AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER: My Life with Cary Grant by Maureen & William Royce Donaldson
Kirkus Star

AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER: My Life with Cary Grant

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

By far the most intimate portrait of Cary Grant in print, much of it straight from the bedroom. The saddest news here is that Grant deafly had a Jekyll/Hyde personality, most often when wining one of his wives or mistresses, and could go into instant mind warp on a few glasses. Also constant was his split nature regarding money: he accused lover Donaldson of stealing his toilet paper--every roll in the house was inventoried. Donaldson was a post-teen Brit when nearly 70-year-old Grant began courting her in Los Angeles, It,was a generous courtship before Cary at last invited her into his deepest embrace. Soon after, they began living together in his endlessly remodeled house, an affair that lasted four years. On the plus side, Grant led her into photography and supported her growing skills and professionalism. And he could be a fabulous companion, sometimes even as fabulous as Cary Grant (the invented one), offering glorious vacation trips and being a great fellow with her parents in Bristol. On the downside, Cary was wall-to-wall bonkers about his little daughter, Jennifer, even bugging her private conversations, and was in very dark Greco-Freudian waters with his mother, whose image was behind his four failed marriages and his eventual breakup with Donaldson--who had seen too much, gone through too many paranoid incidents, suffered too many insults arising from his fear of the lifelong pain visited on him (unknowingly) by his mother (she was put away in a madhouse for 20 years by his father, who let ""abandoned"" Cary believe she was dead). Grant forever pushed away each woman he loved, before she could abandon him, which one by one each did. He spoke openly with Donaldson about his tag as a gay, which her portrait shrivels into meaninglessness. With Maureen he is hormonally all male. Well-written, this models the great, terribly twisted lover fore and aft, and deepens richly through the final pages. Perfectionist Cary would likely call it lamentable but a bull's-eye.

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 1989
Publisher: Putnam