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My Life So Far Paperback – April 4, 2006
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"Brave Enough" by Cheryl Strayed
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Top Customer Reviews
Jane Fonda's "My Life So Far" is an atypical celebrity memoir. It is intelligently and beautifully and gently written, extremely introspective, and not primarily about the author's celebrity associations (although she does address them), but instead about the maturing of a woman who lived during a fascinating time in American history. After reading this book, I have great respect and admiration for Jane Fonda, an imperfect woman from whom I have learned a great deal through this autobiography.
"My Life So Far" covers the author's involvement in the Vietnam War in great details---her perspective may surprise some readers who have relied solely upon the media for their information. The author admits her mistakes with the wisdom of hindsight. She details her political activities and the reasons behind them. For those who hate Jane Fonda, of whom there are many, I recommend this book as a solution if they want to move beyond their hatred to understanding, whether or not they agree or disagree with her choices. The memoir has a tone of brutal honesty; I was touched and I do believe that the author is a very different person from her public persona. It is also excruciatingly intimate---it is a rare glimpse of a woman's life---raw and open. If you go in for that sort of thing (as I do), this memoir will appeal greatly to you. An additional theme of this book is Jane's struggle to live her life "embodied"---in her body, owning her own voice and opinions---topics that will appeal to many women.
The author shares her experience being objectified as a woman in her first marriage for her looks and sexuality, and then in her second marriage, for her intellectual prowess and political activities.Read more ›
Many of us can identify with growing up with an emotionally stunted father and the damage that does to a young girl's psyche (not to mention having a mother who commits suicide and a variety of stepmothers, some wonderful, some not so), how she becomes too eager to find approval in the arms of a variety of men whose demands reshape her personality, even her appearance. As she herself admits, she becomes the reflection of each of her husbands, the sex kitten for Vadim, the political activist for Hayden, the glued at the hip companion for the neurotic Ted Turner. Where is the real Jane? Even she wants to know.
And all the husbands cheat on her, and she is as devastated and hurt as we commonfolk. I was surprised, imagining movie stars had so many options, they could quickly move on. It is a puzzling life, to be able to be naked on a movie stage and fake intimacy with another actor, and then be able to feel betrayal and pain when you find out your husband is cheating on you. When you step in and out of fantasy and reality like that all your life, how can you blame her for letting her political activism and visit to Hanoi get out of hand? It was another role, and she is well aware what it cost her, although she proves in one chapter that one-on-one, she is willing to face the Vietnam veterans who so hate her and by the time it's all said, everyone is hugging and crying together.Read more ›
They give her dramatic protest more credit than it deserves because Jane Fonda continues to serve as a lightening rod for their hatred.
A little reality check is in order, here. Fonda neither initiated the anti-war movement, nor supervised it, nor stood alone in opposing it. Many millions of others, including hundreds of thousands of Vietnam veterans and their families, stood with her to help bring the Vietnam War to an end. Duh.
Fortunately, "My Life So Far" is the story of a woman who appears to be considerably more complex and forgiving than her critics.
This biography must certainly have been a difficult one to write. Those of us who have feared we are way over the hill, however, just have to look at Fonda's willingness to undertake a difficult journey toward self-discovery, to find a role model against which to measure our own mature lives.
Okay, Jane Fonda was a rich, well-educated kid whose father was a movie star. Snore. Since time immemorial we have looked to the larger-than-life for a glimpse at the universal qualities and lessons those lives embody. In this distillation from the general, they become emblematic -- little cautionary tales featuring wealth, royalty, beauty and great outfits on a world stage.
I suppose it gives us a little frission of comfort, too, to know that regardless of money, gorgeousness and yadda yadda, some of these people have been visited by the bad fairies more often than we have. Some live to tell the tale. Fonda is one of them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Haven't finished it yet, but surprisingly easy to read and informative.Published 11 days ago by James S.
i truly liked the beginning and the end. She gets kinda' bogged down in the middle with all her "Daddy Issues" but I guess it was a very large part of her development and... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Buku
I love Jane Fonda and admire her even more now. Only problem with audio book is couldn't see the pictures.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I very much enjoyed this book. It was well written, and provocative. The thing I think I like the most however, as a woman beginning my third act, is the feeling of resiliency and... Read morePublished 4 months ago by MaureenSchmotzer
People see her talent, amazing beauty given her...but if they ever listened to Jane...Henry's great daughter...a brilliant mind... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Wally Leitel
THE ABRIDGED AUDIONBOOK READ BY JANE FONDA:
Thanks to Fonda's bravura reading, this eloquent abridgement of her stirring 500-page autobiography is one of the best... Read more
Actually have not got into the Book. It is alot of pages and some pics which I like. I wanted it to know more about Jane Fonda. Love her style.Published 5 months ago by Jane Osborne