Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story [NOOK Book]

Overview

The daughter of one of television’s most recognizable and beloved stars, Carol Burnett, Carrie Hamilton won the hearts of everyone she met with her kindness, her quirky humor, and her unconventional approach to life. After overcoming her painful and public teenage struggle with drug addiction in a time when personal troubles were kept private, Carrie lived her adult life of sobriety to the fullest, achieving happiness and success as an actress, writer, musician, and director before losing a hard-fought battle ...
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Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story

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Overview

The daughter of one of television’s most recognizable and beloved stars, Carol Burnett, Carrie Hamilton won the hearts of everyone she met with her kindness, her quirky humor, and her unconventional approach to life. After overcoming her painful and public teenage struggle with drug addiction in a time when personal troubles were kept private, Carrie lived her adult life of sobriety to the fullest, achieving happiness and success as an actress, writer, musician, and director before losing a hard-fought battle with cancer at age thirty-eight. Now Carol Burnett shares her personal diary entries, photographs, and correspondence as she traces the journey she and Carrie took through some of life’s toughest challenges and sweetest miracles. Authentic, intimate, and full of love, Carrie and Me is a funny and moving memoir about mothering an extraordinary young woman through the struggles and triumphs of her life.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Carrie Hamilton was just thirty-eight when she died of lung cancer in 2002, but the briefness of her life only intensified its importance to Carol Burnett, the mother who survived her. Their relationship, though close, was not untroubled: As a teenager, Carrie slipped into a maelstrom of drug-hazed confusion, alienating her family and endangering her mother's marriage. Her recovery, however, was no illusion: In the few years she still had left, she flourished an actress, singer, and playwright, even performing many times successfully with her famous mom. In this obviously heartfelt memoir, Carol Burnett shares memories and personal documents about her beloved daughter. A fitting tribute from a living legend; now in trade paperback and NOOK Book.

Publishers Weekly
Born in 1963, Burnett’s eldest daughter, Carrie Hamilton, was an actress and playwright beginning to establish a name for herself when she died of lung cancer at age 38, in January 2002. In this nostalgic look back at Hamilton’s short life and last work-in-progress, Burnett (One More Time) portrays a loving daughter who was nonetheless difficult during her adolescent years when she was abusing drugs heavily and spent several stints in rehab, before emerging as a gifted actress who landed a plum role as Maureen in the national tour of Rent. Burnett inserts into her chronological narrative excerpts from her own diary entries, for example during the fraught time when she and her then husband, Joe Hamilton, were beginning to suspect that their 15-year-old daughter was on drugs, and later e-mails and faxes exchanged between mother and daughter over her last years, when Hamilton was living in an isolated cabin by herself in Gunnison, Colo., and sending periodic installments to a story she was writing. “Sunrise in Memphis” related a whimsical road trip to Graceland, Tenn., by the 23-year-old hard-drinking Kate and a sweet, gentlemanly cowboy called F.M.; the story prompted Hamilton to take off on a real-life road trip through the South, sending impressionistic dispatches to Burnett. “Sunrise in Memphis” remained unfinished, but appears at the end of this poignant, piecemeal work. (Apr.)
Booklist
"A poignant tribute...pulling no punches...an intimate portrait of a sometimes challenging, always loving mother-daughter relationship."
Reader's Digest
"Intimate...heartbreakingly moving."
New York Post
"A poignant and, of course, funny look at a life cut too short."
People
"Loving, poignant."
FoxNews.com
"Hauntingly beautiful and heartfelt."
Life After 50
“In a beautiful and poignant tribute to her late daughter, Carrie Hamilton, actress and comedienne Carol Burnett has written a funny and moving memoir about mothering an extraordinary young woman.”
Examiner.com
“‘Carrie and Me’ serves as an inspirational piece that can aid any parent struggling with raising or losing a child.”
author of Beautiful Boy and Clean - David Sheff
“Through her openness and honesty, Carol Burnett is an inspiration. While reading Carrie and Me, I’d think, How can a person who gave the world so much pleasure have had to endure so much pain? No, life isn’t fair, but in Burnett’s wonderful book we are reminded of what gets us through: love.”
From the Publisher
"Loving, poignant."

"Hauntingly beautiful and heartfelt."

"A poignant and, of course, funny look at a life cut too short."

"Intimate...heartbreakingly moving."

