Thursday, 1 May 2014

Ava Gardner - The Secret Conversations

This book was published last year so I've had it on my list to read for a while. But you know me and my super scrimpy ways, I didn't want to pay £20.00 for the pleasure. So I held off until my library could order it in for me at a much more affordable 80p.

I don't buy books nowadays unless I feel I will re-read them or refer to them again. Otherwise they just become dust collectors and oh my I don't need any of them.

I have been fascinated by the early Hollywood stars since I was a wee girl, like most of us vintage gals I suppose. My Mum used to explain who was who and to whom they were married and any other little tit-bits she could remember. All totally wondrous and glamorous.

This book fulfils the same brief really but instead of wonder and glamour there is a deep insight into Ava Gardner's life and a flavour of who she really was. I loved reading it but found it a little sad. When the ghost writer Peter Evans meets Ava she has already suffered two strokes that have left her physically diminished, which she of course can't stand.

She is badly in need of funds and decides to write her story to keep afloat. Her life had not become the happy time she had wished for.

"When I'm old and gray, I want to have a house by the sea. And paint. With a lot of wonderful chums, good music, and booze around. And a damn good kitchen to cook in".

This portrait of Ava taken by her brother-in-law Larry Tarr was the picture that launched her career as it led to a screen test with MGM. And so her story began.

The book is a genuine page turner filled with her personal experiences and intimate details of her life and loves. All told to Peter Evans in her honest and colourful speech it portrays her I think in a good light, warts and all.

It also serves as a reminder that life is over so very quickly, enjoy it while you can.

 A very warm welcome to my latest follower Willie


  1. Hope you'll pardon me....While l go 'OFF' on one....! :).
    This is absolutely fantastic...I've been in love with a lot
    of ladies from the 30's 40' 50's and 60's....
    Just off the top of my head....Bette Davis...Audrey Hepburn,
    Barbara Stanwyck, Deborah Kerr, Greta Garbo, Greer Garson,
    Elizabeth Taylor, Lana Turner, Mae West, Rita Hayworth, Jean
    Harlow, Jane Russell..(She had legs up to her arm~pits).....
    Joan Crawford....HeHe! That's enough Willie...!
    No! Hang on....
    Top of the tree for me....Ah! Oh! Yes! Sophie Loren....Even
    now at the age of 79....She is....Hang on..I need a lie down!

    And...Maggie Smith there on the right...She's lovely too!
    Well! Cup of tea is called for....! Certainly need it....
    Thanks! Love the past, sepia/black/white photos...! Great!

  2. Thanks Willie, sorry to make you swoon in the afternoon :)
    Jean x

  3. Wasn't she a beauty? I too have always had a fascination for those beautiful icons of those past decades where they looked so incredibly elegant and glamorous, sometimes with lives to match.
    It sounds a fascinating book, and sad that her life perhaps didn't end up quite as she had hoped and imagined.
    Thanks for sharing this Jean.
    Gill xx

  4. I love all the old film stars as well Jean. They seemed to be much more glamorous than they are today. My personal favourite is Audrey Hepburn. Oh, those clothes!!

    On paying for books. I also don't want to pay £20 when a new book comes out because I usually just read a book once and pass it on. I was dying to read Ian Rankin's latest one and thought I would wait until it came out in paperback. Popped into our local charity shop and there it was on the shelf for £1. Result!

    Have a good weekend. Carol x

  5. We love the chazza shops, never know what you're gonna find. Some days real treasure, other days just the thing you've been looking for :)

    Jean x

  6. I too was fascinated by these gorgeous stars when I was a little girl - I had a film star annual & drove my granny mad with my "Who do YOU think is prettiest?" game. Ava was always hard to beat!

  7. When we're young we think beauty is the best currency. But when you look back at the lives of the most beautiful women I find they are usually the emptiest.
    Jean x

  8. She really was deep and beautiful.