This review comes with a bit of a story. I picked up Unraveling Anne at BEA by accident. It was near the end of the event and my sister and I were tired and giggly in the worst way and our feet had now been bleeding for five days straight and we had picked up about 80 books or so.
We wandered over into Laurel Saville's line up (which actually wasn't a line up but a collection of several ladies hanging about talking in what was suppose to be the line up) and chit-chatted with her and giggled with her and when we left we both said, "Well wasn't she pleasant!"
Later on we picked up the book to see if it might be good or crap and saw that it was a biography/autobiography written by Saville about her life with her extremely creative and aggressively destructive mother. I am a sucker for bios ESPECIALLY when I've met the author (this being the first time) so I decided I needed to stop reading whatever filler book I had gotten into and start this book on the plane ride home.
How do you describe this sort of book? Saville wrote as if you and here were sitting down for a cup of tea, looking through photos and documents of her family history.
I felt unnerved as I read about this incredibly creative woman who was beautiful, charismatic, driven - a woman whose life ended with her being homeless, alone (except for her one-eyed dog) and murdered. As I flipped through the pages eagerly taking in this woman's life through the eyes of her daughter all I could think was, "Please never let this be me." The worst kind of talent is a wasted talent and that is exactly what happens to Anne. Bad decisions, bad influences, bad situations turn what could have been a superstar life into the bottom of the barrel sludge.
However. The story didn't end as I thought it would (except for the obvious murder) and I'll let you find that out for yourself. It's worth the read because it dives into a world that no one really wants to be a part of but we can't help peeking.
There is one thing and ONE THING ONLY that left me feeling unsatisfied with this book: pictures. However, after speaking with Laurel (who is SO sweet, if you ever want to get to know a wonderful person and author) she sent me to this link where I could see all the photos my little grabby eyes wanted. Although there were no photos in the copy I got (an ARC) there will be photos in the final product which you will be able to buy off Amazon and probably other places.
More than being a cautionary tale of Life, I think Unraveling Anne is a book about choosing your path and, although our life events affect us, we decide which way we are going to go. Meeting Laurel Saville convinced me of that. Meeting her, I would never have guessed the traumatizing childhood she grew up with and the amazing and strong woman she has become(see her cancer blog where she battled an aggressive form of breast cancer). I'm so glad she wrote this book to show us there are really ugly things in life, and there is also beauty where you look for it.