Sixteen years in the making, Lutz’s whirlwind personal chronicle begins when her parents divorced and she and her mother immediately relocated to Portugal.
As a child, Lutz loved her mother’s stories of being a young Manhattan debutante (even rushing off to a glamorous Hollywood film audition), but “Mummy’s” lifestyle meant shuffling her young daughter around to international locations such as São Paulo, where Lutz became inspired with dance lessons. With her father absent and long-since divorced from her mother, Lutz describes being partly raised by relatives, including her wealthy aunt and elegant uncle, as well as by her stately grandmother Marie Thérèse. She also details the first stirrings of romantic passion and a rocky, abusive first marriage. Her infrequent reunions with her father were awkward at best before his death when she was 22. Lutz writes of visitations by Joan, an inner voice that counseled her and offered guidance throughout her adolescence and beyond. As an adult, Lutz sometimes dated philandering men, made careless decisions and had unfulfilling relationships. She attempted to alleviate worries about her weight and her appearance, then dabbled in acting. Lutz’s memoir offers some intriguing snapshots of a childhood spent in private school in France, of her rich, European family, and of an adulthood careening from New York to Europe to Miami while struggling with life, love and eventual motherhood. But these rapid-fire snippets fail to create a flowing, chronological autobiography. Instead, it’s a jumble of memories. The work concludes on a high note; Lutz, now in her mid-60s, has found well-earned stability and happiness after overcoming numerous trials.
While earnestly written and heartfelt, Lutz’s unwieldy life story may confound readers.