Books by Patti Davis

Patti Davis is the author of five books, including The Way I See It and Angels Don’t Die. Her articles have appeared in many magazines and newspapers, among them Time, Newsweek, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, Vanity Fair, the Washington Post, and the Lo

ANGELS DON'T DIE by Patti Davis
Released: June 1, 1995

Angels may not die, but they will surely wish for suspended animation until the last copy of this book is shredded. Ronald Reagan's daughter has already wasted her parents in earlier books (The Way I See It, not reviewed, etc.). Now she has come 180 degrees, and having found God, she gives the credit to her father. Or maybe she has confused her father with God—it's not altogether clear. Blessedly, Davis's report of her epiphany is short—and shallow. In this volume, the Great Communicator is so often portrayed as lifting his blue eyes to the heavens that he seems to be reading the Great TelePrompTer in the Sky. Davis's turnaround began when her father was shot by John Hinckley. She visited him in the hospital, she says, and heard him say that his healing was dependent on forgiving the gunman. ``I remember telling him,'' she says, ``you're the best Christian around.'' Gradually, she began to reinterpret stories and incidents from her childhood. For instance, a remark made by her father after her grandfather's funeral—``Why are you crying''—comes to be seen as peaceful acceptance of death rather than insensitivity. Stories of horseback rides with her father in the California hills, troubled dreams, fables of angels, and advice on ``talking to God'' emerge as antidotes to the author's earlier tales of misunderstanding and neglect. According to Davis, the ailing President Reagan is grateful when his troubled children come home for family holidays, but the stiffly worded forewords that he and Nancy have prepared for this book suggest that old wounds are still tender. Neither mentions their daughter, the author. Looking for enlightenment about presidential fathers as spiritual guides? Wait until Chelsea gets a little older. ($120,000 ad/promo; author tour) Read full book review >
BONDAGE by Patti Davis
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

If you've seen the title and the author's name and you're still reading, you must want the skinny. All right, then: former First Daughter Davis (A House of Secrets, 1991, etc.) has churned out a gloriously self-serious saga of sexual power and dependency that's neither as explicit nor as psychologically penetrating as 9´ Weeks- -much less the Story of O—but represents instead a triumph of marketing over insight and style. The clunkers start early on: in Chapter One, budding teen Sara Norton is already (in 1965) losing her innocence, ``although not quite so quickly as America.'' Stung by harassment into a need to control boys—mainly by learning how to work on the automobile engines that hold the key to their sexual identity—Sara, grown into an apparently poised Hollywood costume designer, is easy prey for rebel director Anthony Cole, whose bondage games (``Do you trust me enough to do things with me you've never done before?'') keep pushing her to surrender—to him, to threesomes including the lead actress in a film he's shooting in Paris and (later) the obliging orangutan trainer back in L.A.—and to her own need to lose control. Meanwhile, Sara's best friend, endlessly seducible Belinda Perry, has gotten tied up too, but only in order to get raped by Phillipe, the charismatic New Age spiritual huckster she's fallen victim to. The hard-won lesson Sara draws from their parallel—after she runs away from a dungeon in which that rascal Anthony's manacled and humiliated her in front of a mob- connected producer, his girlfriend, and two other high-living strangers—is that it's all the same thing: ``It's just another kind of bondage, you know?...It's just that I've been playing it out sexually, and—'' Heavy. So what's next? The Secret Diaries of Amy Carter? Chelsea Clinton in the House of Pain? America, America. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

The former President's younger daughter follows up her bestselling Homefront and Deadfall and Kitty Kelley's Nancy Reagan with a moody, relentlessly introspective story about a moody, relentlessly introspective California girl whose career as a Serious Writer is haunted by memories of life with a brittle, humorless, ambitious, control freak of a mother and a pleasant, vague, rich, and possibly corrupt father. Of course, it would be terribly unfair to try to make this almost certain bestseller about life with a mother from hell who drives one daughter into a suicide attempt and another to early sterilization into Nancy Dearest, or to tie any of its characters with former real-life residents of the White House, since Nancy Reagan had only one moody, introspective daughter and since the pleasant, vague, possibly corrupt father here has white hair and the mean mum has red hair. The daughter with the early sterilization is the narrator Carla Tipton, whose mother seems to hate her more and more as she grows up. Carla's primary sins are her refusal to stop growing or to stop writing moody, introspective, thinly disguised autobiographical scraps of fiction. Poor Carla tries to hide the evidence of her early puberty and the scraps of fiction, but her mother Always Knows, hating her more and more, always preferring Carla's timid little sister Lily. Early sexual experimentation at the local high school lands Carla in a tiny boarding school, where she seduces the dishwasher and becomes more moody and introspective. In college she has an affair with an early but doomed ecofreak and undergoes an ecologically sound Native American herbal abortion followed by voluntary sterilization reversal and ever more distant relations with mum until, on his deathbed, dad reveals shocking family secrets known only to mum and Edward Albee. Floating in a sea of psychoanalytically induced dreams, full of naughty sex, loaded with eerie parallels to the no-longer-First Family, and dreadfully dumb. Should sell millions. Read full book review >