Send Yourself Roses Review
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I love to read showbiz books—especially when they’re penned by artists I admire. Kathleen Turner’s autobiography/memoir has the added advantage of several life lessons that highlight each story. Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts on My Life, Love, and Leading Roles is a collection of fourteen lessons/chapters, with such titles as “See Your Moment and Seize it, Honey” and “Take the Lead, Lady!”

Turner’s childhood was wonderfully diverse, mostly spent following her diplomat father to places like England, Cuba, and Venezuela. She caught the acting bug in college and headed for New York after graduation. From there came a steady role on the soap, The Doctors, followed by theater and films.

Turner is an award-winning actress with lots of wisdom to impart, but she also dishes the dirt now and then, with barbs at certain male co-stars. Burt Reynolds, in particular, gets the thumbs-down, along with Nicolas Cage, her co-star in Peggy Sue Got Married, for “that stupid voice and the fake teeth—oh, honestly, I cringe to think of it.”

The tone of the book is casual and friendly, like a running conversation between friends. Turner isn’t shy about liberal use of the F-word, which makes the first of many appearances in the book’s very first sentence. Her philosophy on appearing nude is also interesting: after agreeing to total nudity in Body Heat, she refused to reveal her backside in The Man with Two Brains (telling the director to get someone else’s ass to rub).

Each chapter contains a brief synopsis of one or more of her films, along with producer, director, co-stars, and a sample quote of dialogue. My favorite Turner movie, Romancing the Stone, gets a good airing. Filmed in the jungle of Mexico (which stood in for the more dangerous Columbia), it earned Turner not one but two emerald gemstones for injuries sustained while sliding down muddy hillsides and the like.

It’s nice to hear that Turner’s life is so full. When not on stage, screen, or television, she teaches a class at New York University. And she volunteers for several causes, including Citymeals on Wheels. Throughout the book, you get the lowdown on both the film and stage industries, in no uncertain terms. And you hear Turner tell you what she’s learned in this life, what’s important, and how she looks forward to the next stages in her life.

I was satisfied and enriched by Send Yourself Roses and by Ms. Turner’s insights. It’s a fun and engaging read. And while I may not be sending myself roses anytime soon (well, ‘cause I’m a guy), it seems like pretty good advice.

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