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on March 11, 2011
Just finished the book last Monday - LOVED it...so real. So much of what she shared resonated with me, so I actually felt much of the pain and confusion she spoke of. And SHARE she did - and clearly written from the heart. I am SO happy for her and Nancy and the journey she's found heself on now....living her authentic self! God bless you!!
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Meredith Baxter's memoir, Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering, burrows into her childhood moments and what it was like growing up the daughter of an actress; then we discover her feelings of loss and abandonment when she believed herself to be simply an afterthought in the lives of her parents. The story gives the reader a peek into her life before celebrity; and then takes us on the journey to that particular destination.

What we've known about this actor is the life we've only imagined, based on her performances and what we might have read in celebrity magazines. From her star-studded celebrity and her partnership with costar David Birney (from Bridget Loves Bernie), we see an entirely different kind of life behind the scenes. Behind the televised moments, we learn about Meredith's feeling of having "no voice" in the marriage; we learn about the emotional and sometimes physical abuse; and about the overwhelming feeling of always being "wrong." From there, we discover the role alcohol played in her life; the symptom of her "thinking" problems that would continue for years afterwards, until finally she reached a point in recovery where she could examine how her thinking, her choices, and her belief systems had controlled her life. An interesting point she makes, which she gleaned from a sponsor, is that, in looking at a particularly "painful" relationship or individual, she must consider that the person is "not the wound, but is the sword in the wound."

Rediscovering who she was and forming a new and separate identity without a man in her life led to another unexpected pathway--her choice to accept and embrace her lesbian lifestyle and the compatible partner she now has. This decision came after much thought and examination. Previous relationships had been based on the familiar, playing out the more damaging aspects of familial relationships. In the latter portion of the book, she states: "Then I had to think about most of the previous relationships I'd settled for, where I'd been so lonely, lying to myself, pretending I wasn't hurt, trying not to feel, not being able to share, not showing up...."

Like many memoirs I've enjoyed, this one gave me a lot to think about. Why we choose our paths in life and what emotional triggers govern us. How our own childhood experiences color everything we do, but also how we sometimes go in opposite directions, thinking we are taking control of our lives--and yet how we're still reacting to those previous experiences. Developing insight into our behavior sometimes takes a lifetime, and the mistakes we make can also be the lessons we learn for the future...if we are courageous enough.

Five stars...definitely!
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on March 10, 2011
Meredith Baxter gives herself to us in this memoir of her story of not only surviving but also conquering and thriving. My experience with "Untied" was through the AUDIO book version. I HIGHLY recommend LISTENING to Meredith's story - through her own voice....it is both compelling and thought provoking. Auditorally evocative in a cerebrally visceral way. Meredith's rich and authentic voice quality creates an added dimension and texture to the understanding of her ability to overcome domestic abuse,breast cancer, and alcoholism while, at the same time, navigating through 3 marriages AND giving birth not only to 5 children but also a career in acting. Through arduous self-examination and discovery she tells us - at times more through the melodies of her voice than through her actual spoken words - how she arrived in the much healthier mental, emotional, and spiritual space she now occupies - and shares - with her life partner, Nancy. Meredith's voice will stay with you LONG after you hear her story. I still hear it - resonating. A self-less gift...and I thank her for it.
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on May 6, 2012
I wanted to like this book, it has all the elements of a great memoir. However, Meredith fails to deliver anything except whining about being a victim. Her mother, father, step-father, and ex-husbands all unwittingly aided in Meredith's victimhood. So now she s gay? Yes, and? Something is missing in the telling of her story. It is bland and beige. Where is the color?
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on July 6, 2014
Meredith Baxter captured my heart in "Bridget Loves Bernie," to her role as Buddy's older sister Nancy in "Family" through "Family Ties," through today. With a front-seat view of her entire career, I was eager to read her memoir. Meredith's life is an open book, and she welcomes the reader to witness a life spent struggling and searching. We cheer her on as she overcomes her demons and celebrates self-actualization later in life. Brava! A terrific read.
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on April 9, 2011
I think Meredith brought to light how your childhood has such an impact on your life. How a person like your husband can be a verbal abuser and a physical one to. He is real, this type of person really does exist. So for the people who have never lived it, you won't get it...We who have or still do, WE GET IT!!Thank you Meredith, you have given so much to people who needed to hear it. I think more woman sat there and thought, wow, parts of this is MY LIFE! We learn from one another, and there's a great lesson to be learned by reading this book.
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on September 29, 2014
As the author of The Secret Life of Captain X: My Life With a Psychopath Pilot I fully understand how difficult it is to write about your life. You must explain in detail everything you endured, fully understanding that people will always question what you write, no matter what. In the case of Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering Ms. Baxter did a superb job writing her memoir!

The physical and mental abuse she writes about at the hands of David Birney is exactly like (down to the punch) the abuse I endured at the hands of my psychopathic husband, and I was in my marriage for 22 years! Personality disorders like my ex’s and most likely David Birney’s are hidden from everyone except their victim. Therefore everyone thinks you’re “so lucky” to be with him and that life is a ball. Not so. Life was terribly confusing for Meredith……and me! Yes, there were good times, but the on and off mental (and sometimes physical) abuse is extremely confusing. As a victim, you just can’t figure it out and therapists don’t have a clue, so you stay. Nowhere does Ms. Baxter accuse Mr. Birney of any personality disorder, but she does reveal the control he had over her. That’s abuse.

I think she did an excellent job covering her career, family, alcoholism and new sexual awareness. With so much material to cover I'm amazed she did so with such clarity. I highly suggest this well written memoir.
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on January 9, 2014
Meridth Baxter stepped out of her comfort zone to share the behind the camera story of her life. She is brutally frank about the abuse in her marriage and how she escaped through drinking. As she worked thru 12 step recovery, she met a kindred soul and fell in love. It is touching to read about how she connected and fell in love with a woman. Everyone deserves to love and be loved in return. It's a good read to learn about the woman in front if the camera.
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on September 7, 2014
I was friends with Meredith through school and for a few years afterward. This book is upfront and honest. Meredith is a sweet and down-to-earth person and her story is honest and humble. I congratulate her on her well deserved successes, it wasn't easy.
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on June 18, 2011
When I heard Meridith speak about her book on a local radio talk show in Northern California I was impressed with the clarity of her thoughts. I had seen her on Family Ties and thought back on how I didn't think she was a strong actress. To me she seemed meek and slack jawed.
To hear her talk about her real life experiences took me back to those days of seeing her on Family Ties and Michael Fox (who stole the show) and I realized that she's grown into adulthood, through television and found her power to be who she really is. Hers is a story of many but the difference is that she found her way and was not destroyed by life real or imagined.
Yes I loved the book, her clarity and openness in talking about her growth and weakness as well as strengths.
Well done Meredith.
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