Monday, July 27, 2015

Diverse Books / TBR Pile: Then Again

Then Again is an autobiography by Diane Keaton about her life and her family, especially her relationship with her mother. She kind of jumps around in time the way we do when thinking to ourselves, but she primarily starts with her mother's, her father's, and her own childhoods and ends at the time she wrote the book, when she is 65.

(picture taken from Goodreads)

Conclusion: This is a very touching tribute by Diane Keaton to her mother, Dorothy Deanne Keaton Hall. There are some reflections on Keaton's career and past romantic relationships, but the book is primarily about her mother and becoming a mother herself. She reflects a lot on familial relationships, which are always complicated. Keaton mentions how different her children are from her and how happy she is about that--having two unique, vivacious kids with new perspectives on the world. I found her contemplations on work, adoption, and marriage very interesting. But mostly, her relationship with her mother while young and growing older really touched me. I have a mother who put her dreams aside to raise and support her children, too. Like Dorothy, you see the brilliant sparks of creativity and the inspiring love of others in her. We only grow closer as time goes on, so I can relate to Keaton's relationship with her mother. I read a couple of negative reviews of this book saying Keaton is weak and the reviewers no longer admire her. Their reason for this is her confession that she doesn't have a lot of confidence in her talent or her appearance and never has. I find that a bit ridiculous. The reason I read biographies is not to have someone tell me how great someone is but to show me the unique background and qualities that makes them human. I love the intricacies of life. In this particular instance, I admire Keaton more than I did before. She chose to follow her passion for performance, even though that was never an easy path for her as an introvert. I've always liked her work, and now I can admire her as an individual.

Recommendation: If you like Diane Keaton's work and are interested to know more about her background and events that shaped her life, this is a great book for that. Also, if you like reading about individuals and relationships within families, this is fascinating from that perspective.

This is my choice for the May "Age" category of the 2015 We Read Diverse Books Challenge and my fourteenth read for the 2015 TBR Pile Challenge.

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