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The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  19,457 ratings  ·  2,284 reviews
A touching and intimate correspondence between Anderson Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, offering timeless wisdom and a revealing glimpse into their lives.

Though Anderson Cooper has always considered himself close to his mother, his intensely busy career as a journalist for CNN and CBS affords him little time to spend with her. After she suffers a brief but
...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Harper
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Jay Life is fluid. It's ever moving & changing from one moment to the next.

While there will be hardships & trials we may feel we cannot overcome,…more
Life is fluid. It's ever moving & changing from one moment to the next.

While there will be hardships & trials we may feel we cannot overcome, we can. All in all, the love & loss we experience can either leave us cold and broken or we can accept that it happened, it's painful, & we may always have questions, but in the end, we create our own world & happiness.

The other takeaway (for me) is that we're all dying. Don't wait until the end to ask questions or get to know people. Looking at this from the perspective of a daughter, there are many stories my parents have that I know I've no knowledge about. My father is an immigrant in his 80s, but I don't know about him as a person... Only what I've observed growing up. After reading this book, I'd say my takeaway is to take the time to get to know him before it's too late... And I already nearly lost that chance once.(less)
Lisa At first thought, the emails can be the same. But as Anderson said in a recent interview, it was easier to talk about the more personal & intimate…moreAt first thought, the emails can be the same. But as Anderson said in a recent interview, it was easier to talk about the more personal & intimate stuff that way. Especially when Gloria was talking about her love life. :) Though sometimes it is easier to ask the really tough questions when you are not sitting face to face.(less)

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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  19,457 ratings  ·  2,284 reviews


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Jennifer Masterson
5 Stars! This book will forever hold a special place in my heart! I initially purchased "The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss" because years ago I learned that Anderson had lost his father when he was 10 years old and his brother committed suicide when he was 21. Having lost my father suddenly at 12 and having lost an ex-boyfriend to suicide I always felt a connection. I wanted to know more. Not only does this book tell more about Anderson but it tells the story ...more
Angela M
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
An ongoing e-mail conversation between a mother and her son to get to know each other better when she’s in her early 90’s, is the basis for this book and as you might suspect it’s an intimate look, and certainly interesting. In this case made much more interesting because the mother is the famed Gloria Vanderbilt and the son, Anderson Cooper, a recognized anchor and reporter for CNN. It’s mostly Gloria’s story, and as I listened to the audiobook, it many times felt like Anderson was interviewing ...more
Elyse  Walters
Aug 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A Shark and A Tight Rope......
.......Anderson Cooper and his 91 year old mother, Gloria Vanderbilt are both
wonderful storytellers!!!!!!

Two famous people: mother and son...have a personal conversation....taken from a year long e-mail exchange.
Anderson asks questions about his mother's childhood - she gives intimate answers.
I listened to the audiobook.

Gloria shares about being a little girl, growing up with no men in her life- without a
father. She shares about her troubled relationship with
...more
Diane S ☔
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-2019, lor-2019
Like many other young women, i owned a few pairs of Vanderbilt jeans, they were the first in brand that were a must have. Remember too, my grandmother talking about the poor, little rich girl and how it must be so horrible for her, having to choose between her mother and grandmother. I didn't, however, know that Anderson Cooper as part of the Vanderbilt's, until after Gloria's death. I had seen him on TV and liked his reporting.

This though is all I knew, no details about their lives, and truth
...more
Esil
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 stars. The Rainbow Comes and Goes was a bit of a mixed bag for me, but on balance a positive experience. There were some real strengths, and then there were parts that were a bit tedious. I knew very little about Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper before I started listening to the audio book. As far as I knew, Gloria Vanderbilt was the brand name of jeans coveted by many of my friends in my late teenage years (determined to be a contrarian, I found them tacky). And Anderson Cooper is that ...more
Barbara
Aug 08, 2016 rated it liked it


Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper

This book is based on email correspondence between journalist Anderson Cooper and his nonagenarian mother Gloria Vanderbilt. Though perhaps not so well known today, Gloria was once a darling of the media. During her long and eventful life Gloria was an heiress, socialite, actress, artist, designer, fashion mogul, and author. She had numerous affairs with famous men and was married four times. All this made Gloria fascinating to the public.


Gloria Vanderbilt
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Libby
3.75 stars rounded up - Anderson Cooper is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to things he wants to ask his mother. I was unaware that Gloria Vanderbilt was Anderson Cooper’s mother, but Cooper makes it clear he never wanted to rely on the Vanderbilt name to take him places. The most I’ve known about the Vanderbilts is 1). They’re rich. 2). They own the Biltmore House in Asheville, N.C., where my husband and I went on our honeymoon in 1976, and 3). Gloria Vanderbilt designed jeans. Yes, I ...more
Cheri
The year that this book was released, my brother bought a signed copy for me (along with a lot of others) although at the time, I wasn’t sure why he chose some of the books he bought for me, this one I knew. I’d come to love Anderson Cooper’s ability to be both strong and vulnerable, but I didn’t expect to be quite as moved as I was by this book. But… I’m getting ahead of myself, since I didn’t read it at the time, and now wishing I’d read it earlier.

