After the trauma of reading Ruby, I needed something life-affirming. I vaguely remember reading Ms. Bergens first memoir, Knock Wood back in the day and enjoying her singular voice. A Fine Romance focuses on her romances with three people in the second half of her life; her first husband, the brilliant French director Louis Malle, her daughter with Louis, Chloe and her current husband, Marshall Rose. I think I would have really enjoyed the audio book read by her because love her rich voice. It was a great experience when I listened to Alan Cumming read his memoir Not My Father’s Son. I had her in my head the whole time reading this.
She writes charmingly about meeting and falling in love with Louis, her Lou Lou. They came from such different backgrounds and had very different temperaments but the love they shared was all encompassing. Being bi-coastal as well as bi-continental put strains on their relationship for sure and she was rather frank about that. Still it was with humor and great affection that she wrote about their courtship and marriage, the appearance of their daughter Chloe and then the heartbreaking illness and subsequent death of Louis. She had Chloe, her brother Kris and numerous friends but it was still hard to move on. Three years after Louis death she was set up with real estate magnate Marshall Rose, who had lost his beloved wife of thirty years to cancer. Again, it was a mis-matched pair of remarkable people and cultures coming together.
She’d go back and forth in time, but pretty much stuck to a linear trajectory, also digging into her life changing role as Murphy Brown, working as an actress later in life and health issues not just relating to her stroke in 2006, which still has lingering effect and the encroaching problems related to age. All of it done with humor, sometimes bawdy and always self-deprecating. She really is a goofball and I loved that. C’mon, costume parties for dogs? She was also rather frank about working in the Business, dealing with depression and memory loss after the stroke and the difficulties and joys of marriage and motherhood. It was a great journey