“It’s hard to put into words just how deeply this book touched me. It made me laugh, cry and everything in between. Simply wonderful. A beautiful tribute to a remarkable daughter written straight from the heart by the mother who loved her. If you have ever loved a child, read this book. Heartbreakingly funny, sad and wise. Both mother and daughter will live in your heart long after you finish reading.”

“Through her openness and honesty, Carol Burnett is an inspiration. While reading Carrie and Me, I’d think, How can a person who gave the world so much pleasure have had to endure so much pain? No, life isn’t fair, but in Burnett’s wonderful book we are reminded of what gets us through: love.”

"A poignant tribute...pulling no punches...an intimate portrait of a sometimes challenging, always loving mother-daughter relationship."

“A highly recommended mother’s tribute that will bring tears to most readers’ eyes.”

“In a beautiful and poignant tribute to her late daughter, Carrie Hamilton, actress and comedienne Carol Burnett has written a funny and moving memoir about mothering an extraordinary young woman.”

“‘Carrie and Me’ serves as an inspirational piece that can aid any parent struggling with raising or losing a child.”

Fannie Flagg
“It’s hard to put into words just how deeply this book touched me. It made me laugh, cry and everything in between. Simply wonderful. A beautiful tribute to a remarkable daughter written straight from the heart by the mother who loved her. If you have ever loved a child, read this book. Heartbreakingly funny, sad and wise. Both mother and daughter will live in your heart long after you finish reading.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"The worst thing for a parent is to outlive a child. The bravest thing a parent can do is to write a loving, funny memoir of her daughter who overcame teenage problems with drugs and living in a superstar parent's shadow to forge her own showbiz career before dying of cancer at 38."
Tampa Bay Times
"Carrie and Me is certainly a memorial, but it's more a celebration of [Carrie Hamilton's] life than a somber elegy . . . Affecting."
Sacramento Bee
"With humor and poignancy, the celebrated comedian remembers her vivacious and sometimes troubled daughter."
Fort Myers Florida Weekly
"Inspiring . . . A fitting tribute."
AVClub.com
“Full of touching, funny stories that are all the more enjoyable for reflecting the author’s sensibility and voice.”
Splitsider.com
“Burnett's touching tribute to her daughter is an opportunity to read a talented and celebrated comedian being serious about a tragic life story.”
California Bookwatch
"Powerful, poignant and moving."
Library Journal
Iconic comedian Burnett lost her oldest daughter Carrie Hamilton to cancer in 2002 when Carrie was only 38. Burnett touched on her loss briefly in her second memoir, This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection, but here she gives a heartfelt tribute to a daughter who fought addiction to become a successful actress, singer, and writer. Burnett's diary entries and the emails between mother and daughter as Hamilton recovered and matured capture a loving relationship. Included in this memoir is the draft of a book Carrie was working on before her death, about a woman and a mysterious cowboy who take a road trip to see Graceland. Hamilton took this journey herself to explore her mother's roots in Louisiana and Arkansas, and the trip is chronicled through emails to her mother that reveal Hamilton's intelligence, kindness, and love of life, which makes her lost battle against cancer all the more poignant. She had asked Burnett to finish her book for her. While Burnett was unable to do that, she includes Hamilton's writings here in their entirety. VERDICT A highly recommended mother's tribute that will bring tears to most readers' eyes.—Rosellen Brewer, Sno-Isle Libs., Marysville, WA
Kirkus Reviews
Comedian Burnett (This Time Together, 2010, etc.) limns her relationship with her eldest daughter, Carrie Hamilton, who died of cancer at age 38. A mother can be forgiven for a tender yet poorly written book about a beloved daughter who died too young, but Burnett's prose is uninspired and littered with clichés. In her telling, excitement is always "unbridled," life is full of experiences that are "magical," "beautiful" or "terrific," and people are always "gung-ho," even on the cancer ward. It would be tempting to dismiss Burnett's recreated dialogue as pure fabrication, except that about half of the book consists of emails from her daughter, which she copied and pasted directly into the text. Missing a narrative arc, the book meanders through various chapters of Hamilton's life: her youthful drug addiction and multiple, ultimately successful stints in rehab; the collapse of her parents' marriage and, later, her own; her wanderlust; her early success as an entertainer. Hamilton led a varied and unconventional life, and her exploits should be richer and more engaging on the page. Unfortunately, they are flattened by Burnett's refusal to analyze: She tells us that her daughter traveled constantly, and where, but she never explains why. Although the book is deeply flawed, its subject, Hamilton, comes across as a warm, vivacious and talented young woman. She acted, wrote and sang, and she was a caring daughter, sister and friend. According to the many glowing letters Burnett received after Hamilton's death, she was loved by all those who came into contact with her. A mediocre book, but it's not difficult to understand why Burnett wrote it. Instead of buying it, rent Tokyo Pop, a 1988 cult classic starring a young, radiant Hamilton.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781476706429
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 4/9/2013
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 44,124
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett is a highly acclaimed actress known for her roles on stage and screen, most notably The Carol Burnett Show. She has been honored with twelve People’s Choice Awards, eight Golden Globes, six Emmy Awards, The Kennedy Center Honors, and the Mark Twain Prize for Humor.
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Read an Excerpt

