From Publishers Weekly
The widow of Frank Sinatra delivers the goods in this intimate memoir of their years together, filled with parties, recordings, career hurdles, concerts, travels, and triumphs. Barbara Blakeley was "just a farm girl from Missouri," who became a model, a Vegas showgirl, and the wife of Zeppo Marx, and mingled with celebrities in L.A., Vegas, and Palm Springs. At a Sinatra dinner party for the first time, she felt "there was definitely a frisson between us." With her own marriage crumbling, she made plans to meet Sinatra in Monaco: "Was I about to be seduced by one of the world's greatest romantics?" That idyllic summer "turned into night after glorious night of romance in some of the most glamorous venues in Europe." After "five years of flirting and courting," Barbara and Frank Sinatra married in 1976, and it was the longest of his four marriages. They stayed together for 22 years, until his death in 1998. Probing Sinatra's personality, she contrasts his polite manners and loyalty to friends with his feuds and booze-induced rants. Yet in the end, as she sees it, "Frank was, without doubt, the most romantic man I had ever met," and that feeling permeates the pages throughout. (Mar. 1)
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In this detailed autobiography, Frank Sinatra’s widow traces her journey from a hardscrabble, Depression-era childhood to jet-setting wife of one of the most popular and successful entertainers of all time. Thanks to her strong-willed mother, Barbara’s family pulled up stakes in Missouri while she was a teenager and headed to California. Barbara was soon modeling for local department stores and shortly thereafter married aspiring big-band singer Bob Oliver. After the birth of a son, the marriage fell apart; another marriage and a career as a Vegas showgirl followed. Then she took up with the much older and wealthier Zeppo Marx, and Barbara quickly fell into her new glamorous life.She eventually tired of Zeppo and began an affair with her neighbor, Frank Sinatra, hoping he would marry her, which he eventually did. Sinatra spins an interesting tale of a life lived amongst celebrity and provides an insider glimpse into a bygone era. Readers will either enjoy or be annoyed by the incessant name-dropping. --Kathleen Hughes