At two ends of the spectrum, these memoirs couldn't be more different. One at the laughing, light-hearted side of life and the other a story of survival from one of the most horrific true stories of our time.
'Hope: A Story of Survival In Cleveland' by Amanda Berry & Gina DeJesus
On May 6, 2013, Amanda Berry made headlines around the world when she fled a Cleveland home and called 911, saying: “Help me, I’m Amanda Berry . . . I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for ten years.”
A horrifying story rapidly unfolded. Ariel Castro, a local school bus driver, had separately lured Berry and two other young women, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, to his home, where he trapped them and kept them chained. In the decade that followed, the three girls were frequently raped, psychologically abused and threatened with death if they attempted to escape. Years after she was taken, Berry had a daughter by their captor, a child she bravely raised as normally as possible under impossible conditions.
Drawing upon their recollections and the secret diary kept by Amanda Berry, Berry and Gina DeJesus describe the unimaginable torment they suffered and the strength and resourcefulness that enabled them to survive. Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan interweave the events within Castro’s house with original reporting on the efforts to find the missing girls. The full story behind the headlines – including details never previously released on Castro’s life and motivations – 'Hope' is a harrowing yet inspiring chronicle of two women whose courage and ingenuity ultimately delivered them back to their lives and families.
'The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation' by Melissa Rivers
Joan and Melissa Rivers had one of the most celebrated mother-daughter relationships of all time. If you think Joan said some outrageous things to her audiences as a comedian, you won't believe what she said and did in private. Her love for her daughter knew no bounds or boundaries, apparently.
In 'The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief and Manipulation', Melissa shares stories (like when she was nine months old and her parents delivered her to Johnny Carson as a birthday gift), bon mots (Missy, is there anything better than seeing a really good looking couple pushing a baby that looks like a Sasquatch who got caught in a house fire?), and life lessons from growing up in the Rosenberg-Rivers household (I can do tips and discounts and figure out the number of gay men in an audience to make it a good show. That's all the math you'll ever need). These were just the tip of the iceberg when it came to life in the family that Melissa describes as more Addams than Cleaver. And at the centre of it all was a tiny blond force of nature.
'In The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief and Manipulation', Melissa Rivers relates funny, poignant and irreverent observations, thoughts, and tales about the woman who raised her and is the reason she considers valium one of the four basic food groups.