A member of a celebrity family shares her life story.
In a narrative that spans her entire life, Watson—a “Certified Laughter Yoga Leader” who founded and owned the beloved Books & Co. in New York City, which closed in 1997—also includes long chapters on her parents’ childhoods. Her father was a dark, moody man who ran his house as he ran IBM; her mother was a model and dated in the Kennedy family. Rather than showing us her life, the author delivers a chronological compendium of facts, holding readers at a distance rather than permitting any intimate looks at her life. Many times, it seems like Watson is merely jotting down details on the page without regard for their relevance of how they are organized—e.g., “my father used to buy all sorts of cheeses and delighted in tasting them. He enjoyed some classical music and would listen to Tchaikovsky over and over.” The author briefly discusses her bouts with depression but fails to delve deep enough into her situation to warrant much sympathy. The author’s life will be interesting to those who like to read about rich, celebrity families who live in a world of their own, filled with nannies and debutante balls, summers spent on the coast of Maine, European travel (“my parents took me to Paris, and we luxuriated at the Ritz. We ran into Rose Kennedy…”), attendance at prestigious schools, etc. Watson would have done better to focus on the latter part of her life, when she ran Books & Co. and began to study meditation, hands-on healing, and laughter yoga. Any of these topics, coupled with more in-depth coverage of her battle with depression, would have made the book much more engaging.
A fact-filled, tiresome memoir that leaves readers wanting more of some topics and far less of others.