I "met" Jane Fonda at a book signing in Pasadena, CA. I was immediately taken with her graciousness. She appeared beautifully poised, content and unpretentious, before a packed gathering. She was irreverent, intelligent, insightful and candid. As she sat at the signing table, she immediately commented that she thought my blouse was gorgeous. While this may seem like a very minor thing, having been to countless events of this type, I was a bit taken aback by her focus on me. This was supposed to be about HER. This is a huge part of her charm; the ability to look outward, instead of being obsessed with herself, the way that so many of today's celebrities seem to be.
As a child of the civil unrest, disobedience and rights movement, I had always related to what she stood for. I could always distinguish between being patriotic and simply disagreeing with the way that the government was handling things. Therefore, it was my belief that she had been demonized needlessly, and that ignorance and the inability to understand how caring for one's country, is what makes one passionate about what is happening in the first place. This is what has made it so difficult for people to look past what happened during the Viet Nam era.
There are still many people who hate her for her activism. And it is a shame that those people will miss out on what truly is, an astoundingly insightful book. Jane Fonda is not just someone who is a famous actress; she is a woman who is living a very full, informed, and turbulent life, and took the time to really learn from it. And she is sharing her experiences in such a candid, forthright, refreshing way - that anyone could benefit from reading about them.
You do not have to have been famous to have the kinds of experiences that she describes. While some celebrity autobiographies drone on and on about all of the other famous people they knew and know, very few actually tell about how they felt, and what they learned in the process. And many still have the fear of telling the truth. Because Jane Fonda is where she is in her life right now, she has the luxury and ability to be as honest as she wants to be. She has reached successful pinnacles in her career, that few rarely achieve.
As I read each chapter, I could see my own life in parallels. I did not have the privilege that she did, however, I understand the same struggles that she had, as a woman. I could even see similarities in the kinds of men that she has had in her life, yet, I have lived worlds apart from her.
This is a true, unabashedly truthful memoir, that does not scrimp on details. It is entertaining, candid, informative, while being stunningly, strikingly provocative, and enlightening. This is a book that I will always cherish. The revelations that she shares, have affected my own life, and will continue to do so. It is the most insightfully enlightening autobiography by an actor that I have read thus far. But that is not surprising, given that Ms. Fonda is much more than an actor. First and foremost, she is a human being who has always cared about humanity, and it truly shows in her life's experiences. I am so grateful that she decided to share it with us.
Loved her philosophy of life and candid sharing. A little long at times.
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