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chanel bonfire wendy lawless memoir
chanel bonfire wendy lawless memoir

Chanel Bonfire by Wendy Lawless. Now Available.

 A stunning memoir about an actress's unconventional, heartbreaking childhood with an unstable alcoholic and suicidal mother — a real-life Holly Golightly turned Mommie Dearest — and the unusual strength that allowed her to rise above it all.

By the time Wendy Lawless turned seventeen, she'd known for quite some time that she didn't have a normal mother. But that didn't stop her from wanting one.

Georgann Rea didn't bake cookies or go to PTA meetings; she wore a mink coat and always had a lit Dunhill plugged into her cigarette holder. She had slept with too many men, and some women, and she didn't like dogs or children. Georgann had the ice queen beauty of a Hitchcock heroine and the cold heart to match.

In this evocative, darkly humorous memoir, Wendy deftly charts the highs and lows of growing up with her younger sister in the shadow of an unstable, fabulously neglectful mother. Georgann, a real-life Holly Golightly who constantly reinvents herself as she trades up from trailer-park to penthouse, suffers multiple nervous breakdowns and suicide attempts, while Wendy tries to hide the cracks in their fractured family from the rest of the world.

Chanel Bonfire depicts a childhood blazed through the refined aeries of The Dakota and the swinging townhouses of London, while the girls' beautiful but damned mother desperately searches for glamour and fulfillment. Ultimately, they must choose between living their own lives and being their mother's warden.

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about chanel bonfire wendy lawless memoir

Wendy Lawless is an actress who has appeared on television, in regional theater, Off-Broadway in David Ives's Obie-winning play, All in the Timing, and on Broadway, in The Heidi Chronicles.

Her essays about being a mom in Hollywood, including "Whatever Happened to Musical Chairs?" have appeared in the local Los Angeles press. She lives in California with her screenwriter husband and their two children.


chanel bonfire wendy lawless memoir

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