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Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story Hardcover – April 9, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 223 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Beloved comic actress and author Burnett has penned a poignant tribute to her late daughter, Carrie Hamilton. Pulling no punches, Burnett details Carrie’s youthful struggles with drug addiction and her long, hard journey through rehab and beyond. After successfully emerging from the dark years, Hamilton forged a successful, independent career for herself as both an actress and a writer. Before she died at age 38 of lung cancer, she asked her mother to complete Sunrise to Memphis, the story she had been working on before her illness exacted its final toll. Unable to do so, Burnett came up with an alternative, fashioning an intimate portrait of a sometimes challenging, always loving mother-daughter relationship by combining correspondence from Carrie with her own anecdotes and memories. As a bonus, Burnett provides the unfinished Sunrise to Memphis—a fitting tribute to her talented daughter’s creative life. --Margaret Flanagan


"Loving, poignant." (People)

"Intimate...heartbreakingly moving." (Reader's Digest)

"Hauntingly beautiful and heartfelt." (FoxNews.com)

"A poignant and, of course, funny look at a life cut too short." (New York Post)

"The worst thing for a parent is to outlive a child. The bravest thing a parent can do is to write a loving, funny memoir of her daughter who overcame teenage problems with drugs and living in a superstar parent's shadow to forge her own showbiz career before dying of cancer at 38." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

"Carrie and Me is certainly a memorial, but it's more a celebration of [Carrie Hamilton's] life than a somber elegy . . . Affecting." (Tampa Bay Times)

"With humor and poignancy, the celebrated comedian remembers her vivacious and sometimes troubled daughter." (Sacramento Bee)

"Inspiring . . . A fitting tribute." (Fort Myers Florida Weekly)

“In a beautiful and poignant tribute to her late daughter, Carrie Hamilton, actress and comedienne Carol Burnett has written a funny and moving memoir about mothering an extraordinary young woman.” (Life After 50)

“‘Carrie and Me’ serves as an inspirational piece that can aid any parent struggling with raising or losing a child.” (Examiner.com)

“Full of touching, funny stories that are all the more enjoyable for reflecting the author’s sensibility and voice.” (AVClub.com)

“Burnett's touching tribute to her daughter is an opportunity to read a talented and celebrated comedian being serious about a tragic life story.” (Splitsider.com)

"A poignant tribute...pulling no punches...an intimate portrait of a sometimes challenging, always loving mother-daughter relationship." (Booklist)

“A highly recommended mother’s tribute that will bring tears to most readers’ eyes.” (Library Journal)

“Through her openness and honesty, Carol Burnett is an inspiration. While reading Carrie and Me, I’d think, How can a person who gave the world so much pleasure have had to endure so much pain? No, life isn’t fair, but in Burnett’s wonderful book we are reminded of what gets us through: love.” (David Sheff author of Beautiful Boy and Clean)

“It’s hard to put into words just how deeply this book touched me. It made me laugh, cry and everything in between. Simply wonderful. A beautiful tribute to a remarkable daughter written straight from the heart by the mother who loved her. If you have ever loved a child, read this book. Heartbreakingly funny, sad and wise. Both mother and daughter will live in your heart long after you finish reading.” (Fannie Flagg)

"Powerful, poignant and moving." (California Bookwatch)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (April 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476706417
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476706412
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (223 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #401,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Author/Reviewer Geri Ahearn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
For over 25 years, I have followed the successful career of actress and New York Times bestselling author, Carol Burnett. She is loved by millions for bringing joy through her sense of humor on-and-off stage. For the first time, Carol Burnett pens from her heart her memories of her beautiful daughter Carrie. She reveals the happy times, and the dark days of drug addiction, then cancer. The author tells an emotional story of love, anguish, pain, and loss. Most important, she shares with the reader in this heartbreaking tribute of the beautiful memories of inspiration, and hope. As a caring mother, she helped through the struggles and trials-and-tribulations on a long journey of closing one door, to opening a new door, to fighting another battle with illness. This powerfully-moving tribute will make you smile, and cry at the emotional trauma of losing a loved one, especially at such a young age. Carrie followed her mother's footsteps to a world of fame and success, but also had to fight obstacles that crossed her path. The author shares her loving memories of a daughter that was not only talented and gifted, but in many ways, a hero. Beautifully written, poignant, and heartwarming. Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover
Carol Burnett's last book, This Time Together, shared anecdotes about her successful TV and stage career. I was thrilled to meet this amazing entertainer at a book signing, and she was just as kind and friendly as she appears on TV.

Ms. Burnett's latest book, Carrie and Me- A Mother Daughter Love Story is a much more personal book about her daughter Carrie, who first battled drug addiction and later cancer, which killed her at the age of thirty-eight.

Carrie's bright personality shines though in this memoir. She was a unique lady, so talented and she fought hard to make it through the terrors of drug addiction. Burnett tells a story of the young Carrie, who after her first day of school said to her mother, "Boy, Mommy, am I glad THAT'S over with!" Burnett did not have the heart to tell her that it would be much more than one day.

As a teenager, Carrie thought, like many teenage girls, that she was not pretty and shocked her mother when she asked her mom if she was ugly. Carrie's insecurity led to her drug use, which she hid from her parents. She was hanging around with a bad crowd, and by the time Carol and her husband discovered what was going on, Carrie was in trouble.

They sent Carrie to rehab, and any parent reading this will identify with the conflicting feelings that Burnett expresses so well. She bargained with God to save her baby, first from drugs, and then from cancer.

Carrie eventually makes it through, and ends up acting and writing like her mother. She was unique, from her pink-streaked hair to the tattoo of the bird of paradise on her shoulder. She was a regular on TV's Fame, and won an award at a Latino film festival for a movie she created, the first non-Latino to win.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Carol Burnett's comedy, fame and success are all the more impressive considering that she earned them in an era when working women at times faced biases and limitations. On "The Carol Burnett Show," (CBS, 1967-1978), in additional to being smart and funny, she came across as a warm person who genuinely cared about others. All those traits are evident in "Carrie and Me."

It's really a two-part book. The first three-fourths is Ms. Burnett's story of her daughter's life and their relationship. Like her mother, Carrie comes across as a remarkable and talented woman. Ms. Burnett relates Carrie's painful struggles with drugs during her teenage years, her growth into an actress and playwright and her death at 38 from cancer. The last quarter of the book is Carrie's unfinished story "Sunrise in Memphis" about a young woman's journey and adventures on her way to visit Elvis Presley's home, Graceland.

I enjoyed the sincere, heartfelt story and mother-daughter love in Part 1, although in a few of the many reproduced emails, I found myself reading through quickly. Part 2 has weaknesses (insufficient development of characters and plot, lack of flow between some scenes, some rough writing), but keeping in mind that Carrie died before it was finished, the story has terrific potential and a lovely, somewhat surprising ending.

Given the struggles of Carrie and her protagonist Kate, this could have been a sad read, but as Carol Burnett has done throughout her career, she makes it moving and, in the end, beautiful.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Everyone should take the time to read such a BEAUTIFUL story of Carol Burnett and her daughter Carrie. What a journey! As sung by the Beatles,

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE! Pleasure yourselves and read this book.
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Book was O.K., but not exactly what I expected in a book Carol Burnett had her name on. The four-letter words were offensive. Too bad Carol didn't ensure her daughter got a good enough education that she could express herself without resorting to such vulgar language. I've read books Carol has written and enjoyed them enormously, and have watched her shows on T.V. over the years and was/am a big fan of hers. She's a terrific entertainer. All that said, I was saddened by the fact that she lost her daughter at such a young age. Children should never die before their parents.
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