Thursday, September 4, 2014

Review: Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story by Carol Burnett

Here is a summary of the book from the Goodreads website:

You are about to meet an extraordinary young woman, Carrie Hamilton. The daughter of one of television’s most recognizable and beloved stars, Carol Burnett, Carrie won the hearts of everyone she met with her kindness, quirky sense of humor, and wonderfully unconventional approach to life. Living in the spotlight of celebrity, but in an era when personal troubles were kept private, Carrie and Carol made a brave display of honesty and love by going public with teenager Carrie’s drug addiction and recovery. Carrie lived her adult life of sobriety to the fullest, enjoying happy and determined independence and achieving a successful artistic career as an actress, writer, musician, and director. Carrie’s passion for life and her humorist’s view of the world never wavered as she aggressively battled cancer. Carrie died at the age of 38.

Carrie and Me is Carol Burnett’s poignant tribute to her late daughter and a funny and moving memoir about mothering an extraordinary young woman through the struggles and triumphs of her life. Sharing her personal diary entries, photographs, and correspondence, Carol traces the journey she and Carrie took through some of life’s toughest challenges and sweetest miracles. Authentic, intimate, and full of love, Carrie and Me is a story of hope and joy that only a mother could write.

My Review: 
My book club usually reads one non-fiction/memoir every year, and this last year Carrie and Me was the second memoir we read.  Memoirs are either hit or miss for me and this one was a sure fire miss.  The gal in my group that picked this one had just finished reading This Time Together by Burnett, and after loving that one, thought this would be a good pick for our group.

Had Burnett actually shared more about her relationship with Carrie, I think I would have appreciated this book more.  It seemed to me, the majority of the book contained personal e-mails between the mother-daughter team, and I just found that annoying.  I found myself thinking, "Who can't print a bunch of e-mails and arrange them into a book?"  

Burnett obviously was trying to relay to the public what a wonderful heart her daughter had.  She definitely accomplished that through this book.  She may have used the mode of e-mails because writing from her heart may have been too painful.  The photographs that she chose to share with us were incredibly fun though.

The mother-daughter team worked on several projects together and the last section of this book was a story that Carrie was working on herself.  It was unfinished and she asked her mother to complete the project for her.  Burnett was understandably at a loss as to how to complete the project, so she put it at the end of this book as a stand-alone section.  Most of my book group did not like this part of the book, but I read it as if reading a script of some kind and did find some enjoyment from it.  

Although this wasn't one of my favorites, Burnett's love for her daughter definitely shone through the pages.  With themes of parenthood, illness, and addiction, you may enjoy this book more than I did.  I recommend this book for those that are fans of Carol Burnett.

My Rating:  2/5

Disclosure:  I borrowed this book from the local library to read for my own entertainment and as a book club discussion.


bermudaonion said...

I do love memoirs when they're well written and have a story to tell. It sounds like Burnett missed the mark on this one.

You won't believe this instant healing testimonies said...

What a treat this book was to read! I admire Carol Burnett so much, and I am grateful to her for sharing Carrie's writing -- what a treasure!