book reads more like one of those self-absorbed blogs, describing for pages without end how grandma's kitchen looked like, how an old painting by her mother looked like, etc.
In summary, the author's life is not very interesting. She moved away from her mother when she was 12 and had a pretty normal life, so she missed most of her mother's later changes, and when she was with the mother, she was too young to understand anything anyway.
In what we can get in the middle of the daughter's rants, we find that the mother was simply a narcissistic and selfish beautiful girl who had a stunt as a model and later designing clothes. She was such a pain in the neck that her boyfriend and later her husband left her. Faced with fading beauty and the hardship of motherhood, she turned into an alcoholic and a slut, and became more egotistic and lazy than ever. As usual in these cases, her life falls apart and she becomes a bum, who is murdered by another wandering bum. It is a common story, unfortunately, but void of any originality or drama that would deserve a book. Just watch the TV show "Intervention" if you want to see something similar.
Absolutely, it is a story that only a daughter would be interested in.
As usual with Audible books, the narration is very good.
Skip this one !