This is the fascinating story of the life and times of the co-creator of MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN covering almost three-quarters of a century. Ann Marcus writes about her life with wit, humor, and pithy observations of everything from growing up in a Sinclair Lewis-type small town to graduating from college in the middle of WW II, working as the first female copy "boy" on the NY Daily News, covering the homefront for LIFE Magazine, marriage, motherhood, and a successful career in tv for almost forty years It's a page turner as she copes with illness (cancer), male chauvinism, leaky faucets, ageism, network "suits" etc. etc. etc. She takes you behind the scenes on the soaps she headwrote and introduces you to the wacky and wonderful creative people with whom she worked. It is a terrific read. A total blast!
I was excited about reading this book because I thought I would gain more insight into Hollywood and television in general, especially after reading the rave review that TV Guide writer Michael Logan gave it. Unfortunately, juicy details are sparse regarding Ann's experiences at Knots Landing, Search for Tomorrow, Days of Our Lives, Falcon Crest, etc. In fact, not only are details sparse, she's inaccurate as well! For example, Ann describes working on Knots Landing in season two, but she actually worked on season three. When describing how she got the job at Falcon Crest, she is totally wrong about why her predecessors were fired (they weren't fired b/c they were gay, they were fired because the audience hated the storylines they created and ratings went down). Her description of a confrontation with Search for Tomorrow leading lady Mary Stuart takes all of a few sentences, and instead of elaborating how she came up with certain plots on these shows, she condenses her tenure at each show into just a few paragraphs. As a memoir, it's an okay read, but if you're looking for Hollywood tidbits (like I was, based on Michael Logan's review), this out of print book isn't worth looking for.