Lovely and heartbreaking, it was wonderful to
...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
2017 Reading Challenge: written by someone I admire; book club selection
2017 Lenten season nonfiction read #1

I did not know this, but Gloria Vanderbilt is an accomplished magazine correspondent and artist. No clue she's also the author of eight books. But unfortunately we know her for a pair of jeans from 1979, which seems so unattached from the child fought over in the "poor little rich girl" custody battle of the 1940s.
Anderson Cooper, her youngest son and the CNN and 60 minutes reporter,
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☮Karen
4.5 stars.
Years ago my husband and I read and enjoyed the book Little Gloria... Happy at Last about the child Gloria Vanderbilt and the famous custody battle between her neglectful mother and her Aunt Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. My husband's interest goes way back, you see, as his Grandmother Jenny claimed that they were descended from CorneliusVanderbilt (they were, actually, but not THAT Cornelius--that was quite a common name in the 1700s it turns out. She also said they came from German
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Jean
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I remember learning only recently that Anderson Cooper is Gloria Vanderbilt’s son. Now, reading their book, The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss, I learn that she is 92! And she’s been an actress, an artist, and a writer. To think, I’ve always only associated her with blue jeans!

This book is basically Gloria’s memoir, although it is a year-long collection of e-mails between mother and son that often reads like an interview by journalist Cooper. In his desire to
...more
Reese
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Not a boring page in this "epistolary memoir" (letters=emails) through which Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt offer access to layers of their individual lives and layers of their relationship with each other. Those who already mourn "the lost art of letter writing" may "read it and weep." And readers burdened by missed opportunities may feel the weight of the burden increase. A rainbow -- who doesn't think, "Oh shit," when (s)he realizes IT WAS THERE, NOW IT'S NOT ? We missed it and perhaps ...more
Cheryl
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Journalist and television personality Anderson Cooper always had a good relationship with his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. But when she turned 91, he realized that he really didn’t know very much about her early life. In fact, she had rarely talked about her life at all. So he suggested that they begin an email correspondence which transpired over the course of a year.

The emails are compiled into this honest and heartfelt memoir reflecting on their lives, relationships, and their thoughts about
...more
Dawn
A very intriguing memoir about the lives of two American icons, from two different generations, who happen to be mother and son. Well, it's more about Gloria Vanderbilt's life, than Anderson Cooper's, but you still get a glimpse into his childhood and adult life. I, like many it seems, did not know these two were mother and son until right before this book was released and it was being marketed. But that seems to be Anderson's intention. He didn't want to be known as a Vanderbilt and kept his ...more
Jeanette
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When I see, and it is often, the words "New York Times Best Seller" on a cover- it is NOT a forecast for a positive outcome for me with any book. Non-fiction or fiction, that has been the case for some years. So when I looked at this cover, I tended to see those exact words and not the lovely picture below them.

Well, this truly is the exception. Enough for me to give it the 5th star. Enjoyable, loving, heart-warming, approaching emotive truth, and just completely well done in word form. All of
...more
Naksed
These memoirs, based on email exchanges between Anderson Cooper and his mother Gloria Vanderbilt, have the two ingredients that are so rare in books of this genre, which are candidness and insight.

There are two aspects, equally fascinating, to these memoirs. First, the personal, family story. And second, the "celebrity" story.

Rainbow is first and foremost the story of the unrequited love of a child for her parents, a father who died of alcoholism at the age of 45 when Gloria was a baby, and a
...more
Lesa
After hearing Anderson Cooper at PLA, talking about his conversation with his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, I picked up the book about that conversation. The Rainbow Comes and Goes is the story of their life, told through a year-long conversation after Vanderbilt turned ninety-one. Cooper challenged us at the conference to have a meaningful conversation with members of our family.

Vanderbilt and Cooper are the last survivors in their immediate family. When his mother was hospitalized at ninety-one,
...more
Louise
Sep 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography


This is billed as an email exchange between Anderson Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, but it is actually an email interview. Professional interviewer that he is, Anderson reveals little about himself and gives his mother openings to tell her story.

Gloria has led as full a life as any world leader or talking head he has encountered on his job. Unlike them, she is 92, and has no need to measure how her words might build or sink a career. Also, at 92, she has had a lot more time than
...more
Liz Lazarus
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Like most young girls, I had the a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, but admit that I was much more familiar with her son, Anderson Cooper, so it was interesting to hear about her life. In “The Rainbow Comes And Goes,” Anderson asks most of the questions so we learn much more about Gloria - the custody battle of her childhood, the early loss of her father, an aloof mother that left her rudderless as a young teen, and several lovers and marriages.
We learn of the similarities between mother and
...more
Kelley
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book as soon as it came out and I NEVER buy a book!

