Saturday, August 31, 2013

Dear Fatty

My goal is to read 100 books by the end of 2013.  I just finished book 57.

Dear Fatty by Dawn French

Summary (via the book jacket):
With a sharp eye for comic detail and a wicked ear for the absurdities of life, Dawn French shows just how an RAF girl from the West Country with dreams of becoming a ballerina/air hostess/bridesmaid/thief rose to become one of the best-loved actresses of our time.  Here she reveals the people, experiences, and obsessions that have influenced her and, for the first time, shares the experience of losing her beloved dad and later finding a tip-topmost chap in Lenny Henry.
From hailing the virtues of grandmas, David Cassidy and stealing, to describing the highs and lows of family and friendship, Dear Fatty reveals the surprising life behind the smile.

My Opinion:
Another random interest of mine:  British television.  Although Dawn French is a well known English actress, I only discovered her about 5 years ago through PBS airing her series The Vicar of Dibley - I enjoyed it (and her) very much.   This memoir has been on my "to-read" list for quite some time (it was released in 2008), and I was happy to finally get my hands on a copy.
While there were some stories that didn't interest me because I didn't recognize any of the actors mentioned (my fault, I'm sure a British reader would have no trouble), I liked reading about her professional journey and I found out about many shows and movies she's done that I would like to see (my "to-watch" list is almost as long as my "to-read" list...if only I didn't require sleep!)
The personal stories were much more interesting to me, although they were tinged with sadness for two reasons.  One, her father committed suicide when she was 19, so hearing how nurturing he was and how confused she was by his death was heartbreaking.  Two, she wrote many pages about Len and what an amazing husband and man he is, and I know that since the book was released they divorced after 25 years of marriage.
I'm glad I had the chance to read it but wouldn't recommend it unless you're very familiar with her work.
Quote from the Book:
"There might have been endless new doors but behind each one was [Mum] and Dad, making a safe and happy place for me to be."

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