Publisher: Gallery Books
Formats Available: Paperback, Audio, Kindle
BLURB from Goodreads
A stunning memoir about an actress's unconventional, heartbreaking childhood with an unstable alcoholic and suicidal mother — a real-life Holly Golightly turned Mommie Dearest — and the unusual strength that allowed her to rise above it all.
By the time Wendy Lawless turned seventeen, she'd known for quite some time that she didn't have a normal mother. But that didn't stop her from wanting one.
Georgann Rea didn't bake cookies or go to PTA meetings; she wore a mink coat and always had a lit Dunhill plugged into her cigarette holder. She had slept with too many men, and some women, and she didn't like dogs or children. Georgann had the ice queen beauty of a Hitchcock heroine and the cold heart to match.
In this evocative, darkly humorous memoir, Wendy deftly charts the highs and lows of growing up with her younger sister in the shadow of an unstable, fabulously neglectful mother. Georgann, a real-life Holly Golightly who constantly reinvents herself as she trades up from trailer-park to penthouse, suffers multiple nervous breakdowns and suicide attempts, while Wendy tries to hide the cracks in their fractured family from the rest of the world.
Chanel Bonfire depicts a childhood blazed through the refined aeries of The Dakota and the swinging townhouses of London, while the girls' beautiful but damned mother desperately searches for glamour and fulfillment. Ultimately, they must choose between living their own lives and being their mother's warden.
This ARC was sent to my daughter Rachel (Rai29BookReadNReview) by Gallery Books which is an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
The cover shows a rather elaborately decorated and furnished bedroom, which to me, represents the type of room Wendy's mum would have had.
Wendy's childhood was quite unusual, in that she moved around a lot as a child on the whim of her mother. Wendy's mother comes across in the book as eccentric, she is however mentally ill and in need of psychiatric help. She displays traits of bipolar disorder. Wendy certainly lives a varied life, in many different places. Georgann likes to move around a lot yet loves glamorous surrounding, yet cannot always afford to pay for them.
I don't want to say much more about the plot as it would spoil your own journey of discovery into this memoir.
It's a sad tale in parts, telling of Georgann's addictions and problems and how they in turn affect her young family. The memoir reveals how Wendy tries to be the buffer between her mum and her younger sister.
I did enjoy reading this book once I fell into the book, even though it is at time, quite shocking and sad too. Would I recommend? Yes especially to those who love memoirs.
Available at Amazon.co.uk