Rock-’n’-soul icon Turner is happy at last, and she wants the world to know it.
The love story of the title is specific: The 78-year-old singer has been with her German mate for 33 years, and though bits and pieces of her body have been failing and misbehaving—she recounts a stroke, kidney failure, cancer, and other maladies—her love is going strong. It’s also generalized: Turner, born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee, is enchanted by the world, from her childhood countryside to the shores of Lake Zurich, where she has lived nearly half her life. There was another love story, of course, the one that fans will know and lament: her marriage to the drug-addicted, philandering Ike Turner, of whom she writes, pointedly, “at this point in my life, I’ve spent far more time without Ike than with him.” The author emerges from these pages as self-aware and hungry for knowledge and experience. Who knew that she was a dedicated reader of Dante as well as a “favorite aunt” of Keith Richards and a practitioner of Buddhism of such long standing that Ike himself demanded that she lose her shrine? The gossip is light, though she’s clear on the many reasons she broke away from Ike. She’s also forgiving, and as for others in her circle over the years, she calls Mel Gibson “Melvin” because of his “little boy quality,” though she doesn’t approve of certain bad behavior of his. Mostly, her portraits of such figures as David Bowie and Bryan Adams are affectionate, and the secrets she reveals aren’t terribly shocking. Those fishnet stockings and short skirts, she lets slip, were more practical than prurient, the stockings running less easily than nylons and the short skirts “easier for dancing because they left my legs free."
Fans of Aunty Entity and the lady who showed Mick Jagger his best moves will delight in Turner’s lightly spun memoir.