Writing with an exuberant love of language and detail, Anjelica Huston shares her enchanted childhood in Ireland, her teen years in London, and her coming of age as a model and nascent actress in New York.
John Huston was filming The African Queen - in the Belgian Congo - when he received a telegram from his wife announcing the birth of a healthy baby girl. She named her Anjelica, after her mother.
Now, the magnificent Academy Award-winning actress shares the story of her deeply unconventional life. Living with her glamorous and artistic mother, educated by tutors and nuns, intrepid on a horse, Huston was raised on an Irish estate to which - between movies - her father brought his array of extraordinary friends, from Carson McCullers and John Steinbeck to Peter O’Toole and Marlon Brando. Every morning, Anjelica and her brother visited their father while he took his breakfast in bed. "What news?" he’d ask. "I’d seen him the night before," Anjelica recalls, "There wasn’t much to report." So she became a storyteller.
In London, where she lives with her mother and brother in the early Sixties when her parents separate, Huston encounters the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac. She understudies Marianne Faithful in Hamlet. Seventeen, striking, precocious, but still young and vulnerable, she is devastated when her mother dies in a car crash.
Months later she moves to New York, falls in love with the much older, brilliant but disturbed photographer, Bob Richardson, and becomes a model. Living in the Chelsea Hotel, working with Richard Avedon and other photographers, she navigates a volatile relationship and the dynamic cultural epicenter of New York in the Seventies.
©2013 Anjelica Huston (P)2013 Simon & Schuster
This is VERY lightweight fluff. Such a disappointment. Ms. Huston does have a lovely voice.
This book is surprisingly more boring than I expected, and flows in a slow and confusing way.
I usually love books read by actresses, as they make incredible narrators, unfortunately this is not the case for Anjelica Huston.
This book might actually work better as a movie but I wouldn't be particularly interested.
Interior or Fashion Designers.
Tell the story not tell me what they were wearing or how the walls were painted.
I finally had to give up a little halfway through the book.
Tricky for a memoir...but I would encourage the author to disclose more insights and interpretations of the events of her life, rather than simply fill out the chronological events.
Many of the childhood scenes in Ireland are poignant and memorable, simply for their insight into a class and society that is not known to me. I enjoyed the food, decor, and fashion details in audio form - and felt that the book was more of a sensory experience of places and times, rather than something more "story bound" with arc and resolution.
While there is much to be appreciated in the detail and rhythm in this book, particularly when read by the author, I found that Ms. Houston did not offer enough overt sense of her own assessments, insights, and development as a person in this course of this story. Throughout, even in her early adult life, she seems to be simply floating along, going with the privileged opportunities afforded her without much of a critical eye or personal learning occurring. Both parents are given loving and respectful treatment by the author, but I imagine that if Ms. Houston could have spoken more directly about the her feelings in the complexity of her childhood and adolescent experiences it would have been more of a "meaty" and satisfying story. She's a good reporter, but always keeps her audience apart from her - and I never got the sense of being "close" to her and her emotional experiences as things unfolded. This, against the backdrop of elite connections, seems a wasted opportunity for a story of a lucky/unlucky girl really coming into herself with an awareness of who she is in, and apart from, her high society world. As it is, it's a light tale, fun to read but lacking in substance.
A period when life was led wonderfully.
Anjelica describes her surroundings and meals in great detail.
Read well by an actress. Say no more.
Can't wait for the sequel!
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