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Thursday, January 20, 2011

"Beaches"

by Iris Rainer Dart, AF, 1985, 276p, rating=3
**Contains adult language and content**
(book I read from actually has a different bookcover image, but I couldn't find it, original '85 hardcover edition, and honestly I like this paperback cover better)

"1951.  They meet as children under the boardwalk in Atlantic City.  Cee Cee Bloom, with a Brillo pad of red hair, a knock-out voice and a sparkle that demands attention, is performing in a kiddie show.  Bertie White is from a conventional family with traditional values, but she finds herself captivated by the glitter of Cee Cee's world.  And Cee Cee in turn depends on Bertie's enthusiastic support and open-hearted affection.  From that first special day on the beach, they enliven each other's existence.  As pen pals, they confide to each other the growing excitement and frustration they experience in their awakening womanhood.  And as they meet through the years, they strengthen the friendship that will last them the rest of their lives.  Cee Cee soars to stardom in Hollywood and on Broadway, while Bertie settles into marriage to a successful attorney, who finds Bertie's relationship with the outrageous Cee Cee unsuitable.  But neither of these women can relinquish her special tie--a bond forged in their youth and destined to endure the hidden jealousies, the glare of celebrity, the explosive misunderstandings, the tolls exacted by drugs and tragedy, the shock of divorce and death, the unsparing demands when a loved one is in need.  And the tears and laughter of two friends who finally make their peace through a little girl's love." (original book's synopsis)

At the library a few days ago, this title (Beaches) came to me... thinking of the movie.  I figured maybe it was inspired from a book so I checked the catalog and sure enough there's a book!  I was excited because I love love love the movie!  Bette Midler was great in it and her "Wind Beneath My Wings" song is just beautiful.  I figured it would be a fun read.  I was giddy at first, totally picturing the scene when Cee Cee and Bertie first met.  I had forgotten the bold language Cee Cee had even at a young age.  It called for it in her character though, but it progressively got too crass for my taste.  Bette Midler's take on it was perfect though and often throughout the book I'd picture her sassy attitude and get a smile.  Anyway, Bertie's character is a bit different in the book as well.  Barbara Hershey, who played her in the movie, portrayed a demure and steady Bertie.  In the book, Bertie was too passive and easily shaken (except in the end).  Overall, I had high expectation coming into this book with having enjoyed the movie version under my belt.  I wasn't completely disappointed because the book did have the crust of the storyline I enjoyed in the film version.  I just happen to like the film's take on it much better... much more heartwarming.

Best friends are awesome!  Through thick and thin Bertie and Cee Cee were there for each other.  It took me back to days with a couple of my BFFs.  In our case we (the Three Musketeers) met in 7th grade.  We also had a falling out but fortunately we were able to resolve it and continue to be BFFs to this day.  Such bond in friendship was what I enjoyed most in this story.  Every girl needs a homegirl(s) by her side.  There's nothing like having friends who will stand by you.  Thankful that we don't have the same ending as Bertie and Cee Cee.  ~Love you forever Peb and Glo!!

Book version:   rating =3
Movie version:  rating =5  (but I suppose I'm bias because again, I love love love the movie)  :)

1 comment:

  1. I really like the cover- it sounds like a great read and movie.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    ReplyDelete

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