Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed Something Fabulous, my fifth post in June about the books by Alexis Hall to celebrate Pride Month. Shellie of Shellie Loves Books joined us for the first time with a review of Agatha Christie’s sixth Miss Marple book: They Do it With Mirrors. Thanks for joining, Shellie!
Book: Managing Expectations: A Memoir in Essays by Minnie Driver
Publisher: Harper One
Publication date: 2022
Source: Audio eBook borrowed from library
Summary: Managing Expectations covers Minnie Driver’s life from living with a stepdad that she disliked to boarding school where she discovered acting to her early career of ups and downs. Her first successes in Circle of Friends and Good Will Hunting also led to unwelcome tabloid press attention.
We get to spend time with two of the most long-standing people in Minnie Driver’s life, her mother and her sister. The three women all have out-sized personalities that rub up against each other in both conflict and support. Minnie Driver lost her mother to cancer while she was writing this book, so that adds an extra layer of love and meaning to the narrative.
Thoughts: Minnie Driver’s childhood had strange moments that provide good stories, but I also liked the more general experience of being a theater kid. In her young adulthood, it was far from obvious that she was going to be successful — the stories are so relatable for those of us who had hiccups in our careers and great big question marks about what to do with our lives. Of course, the parts about breaking into Hollywood were exciting entries into a world that most of us can’t access.
The essays are roughly chronological. There were times that I wished for a more continuous presentation, something that would follow-up the previous story or connect it to the next one. With an essay-format, big gaps were allowed to remain. In the end, though, I felt like the sacrifice was worth it. Each essay is a polished little gem that benefits from shining on its own.
Appeal: The audiobook, read by Driver, is a wonderful experience. An added bonus was an interview at the end of the book that revealed some new things. The first was that reading your own audiobook is an emotional experience, especially for Driver because she was saying her mother’s words, so soon after her death. A lot of that interview conversation is around reading, so booklovers will get a kick out of it.
Have you read this book? What did you think?