This book is actually called "The Age of Miracles" not "Miracles at Midlife." Whatever its title, it is familar ground for Marianne Williamson, self h...moreThis book is actually called "The Age of Miracles" not "Miracles at Midlife." Whatever its title, it is familar ground for Marianne Williamson, self help guru and FOO (Friend of Oprah.) Williamson is like some kooky relative who shows up at Thanksgiving and rivets attention away from banal subjects. She doesn't mince words -- she believes people can heal the world through loving thoughts and actions. To do this you have to retrain your mind to focus on love instead of fear, a tenet of the New Age tome "A Course in Miracles" from which Williamson's philosophy is culled. She sees no less than a full spiritual revolution in progress.
None of this will be new to people who have read her books. What makes "The Age of Miracles" slightly different is that it's aimed at a particular generation - hers. For some reason I'm blanking on what this generation is called -- it's the one between Baby Boomers and Generation X. Instead of shrinking into old age, Williamson believes this generation has important spiritual work to do.
Who can argue with any of this? Of course the world needs to be healed. If people can gain tools from this, more power to them. That said, Williamson is merely a competant writer -- she isn't much of a stylist and her prose doesn't sing. Her writing takes on the tone of someone in casual conversation. She also isn't a very original thinker, and cribs heavily from her previous works and other people. (less)
Perhaps the most surprising thing about this memoir is that Kathleen Turner has lead a fairly normal life. She still rides the bus, does her own shopp...morePerhaps the most surprising thing about this memoir is that Kathleen Turner has lead a fairly normal life. She still rides the bus, does her own shopping, and -- with the exception of her on-set affair with Michael Douglas in the early '80s-- has had a pretty unglamorous love life. I was a fan of hers back in the '80s, mainly due to "Romancing the Stone" which is still one of my favorite movies. She had a reputation at that time for vanity, and I think that worked against her. Her career seemed to all but have dried up by the '90s, with the possible exception of "Serial Mom" and her appearances as Chandler Bing's "father" on "Friends." Her personal life took a turn for the worse when she was afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis at a young age, then alcoholism.
All of this is detailed in 'Send Yourself Roses.' Turner has been through a lot and seems to have a pretty good attitude. She takes a no-holds-barred approach to dishing on her co-stars, which makes for a fun insider's look at Hollywood. She calls Burt Renyolds "nasty," suggests that William Hurt is a womanizer, and all but blames Nicolas Cage for her Oscar loss for "Peggy Sue Got Married." Best of all is her revelation that she and Michael Douglas had a high spirited affair on the Mexican set of "RTS" in 1983. I had never heard that (although I'm told it has been public knowledge for some time) and the details will delight any fan of those two.
Overall I think this book is uneven. The showbiz parts are fun, but Turner occasionally gets bogged down in to much detail about acting technique. She also spends a strange amount of time skewering critics who have skewered her. (That is their job, madam.) I would have prefered more dish on her movies, less of her philosophy of life (which includes way too much prostleyizing about the value of service.) Her style is prone to tangets, some of which she never recovers from.
But, who cares? It's a show biz memoir, ultimately, and a fun one at that.(less)