Carrie and Me


  • In late 2000, my daughter Carrie Hamilton was working on a story, “Sunrise in Memphis,” writing in her small Colorado cabin. The story was about a bohemian girl’s strange road trip to Elvis’s Graceland with a mysterious cowboy. Carrie planned to turn it into a screenplay eventually. Because she felt a kinship with Kate, her main character, Carrie (being a free spirit and somewhat bohemian herself) decided to hit the road and take the same trip for research purposes.

So she got out her maps, filled the gas tank in her Jeep, and headed south toward Memphis. She e-mailed me fresh pages of the story almost daily, along with tales of her own adventures on her journey to Graceland. As a side trip, Carrie visited our family’s old stomping grounds in San Antonio, Texas, and Belleville, Arkansas, since the two of us were writing a play together based on my family, who came from those parts of the country.

Carrie didn’t live to finish either project. She died of cancer a little over a year later at the age of thirty-eight.

This book has taken me on a bittersweet journey. When she was in the hospital for the last time, Carrie asked me to finish “Sunrise in Memphis” for her, which I haven’t been able to do. Try as I might, the characters in the story were hers to write, not mine. Carrie’s request had been living with me for over ten years when I finally figured out what I could do.

Fortunately, I had saved all of the letters and e-mails we wrote to each other during her road trip to Memphis. In Part One of this book I’ve combined that correspondence with my own memories. These include a few episodes I’ve written about before, but I feel they bear repeating to round out the order of events. I’ve also written here about Carrie’s brave fight against her illness. Part Two is Carrie’s story “Sunrise in Memphis,” which is fun to read in its own right, but also eerily echoes Carrie’s journey.

This book is my way of honoring her last request, bringing to the page many of Carrie’s thoughts and feelings and also my own journey with her, including all the ups and downs in the early years (which got pretty bumpy when Carrie became a teenager).

Carrie was widely known as a magnetic young woman with a stunning smile, an infectious laugh, a throaty voice, and the soul of a poet. She was someone who cared deeply for others, particularly for those less fortunate. Whenever a homeless person approached her, she would offer them a deal: five dollars if they told her their story. As you’ll see, Carrie used those stories, and the personal narratives shared with her by everyone she met, as inspiration for her prose, her poetry, her music, her lyrics, and her acting. Carrie piled so much into her young life that one can only imagine what she would have tackled and accomplished in the second half.

For myself, I hope you will get to know the daughter I loved and cherished. I can honestly say that just about everyone who knew Carrie loved her. Maybe that’s because she loved them right back.

I also hope I’ve succeeded in bringing Carrie’s essence to these pages. I treasure her words, and even after reading them again and again, each time I am grateful for the reminder that she has never left me.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Carol Burnett's last book, This Time Together, shared anecdotes

