I have discovered this year that I love biographies/autobiographies/memoirs -- I've read the lives of Carol Burnett, Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey, Elizabeth Taylor, Steve Martin, and more. And now, Rachel Dratch (I'm just waiting on Amy Poehler and Kristen Wiig's books).
Rachel was one of the gang of SNL comediennes in the era I started watching -- along with Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph. These hilarious and beautiful ladies graced the screen and inspired me by being tough, intelligent and somewhat put together.
Rachel Dratch (famous for her Debbie Downer sketch, or the always exciting cameos on 30 Rock) was the one nobody seemed to know much about (I think she's more private than the others, although they are all pretty private) and so I was curious to see what she would be writing about in her new book.
It was quite a shock what she discussed -- the 30 Rock debacle (in which she had no hard feelings, she and Tina knew the network/show would be changing things up and Rachel and Tina are still friends), her dating disasters (really, she had the WORST luck) and the miracle of giving birth at 44 (by accidental pregnancy).
Not a shock in a bad way, just that someone would be so candid about their life. I guess I'm an extremely private person and I don't know just what I'd be comfortable sharing -- but maybe that's the point of an autobiography, that you're really sitting down with thousands of people who want to know you and allowing them a peek into your private life.
There were quite a few things people might be uncomfortable with (certain words or situations), but Rachel steers clear of nitty gritty details, which was a relief. Some people don't know when to leave something up to the reader's imaginations.
What she did write about she wrote with a funny, cheeky style and I feel like if I ever get to meet her, I'd love to spend an afternoon just listening to her stories. She writes things so easily and you really feel like you're getting to know her and see why she is who she is.
The ending did make me sad -- she got pregnant (she thought she was going through menopause) after dating someone for about six months and although he moved across the country to be with her and the baby (which is wonderful), they haven't really defined their relationship and are taking everything one step at a time as they try to figure out life with a newborn. I know Rachel says she's completely ok with this, but I know there are some nights where she must toss and turn, worrying about how Eli will grow up -- with a Jewish religious experience (her preference)? With/without married parents? With a dad who's around a lot? With a busy mom? The unknowns frighten me and I hope Rachel has the strength to face the unknown -- although, from reading her story, she's been doing that her whole life, so clearly, she's up to the challenge.
I'd love to meet her someday -- to thank her for all the laughs on SNL, for being candid, and for inspiring the rest of us to roll with the punches and take what life gives you.
See you all on Write Wednesday for a peek into pre-NaNo activities and a writing book that's currently blowing my mind (it is fantastic)!
Next week's review will be about Veronica Rossi's debut novel, Under the Never Sky.