By Carrie White
Atria Books, $26.00
Behind the scenes of every Hollywood photo shoot, TV appearance, and party in the '60s, '70s, and '80s, there was Carrie White. As the "First Lady of Hairdressing," Carrie collaborated with Richard Avedon on shoots for partied with Jim Morrison, styled Sharon Tate's hair before her wedding to Roman Polanski, and got high with Jimi Hendrix. She has counted Jennifer Jones, Betsy Bloomingdale, Elizabeth Taylor, Goldie Hawn, and Camille Cosby among her favorite clients.
But behind the glamorous facade, Carrie's world was in perpetual disarray and always had been. After her father abandoned the family when she was still a child, she was sexually abused by her domineering stepfather, and her alcoholic mother was unstable and unreliable. Carrie was sipping cocktails before her tenth birthday, and had had five children and three husbands before her twenty-eighth. She fueled the frenetic pace of her professional life with a steady diet of champagne and vodka, diet pills, cocaine, and heroin, until she eventually lost her home, her car, her career—and nearly her children. But she battled her way back, getting sober, rebuilding her relationships and her reputation as a hairdresser, and today, the name Carrie White is once again on the door of one of Beverly Hills's most respected salons. An unflinching portrayal of addiction and recovery, proves that even in Hollywood, sometimes you have to fight for a happy ending.
My thoughts about Carrie White's Upper Cut: WOW! Carrie's young years were surely tough, Carrie details her abuse by her stepfather and mistreatment by her alcoholic mother in some detail, and leads us into the not-so-glamorous backside of Hollywood. The world of stars, drugs and alcohol, and the abuse that comes along with the celebrities. I was afraid that this would be another poorly written "tell all" that leads the reader no where. Boy was I wrong!
Carrie White has poured her heart and soul into telling her life story. She's not looking for sympathy, she tells things as they were in her world. The names were not "dropped" - the famous people were as normal to her as our neighbors are to us. White doesn't use names to create sensational gossip. She's sharing her life and her fight to gain control of her own world.
Upper Cut is so well written and so addictive in itself that I couldn't put it down. I was thrilled to have a printed galley because I did carry it around with me and it was way too easy for me to reach into my tote and bring it out to read immediately!! No turning on the e-reader and waiting for it to load in. There's something to be said for a printed book. Instant read!
I was into the read from the first page, although the bits about her abuse by her stepfather, Johnny, were hard to read, I didn't skim a word.
It's great to read about someone's life that ends on the right note, where they do pull themselves up. The path along the way is sometimes hard to read, sometimes hard to understand why she chose what she did, but it's never dull, always truthful and always entertaining.
I highly recommend Upper Cut, it's so nice to see someone survive to share her story so others can see it's possible for people to succeed.
4 out of 5 stars!
This advance reader's galley was provided to me by the publisher at my request and in no way affected by review.