Wildflower by Drew Barrymore
Published by Penguin Publishing Group
Audio narrated by Drew Barrymore
I don’t listen to a lot of audio books; I find it difficult to follow an intricate plot while working or driving. But there are some books that I prefer in audio – and this is definitely one of them.
I actually have a signed hardcover edition; but I like to keep my signed copies in pristine condition, so when I saw that it was out on audio, and narrated by the author herself, it was a no-brainer.
This is the first half of the story of a young woman, who you may think had the world on a silver platter, but that was very far from the truth. She really didn’t have the fairy tale life that might be assumed based on her famous name, and her early successful career in movies. Her story is much more complicated, heartbreaking, and eventually joyful. As Drew Barrymore tells the story of her life thus far, she’s brutally honest about her own mistakes – and she tells it with so must honesty and humor that you can’t help but be charmed by her.
She talks about being raised by a single mother – her father, from the famed Barrymore family, not involved in her early years at all; and how, at only 14 years old, she went to court to become emancipated from her mother. I love her stories of how unprepared she was for some of the most basic things that she never learned to do – like laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking. And how she had to find a “real” job when she couldn’t get an acting gig, and having absolutely no other skills. You can hear the wonder in her voice as she herself seems surprised that she was able to survive.
And that’s what I love about the audio. Listening to her voice break as she talks about connecting with her father, and then being with him through his illness and eventual death. The admiration and love in her voice when she talks about Steven Spielberg, who she thinks of as a father; even after he sent her a blanket and a note to “cover up” in response to her posing in Playboy! And the absolute joy and happiness in her voice when she talks about her children. She narrates her way through her life like she’s sitting right next to you, having a cup of coffee and a chat, and it’s lovely to feel like a trusted friend that she’s confiding in.
Drew Barrymore is only 41 years old, and you might think it’s too early in her life to write a memoir – but I don’t think of it that way. This is just the first half, and she wanted to tell the beginning part of her life, maybe set the record straight in some instances, but one thing I do know – she’s a fascinating and talented woman with a lot of heart and courage. I look forward to her someday completing her memoir of the second half of her life.
If you’re not familiar with Drew Barrymore I highly recommend listening to the audio, you’ll feel like you’ve gotten to know her pretty well in no time.
Update – There was something that I wanted to put in this post, but I actually forgot until a commenter reminded me – thanks Night Train Books! I was not a big Drew Barrymore fan when she was younger. I saw the tabloid headlines, and saw some of her antics on TV, so she didn’t really impress me. It wasn’t until I saw her in the movie “Ever After” that I started to watch her movies. She explains in her book how she comes to the realization that she needed to grow up, and how she felt embarrassed by some of the things that she did to gain attention. It’s at this point in her life that she decides to make more wholesome, family friendly movies.
Because of that change in her life, I believe that she’s made some really nice movies, so I thought I’d share my favorites:
- Ever After: A Cinderalla Story
- Never Been Kissed
- 50 First Dates
- Music and Lyrics (my favorite of the bunch)
- Big Miracle
- Blended (my second favorite)
If you’ve read the book, or listened to the audio, I’d like to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.