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My Mother's Keeper Hardcover – November, 1987

3.0 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 348 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (November 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068804798X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688047986
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book was admittedly written not by Mrs Hyman, but her husband Jeremy. Jeremy has never found it hard to resist good, honest labor & therefore this book was the Hymans' (only) cash cow once they'd bled Bette Davis dry. Ms. Davis--according to many sources--paid for the Hymans' home, upkeep, swimming pool, private schools for their son and family vacations. This was true even after Ms Davis was on in years and in poor health.Instead of marrying at 16, perhaps Mrs Hyman might have gotten an education, a job, and an ambitious husband so she didn't have to live off of the mother she so criticized. Apparently there is a sequel to this book that tells of the Hymans' miraculous new faith and how it took them from rural Pennsylvania to Grand Bahama Island. Ommitted from the book are public records detailing just how, why and under what shady circumstances the Hymans fled Pennsylvania.(To pay off your debts FIRST with your $100,000 advance might have been the Christian thing to do, folks).
I DO enjoy the many reviews that the Hymans have penned themselves or had their flock write. Forget the scathing reviews, Jeremy, and GET A JOB.
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Format: Hardcover
Everyone here who has already mentioned how unintentionally hilarious this book is-- right on! Yet it is also a tragically exploitative book; as opposed to the genuine anguish depicted in "Mommie Dearest." While Christina Crawford may or may not have been motivated by revenge in writing her book, she actually had something legitimate to avenge. There has been ample evidence from countless sources-- family, professional associates of her mother's, and subsequent bigraphers --that the horrors Christina catalogued were far from fictional. B.D. Hyman, on the other hand, has received no such affirmation. With very few exceptions, even those who agreed that she had every reason to resent her mother's faults were concerned by the manner in which the truth was manipulated in MMK. As nearly every Bette Davis biography written subsequent to MMK's publication has evidenced, B.D. Hyman, her husband, & her sons were COMPLETELY DEPENDENT UPON BETTE DAVIS FINANCIALLY. The fact that Bette Davis had NO CHOICE but to work to support the Hyman family, despite advancing age & its attendent diminished career options, goes far in explaining much of the tension between Davis & her daughter, not to mention Davis's well-chronicled antagonism toward her son-in-law-- a man who had not maintained consistent gainful employment since the mid-late '60s. This is all documented in various Davis biographies published after 1985. By her own admission, Hyman decided to write MMK only AFTER witnessing the extent of Davis' recovery from two strokes & a mastectomy due to cancer. Fearful that her mother would no longer be able to work/support her (just prior to her illness Davis had saved the Hyman farm from foreclosure), Hyman decided to cash in.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
"My Mother's Keeper" is a fun read. Personally, I don't think there is much to say about the book except that the author tries, unsuccessfully I might add, to destroy her mother's name. BD Hyman was Bette Davis' only child she gave birth to: the other two children she had were adopted. Obviously Hyman wanted to cash in on the success that Christina Crawford had when she wrote "Mommie Dearest" that depicted Crawford as an alcoholic and abusive parent. In "My Mother's Keeper" she writes how her mother was prone to alcoholic outbursts and was hard to live with. Nowhere does she mention how Bette abused her. After reading the book it wasn't Hyman that I felt sorry for, but Bette Davis, as her daughter went way beyond the fact in trying to tarnish the screen legend's name. At least Christina wrote her book after Joan Crawford had died; "My Mother's Keeper" was released on Mother's Day, 1985 when Bette was still alive. More than anything that was devastating in the pages of the book, was the release date as Bette had a stroke only months prior before its publication. Simply, there is nothing in these pages that warrant Bette a child abuser or a distorted individual. If anything Hyman was a spoiled rotten child who had everything she ever wanted. Publishing the book meant she was continuing to live off her mother's name. Many have since come forward and stated that Hyman and her husband were financially strapped and broke when William and Morrow paid BD $100,000 as an advance. During the early '80's Bette Davis was not getting the kind of acting offers that usually came her way, so any money that Bette usually gave her daughter (and she was very giving to her daughter financially) came to a halt.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
In the early Eighties, screen legend Bette Davis underwent a mastectomy and shortly afterward suffered a series of strokes that must have made her daughter B D Hyman think she was about to die, so, apparently inspired by the success of Christina Crawford's MOMMIE DEAREST, she slapped together every minor piece of trash she could remember about her mother, made it into a book, and published it. I don't know if it brought her any money, but it certainly did not win her any friends, because Davis not only didn't die, she recovered sufficiently to write an open letter to her daughter (the famous "Dear Hyman" letter) at the end of her book THIS 'N' THAT. And as if that were not bad enough for poor B D, half of Hollywood was up in arms about the book. After all, Davis may not have been a major player in the Hollywood game any more, but she had friends. Lots of them.

I always thought MOMMIE DEAREST needed to be taken with a grain of salt; some of Christina Crawford's stories smell like fish to me and the publication of her book so soon after being publicly and humiliatingly disinherited by her mother seemed a bit too serendipitous for comfort. But whatever the truth was, at least Christina Crawford managed to paint a vivid picture of an extremely abusive control freak who used her adopted children for publicity and then shipped them off to boarding school when she had no further use for them, and beating them mercilessly on the occasions when they were at home.

B D Hyman's attempt at a similar "exposé" is, in a word, laughable. For starters, she was not adopted: she was the only child Bette Davis gave birth to.
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