I received a copy of this book to review. All thoughts & opinions are my own. You can read my disclosure policy here.
It can be fair to wonder if a book about a public figure needs to be written when you can read about that person in their own words. Mary Tyler Moore herself wrote two books about her life. Her name is one that I have known for many years but it wasn’t until earlier in 2017 that I finally got to watch her work for the first time. I found The Dick Van Dyke Show on Netflix and was immediately drawn to the warmth and charismatic charm of Mary Tyler Moore. I was incredibly excited when I was presented with the chance to review this book about a woman who has left a strong impression on Hollywood that will last for a long time.
In the introduction, Marc Shapiro admits that there is not much new information to provide about Mary. Because of that, Marc came up with a new angle to write about her life. What makes this book different from other books about Mary is that this book looks at how things happening in the world affected Mary’s life. This isn’t a typical book about a celebrity and I say that as someone who has read her fair share of those.
The trials that Mary Tyler Moore dealt with throughout her career are similar trails that women in Hollywood are still facing today. Did you know that she was fired from a tv show when she asked for a raise? For someone like myself who has only seen pieces from Mary’s body of work and has never read her books, I learned a lot about her while reading.
One of the most interesting things that this book addresses is the fact that Mary was often at odds with the feminist movement that gained momentum during her lifetime. A favorite part of mine from the book is learning how Mary fought for her character to wear pants on television because that was representative to her of how a real housewife would dress. Due to the time period the television executives disagreed with Mary about whether or not she could wear pants. It was clear that she did not have a problem being vocal but that she was careful in what arguments she would lend her voice to. While she did fight for things that those in the feminism movement would identify with she did not fully lend her support to the cause.
Towards the beginning of the book I found myself inspired by her and by the end of the book I found myself feeling sorry for her. However, it seemed that the last thing Mary would want to be remembered as is a victim that you feel sorry for. It was clear to me that it was not the authors intent to make Mary a victim. He was simply writing the truth about things that happened in her life.
The book as a whole is interesting, but halfway through the book I found myself becoming a bit bored. At the start, I could not wait to turn the page and continue reading and the further I got into the book the more I started to wonder how much more I’d have to read to finish. I love reading books about actors but some of my favorite parts of those books are the behind the scenes stories of what it was like to work on certain shows and work with certain people. This book was lacking in that department but I would assume that those stories can be found in the books Mary herself wrote.
Would I Recommend This Book?
For the right audience yes! If you are someone who cannot get enough of Mary Tyler Moore this book will be enjoyable for you.
I give the book a 3 out 5.