From the moment I saw Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt talking about this book I knew I had to have it. A book of e-mails between mother and son over the 91st year of a mother's life; what a way to be able to say all that needs to be said. I didn't know anything about Gloria Vanderbilt and her storied life of heartbreak, rejection, love and money. Hers in such an interesting story to read. To learn that Anderson Cooper is her
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
his book was first mentioned on Episode 064 of the Reading Envy Podcast by Tracy Landrith back in August 2016, but of course the recent death of Gloria Vanderbilt (and touching tribute by son Anderson Cooper on CNN) brought it back to mind. My longtime friend Kimberly read it and sent me an email about it, and wanting to discuss it with her I downloaded it from hoopla and my husband and I listened to it while driving around in the mountains on our anniversary.

Gloria Vanderbilt undoubtedly has a
...more
Darren
Jun 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a fan of both Cooper and Vanderbilt, so this should have been a slam-dunk (especially listening to the two of them on this audiobook edition). But it's instead kind of a 50-50. First of all, it's Vanderbilt who is so much more fun to listen to...Cooper is in full "reporter/announcer" mode and, compared to his mother's narration, comes across as very isolated from the emotional aspects of this story. Second, there's just not much about Anderson Cooper in these stories, which may be a flaw of ...more
Sharon Huether
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
An honest story of Gloria Vanderbilt and her her son Anderson Cooper .
Gloria had an unusual childhood, being separated from her mother and being close to her governess and nanny. Her mother was too busy having fun and traveling to pay any attention to Gloria.
When Gloria had her children she vowed to be a part of their lives and enjoy motherhood.
Part of the book Anderson tells of his feelings of not remembering his father Wyatt Cooper, and the death of his brother Carter.
At ninety two Gloria and
...more
Holly
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
First of all, the extent of my Anderson Cooper knowledge basically only includes his friendship with Andy Cohen and how darling of a giggle he has when flustered on his own show. Nevertheless, this book was moving to the point of tears several times. Not only is Gloria Vanderbilt a beautiful wordsmith, but she also seems incredibly self aware of how her early life shaped her and those around her. The conversation between Anderson and Gloria is raw and real and touching. Anyone who has a parent ...more
Clumsy Storyteller
Apr 13, 2016 marked it as to-read
i love Anderson Cooper i can't wait to read his book :D :D , Remember when he told donald trump "That's an argument of a 5-year-old is, he started it., Every parent knows a kid who says he started it" yeah .. that was FUNNY :DD !!
Gerald
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Memoir is perhaps the most frequently attempted book genre but – unless there’s a celebrity photo on the cover – these manuscripts rarely find a mainstream publisher, much less become bestsellers. But in this case, there are two smiling portraits and two famous brands – television journalist Anderson Cooper and his fashion-designer mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. However, until recently anyway, the general public may not have been aware of the family relationship. For his part, Cooper has assiduously ...more
Donna
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography-memoir
I decided to read this book because the concept intrigued me - Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt, two such successful and well-known celebrities, son and mother, getting to know each other a little better through emails. I'm not much for reading autobiographies of celebrities (except for musicians and songwriters). This book sounded as if it would be different than the usual celebrity tell-all. It took me a couple of chapters to really warm up to their email chit-chat, and maybe that's ...more
Lubinka Dimitrova
Hm... I not sure what to say about this book. For me, Gloria Vanderbilt evokes mixed feelings - I really admired what she was able to make of herself growing up under such dire circumstances. But I also wonder who could regard as a normal thing the fact that two months after the death of her deeply beloved husband she's back with her former husband, whom she left after suddenly falling in love with another man. Nevertheless, it's not my place to judge her, or anyone else, obviously. What I ...more
Vera Long
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I've been a fan of Anderson Cooper's for years and have read several biographies of Gloria Vanderbilt in the past, so the story was not new to me. What was new was the poignant mother-son interaction in such a detached medium as emails. Loved the last chapter, The Rainbow Comes and Goes, with each sharing their reflections on the ebbs and flows of life, meandering towards its inevitable conclusion.
Hank Stuever
Mar 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fascinating, I thought. Details from a whole other world, past and present. I read this to go along with my Washington Post story about the Liz Garbus documentary for HBO, "Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper." Here's a link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entert...
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Anderson Hays Cooper is an Emmy Award winning American journalist, author, and television personality. He currently works as the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360. The program is normally broadcast live from a New York City studio; however, Cooper often broadcasts live on location for breaking news stories.

Cooper is the younger son of the writer Wyatt Emory Cooper and the
...more
“The rainbow comes and goes. Enjoy it while it lasts. Don't be surprised by its departure, and rejoice when it returns.” 10 likes
“The rainbow comes and goes. Enjoy it while it lasts. Don’t be surprised by its departure, and rejoice when it returns. There is so much to be joyful about, so many different kinds of rainbows in one’s life: making love is an incredible rainbow, as is falling in love; knowing friendship; being able to really talk with someone who has a problem and say something that will help; waking up in the morning, looking out, and seeing a tree that has suddenly blossomed, like the one I have outside my window—what joy that brings. It may seem a small thing, but rainbows come in all sizes. I think about Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz singing, about where “bluebirds fly,” and Jan Peerce singing about “a bluebird of happiness.” Well, they may never find it, they may never reach it, and that’s okay. The searching, that’s what I think life is really all about. Don’t you? I” 8 likes
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