A charming and intimate collection of correspondence between #1 New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, that offers timeless wisdom and a revealing glimpse into their lives. Anderson Cooper's intensely busy career as a journalist for CNN and CBS' 60 Minutes affords him little time to spend with his ninety-one year old mother. After she briefly fell ill, he and Gloria began a conversation through e-mail unlike any they had ever had before--a correspondence of surprising honesty and depth in which they discussed their lives, the things that matter to them, and what they still want to learn about each other. Both a son's love letter to his mother in her final years and an unconventional mother's life lessons for her grown son, The Rainbow Comes and Goes offers a rare window into their close relationship and fascinating lives. In these often hilarious and touching exchanges, they share their most private thoughts and the hard-earned truths they've learned along the way. Throughout, their distinctive personalities shine through--Anderson's darker outlook on the world is a brilliant contrast to his mother's idealism and unwavering optimism. An appealing blend of memoir and inspirational advice, The Rainbow Comes and Goes is a beautiful and affectionate celebration of the profound and universal bond between a parent and child, and, like Tuesdays with Morrie, a thoughtful reflection on life and love, reminding us of the precious knowledge and insight that remains to be shared, no matter what age we are.
This book was recommended to me by a co-worker, but I honestly wasn't that hyped to jump on the bandwagon. But I was looking for a next audiobook to read, and I saw this while browsing and decided it would be good to finally follow up on that recommendation. I was blown away by how interested I was in this book. I knew little about Vanderbilt's celebrated life beyond that she was born into an enormously wealthy family and that she designed jeans. The story of her tumultuous upbringing, including the infamous child custody case in which her mother and her aunt fought over her, were new to me and heartbreaking. Her teen-aged and adult years flitting around from marriage to marriage and hobnobbing at one celebrity outing or another were interesting to hear about, although also unsettling in their own way. Further misfortune plagued her when her husband Wyatt Cooper died at a young age and her son Carter Cooper committed suicide. But throughout it all, she remains ever hopeful about the future, despite being plagued by insecurities, fears, and doubts.
Cooper for his part mostly asks questions of his mother; his reporter's tenacity digs deeper into certain topics to find out more or get to the root of a story. He also provides some context for the reader regarding some of his mother's comments, filling in blanks about her family history with a "just the facts" type approach. But he also discusses his own thoughts and feelings about growing up as Vanderbilt's son, regrets about his brother's suicide, and grief over his father's death when he himself was only aged 10.
Listening to the audiobook for this book was a particular treat. Both authors read their parts aloud, so that a clear and distinct voice separates each section. Cooper's voice is not exactly monotone but he reads in that sort of bland, affect-less news anchor's voice. An entire book in this fashion might have been too much, but being as he alternates with his mother, it works out okay. On the other hand, Vanderbilt pours so much emotion into her reading! Even when speaking about events that happened 80 years ago, her voice trembles at sad points and leaps for joy when discussing moments of elation. It was such a moving reading that you can't help but be riveted.
This was an interesting look inside the lives of Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper. I really didn’t know much about either. I enjoyed the frankness of their dialogue. There’s so much good stuff in there to make a person think about life in general.
Usually, I am kind, but in saying that I don't find a lot of redeeming value, this also indicates how I feel.
I like autobiographies and biographies. Before joining Librarything.com, it was my genre of choice. So, in saying that this book seemed to be incredibly self centered and boring, I remain thinking that I cannot recommend this.
This memoir is personal, told in letters between mother and son. Gloria turns 91 when the letters begin and turns 92 at then end of the narrative. Anderson is an obviously loving son and both are still mourning the loss of Wyatt Cooper and Carter Cooper husband/father and son/brother of the pair.
This story isn't about show business or big business, it isn't even about the terribly rich Vanderbilt family, it is about a child called Gloria who grew up much too soon and her son, Anderson and how the past has influenced their relationship today. Anderson knew very little about the "trial of the century" because he hadn't asked as a child and wanted to do so as an adult. It is fascinating and sad and happy and perfectly written.
This book may be the interaction of a famous mother and an equally famous son, but it is mainly an account a mother and son on Life, Love, and Loss.
I read the Audble version narrated by each of them. It is truly a remarkable book as the reader learns how Gloria felt when she was termed by the media as the "poor little rich girl" and how both of them dealt with tragedies in their lives.
Ms. Vanderbilt, approaching 92 years of age, offers wonderful lessons to live by.
For the most part the book focuses on Gloria's life, a lot of it her really early life as "the poor little rich girl," who was the subject of a sensational custody trial in the 1930's. Her teen years and her early 20's as the lover of Howard Hughes and various Hollywood stars is also covered in detail. There is very little about Anderson's life, and some of the material his mother reveals is new to him. For the most part I found the book superficial and artificial.
I was a little creeped out by a mom discussing her sex life with her son (prude--I know). While I think Gloria means to convey that she was insecure, and is just a "regular" person, but with a very sunny outlook on life, somehow, for me, she never overcame the persona of a spoiled, entitled rich person.
I just don't need to read any more of these celebrity tell-alls in the time I have left of my reading life.
Listening to Ms. Vanderbilt describe all this in her own voice is mesmerizing. She looked at her life clear-eyed and without excuses, and her son Anderson clearly adored her. It was a pleasure to listen to the two of them examine their relationship, their joys and their fears and declare their importance to each other. Everyone should be so lucky to have this kind of honesty with a parent.