A loving year long conversational memoir between mother & son.
Stepping through some painful memories, but also discovering how differently they each perceived a given event is one of many important messages.
More so is the different ways love is felt, heard, given, taken and lost.
A deeply personal, respectful conversation with a commitment to avoid the sensational gossipy memoir.
I value the time I spent reading this book more for the LACK of sensationalism and the sincerity and openness they shared with us.
The format was easy to follow as Anderson & his mother handed the 'pen' back & forth. There is a subtle difference in the typeface to help indicate who the 'speaker' is. It really helped me pick up the story after each interruption of my reading.
Interesting insight into a well-known family. Gloria is amazing and her age and life experiences have given all the benefit of perspective. Long live Gloria!
I'm glad I came across this book. Lovely insight on the relationship of a family well known but unknown in their dynamics.
Comforting, insightful, and genuine. A conversation between 2 generations holding very different perspectives on life, reading this book satisfies one's longing for home and all the wonderful memories it holds.
Really interesting listen about mother and son Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper discussing their similarities, differences, and lives as a whole.
Beautifully written and very touching. A book for every one's list.
For almost a year, Anderson Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, had an email conversation where they discussed Vanderbilt's childhood, her marriages, and their family life together, including Cooper's struggle to come out to her as being gay. As Cooper was growing up, his mother never talked about her life, so this was his opportunity to ask her about some things they'd never discussed before. It was strange to me some of the things he never knew about - the custody battle between Vanderbilt's mother and aunt; her marriage to conductor Leopold Stokowski; her flings with Howard Hughes and Frank Sinatra (among others). The custody battle was termed the "trial of the century" when it was held in the 1930s, and Vanderbilt has been a favorite subject of paparazzi and gossip columnists for most of her adult life. It seems a bit naive of Cooper to not have some knowledge of his mother's past.
Having recently read George Hodgman's Bettyville, another mother/son memoir, it seems only right to compare the two. While Hodgman's book is narrative in style, a story of Betty's life, Cooper's and Vanderbilt's book is epistolary in nature - a back-and-forth of email messages, with an occasional explanatory note by Cooper. For a mother and son writing to each other, the language seems incredibly formal and stilted, but I imagine part of that is due to Vanderbilt's age, her reserved nature, and (possibly) the fact that these are, after all, members of the "upper crust" of society. (They're Vanderbilts, for crying out loud!) Nevertheless, the language style led me to wonder if the correspondents knew at the onset of their little email project that the result would be turned into a book; Vanderbilt especially sometimes seems as though she's making a speech at some charity event or seminar.
It was interesting to learn some new things about this family, and the Vanderbilts as a whole, and Gloria Vanderbilt seems like a genuinely nice person. And I've always liked Anderson Cooper. I did find interesting his comments on his own personal life - his financial frugality, and his comparison of his realistic view versus Vanderbilt's more optimistic one.
I picked up this book because I have always had a fascination with Anderson Cooper and follow him on CNN.
I thoroughly enjoyed this fantastic conversation between him and his mother through e-mails. I associated the name Vanderbilt only with jeans, but not with great wealth and lavish life style. Details in her life and relationship with her son Anderson Cooper is so different, particularly when it came to life choices, family, and philosophy.
This is a deeply personal book and I read it in almost in one setting. Highly recommended.
Great audiobook narrated by the authors, Gloria Vanderbilt (mom) and Anderson Cooper (son) asking the personal questions via email about family for better understanding of each other and themselves.
It was only a few years ago that I discovered that Anderson Cooper was Gloria Vandebilt's youngest son. Because I follow Anderson on CNN, I had to read this "conversation " between a son and his mother. Through serious reflection on her life and pertinent comments and questions on the part of Anderson, the reader sees an already close relationship grow closer. One also understands what made this "Poor little rich girl" tick. Although born in a rich family, Gloria eventually understood that money is far from everything. A good, quick read.
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