Title: Then Again
Author: Diane Keaton
Publisher: Random House
Number of Pages: 288
Mom loved adages, quotes, slogans. There were always little reminders pasted on the kitchen wall. For example, the word THINK. I found THINK thumbtacked on a bulletin board in her darkroom. I saw it Scotch-taped on a pencil box she’d collaged. I even found a pamphlet titled THINK on her bedside table. Mom liked to THINK. So begins Diane Keaton’s unforgettable memoir about her mother and herself. In it you will meet the woman known to tens of millions as Annie Hall, but you will also meet, and fall in love with, her mother, the loving, complicated, always-thinking Dorothy Hall. To write about herself, Diane realized she had to write about her mother, too, and how their bond came to define both their lives. In a remarkable act of creation, Diane not only reveals herself to us, she also lets us meet in intimate detail her mother. Over the course of her life, Dorothy kept eighty-five journals—literally thousands of pages—in which she wrote about her marriage, her children, and, most probingly, herself. Dorothy also recorded memorable stories about Diane’s grandparents. Diane has sorted through these pages to paint an unflinching portrait of her mother—a woman restless with intellectual and creative energy, struggling to find an outlet for her talents—as well as her entire family, recounting a story that spans four generations and nearly a hundred years. More than the autobiography of a legendary actress, Then Again is a book about a very American family with very American dreams. Diane will remind you of yourself, and her bonds with her family will remind you of your own relationships with those you love the most.
Diane Keaton is one of my favorite actresses of all time. I’ve loved every of hers that I’ve seen, and judging by the interviews and such of hers I’ve seen and read, I’ve always loved her funny, sometimes over-the-top character, and I love love love her fashion sense. No matter what some readers said, I loved this book too.
Keaton’s mother kept 85 journals throughout her life. As Diane Keaton explores her journals, she also explores herself and the rest of her family. It wasn’t such a surprise to find out they’re just like any other family with all their problems and sorrows and happy moments together. I also wasn’t surprised that she’s insecure and self-conscious. I especially enjoyed the parts where she questions if she’s “pretty enough” because this is something I’m sure everyone goes through.
She’s an internationally famous, successful actress, but she’s also just like any of us. And I loved how she reflected that onto the page. If you love Diane Keaton or celebrity bios in general, I think this is one you shouldn’t miss.