Monday, July 6, 2009

#BookReview: Stormy Weather: the Life of Lena Horne - James Gavin

I can't decide if I didn't like this book or Lena Horne herself. The author portrays her has an airhead in some instances and as an evil shrew in others. She's a victim of Ethel Waters in some sections and a "feeling a need to marry a white man to secure her place in society" woman in others. While I know she can be all of these things, it's hard to reconcile these images with what I've read about her before.

I'll admit that the previous bio that I read,The Hornes, was written by her daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley, so it's entirely possible that she sugarcoated it to portray her mother in the best light. The author does a good job of referencing other bios about Ms. Horne and quotes them so that there's no need to go back and forth doing comparisons.

If you're not familiar with Lena Horne, you may be shocked to read how she viewed herself, her place in society and her place in Hollywood. You'll need to decide for yourself whether or not it's worth reading.

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