Thursday, May 15, 2014

Part Swan, Part Goose - Kurtz

Title: Part Swan, Part Goose:An Uncommon Memoir of Womanhood, Work, and Family

Author: Swoosie Kurtz, Joni Rodgers
Published: 2014
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Book Source: I received this book as a publisher's  through Penguin, free of cost, in exchange for an honest review.

Recommended if you like: Celebrity Memoirs, Theater

What Its About: 
A compelling and heartwarming memoir from award-winning actress Swoosie Kurtz, Part Swan, Part Goose celebrates her extraordinary life and career, and serves as an ode to her beloved parents, Frank and Margo. Weaving stories from the author's life with passages from her mother's 1945 memoir My Rival, the Sky, Kurtz gives readers a complete understanding of not just who she is and how she got there, but where she came from.

Kurtz was raised an only child and an "army brat". Her father was a no-frills, but loving, military man.  Once an Olympic diving medalist, Frank Kurtz was one of the most decorated aviators of WWII. Swoosie was actaully named after his beloved plane, The Swoose (part swan, part goose). Margo Kurtz was a feminist before her time, a strong woman who wrote her own memoir describing her (pre-Swoosie) life with Frank Kurtz and war-time America.  

With such strong examples, and an non-ending amount of love and attention, Kurtz was bound to choose an equally exceptional role in life.  Yet it was still a surprise when she found herself performing on stage in high school for the first time and discovering she'd found her path. Acting quickly became her passion and spouse, as she never married for no other reason than her love of acting was always deeper, brighter and more encompassing than her relationships.  Broadway and Hollywood were equally kind.  From her first performance on the Donna Reed show, to more than one Tony-award wining roles on Broadway, to her long-lived television series Sisters and her current role as a smart-mouthed, quick-witted mother in the sitcom Mike and Molly, Kurtz' career has been a whirlwind.

These days Kurtz spends most of her time in the California area, close to her mother who is approaching her one hundredth birthday. Kurtz shares honestly about the trials of supporting an aging parent and the impending, inevitable loss from her life.

Bottom Line: 
I loved this book. Swoosie Kurtz' is an amazing actress and more so a strong, intelligent woman who has always paved her own path rather than following others expectations toward marriage and motherhood.  I am, of course, enthralled by her talk about "the business" and even more enamored by the love she shares for her parents. A great read, well written, playful and fun.