    Carol Burnett's last book, This Time Together, shared anecdotes about her successful TV and stage career. I was thrilled to meet this amazing entertainer at a book signing, and she was just as kind and friendly as she appears on TV.
    Ms. Burnett's latest book, Carrie and Me- A Mother Daughter Love Story is a much more personal book about her daughter Carrie, who first battled drug addiction and later cancer, which killed her at the age of thirty-eight.
    Carrie's bright personality shines though in this memoir. She was a unique lady, so talented and she fought hard to make it through the terrors of drug addiction. Burnett tells a story of the young Carrie, who after her first day of school said to her mother, "Boy, Mommy, am I glad THAT'S over with!" Burnett did not have the heart to tell her that it would be much more than one day.
    As a teenager, Carrie thought, like many teenage girls, that she was not pretty and shocked her mother when she asked her mom if she was ugly. Carrie's insecurity led to her drug use, which she hid from her parents. She was hanging around with a bad crowd, and by the time Carol and her husband discovered what was going on, Carrie was in trouble.
    They sent Carrie to rehab, and any parent reading this will identify with the conflicting feelings that Burnett expresses so well. She bargained with God to save her baby, first from drugs, and then from cancer.
    Carrie eventually makes it through, and ends up acting and writing like her mother. She was unique, from her pink-streaked hair to the tattoo of the bird of paradise on her shoulder. She was a regular on TV's Fame, and won an award at a Latino film festival for a movie she created, the first non-Latino to win.
    Carol and Carrie wrote a play together, The Hollywood Arms, about Carol's childhood, that they eventually took to Broadway. It was at this time that Carrie became ill with cancer, and instead of railing against the unfairness of it, of beating drug addiction only to deal with this, she dealt with it calmly.
    She became a warrior, using all of her positive thoughts to focus on beating cancer. I loved the scenes in her hospital room, surrounded by her family and friends, at peace with her life. She was a unique, special person.
    Carrie was working on a project before she got sick, and she had been sending her mother the pages to read and critique. That story comprises the last section of the book, and it is so beautiful, about a troubled young woman who meets a man who is more than he appears. It is prescient, like she knew what might be coming in her life.
    I'm ending this review with words that Carrie shared with Carol that describe her artistic philosophy."I think our legacy is really the lives we touch, the inspiration we give, altering someone's plan- if even for a moment- and getting them to think, rage, cry, laugh, argue, or walk around the block dazed. (I do that a lot after seeing powerful theater!)" After reading this moving book, I can safely say that anyone who reads it will be touched by Carrie's life story, as well as by a mother's love for her daughter. It would make a wonderful Mother's Day gift.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    This is a very touching story about Carol Burnett's relationship

    This is a very touching story about Carol Burnett's relationship with her daughter Carrie. The love that bonded this mother and daughter survived Carrie's drug addiction and battle with cancer. I was extremely moved by the honesty of this book.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2013

    A very touching story. Well done!

    A very touching story. Well done!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I still remember the day I heard that Carrie passed away. This

    I still remember the day I heard that Carrie passed away. This is a wonderfully touching story of the love between a Mother and Daughter. I laughed, I cried, I couldn't put it down. Thanks for sharing this wonderfully personal story Carol. Highly recommend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    Highly Recommended!

    Beautifully written. You won't be disappointed even if you are not a fan of Carol Burnett as I am! Anyone struggling with addiction in their family or the loss of a child should read this poignant book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2013

    March 7, 2013 Carol was on CBS Sunday Morning - looking wonderfu

    March 7, 2013 Carol was on CBS Sunday Morning - looking wonderful. She talked about a book coming out, "Carrie and Me" and I knew I wanted to read it. She lost her daughter to lung cancer right as my mother was beginning her fight against the same evil. An evil that took her life within eight months. I remember hearing of Carrie's death and knowing that sorrow would hit me too by the years end. I chose the audiobook so that I could hear Carol tell from her heart the joys and sorrows of motherhood. It's deep. And the book is so well up together. My commutes to Winston-Salem and back home were nice having her tell me about her family. Carrie sounds like such an incredible person. Growing up I was told not to smile too much because it makes you look simple and vacant. But Carrie's smile brightened rooms and opened her up to incredible friends she would have throughout her life. Her song is beautiful, her story touching in Chapter Two. I think, after someone close to you dies you look for those symbols that they are close by...still there. Your grief lightens each time you receive something you feel is a symbol. But you have to know throughout your life you will continue to be blessed with them. Your love from Carrie is all around you Carol. Thank you for this book. Now when it rains I think of a mother/daughter love for life's simple pleasures. 

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2013

    Amazing

    The love between a mother and a daughter really shines through.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2013

    highly recommend

    I bought this for my mom for Mother's Day and she had it read within 3 days, that is unlike her. She really enjoyed it, as I grew up i always remember her watching Carol on her shows and knew she would like this book. Thank you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    Very Highly recommended. I laughed and cried at the same time.

    Carol brings you on her journey of love, life and loss with Carrie at her side, the entire time. I have loved Carol since I was a wee tot. Reading her love story about Carries love of life, art and family is something I will not soon forget. Through it all, Carol held her head up high and did what she knew best; be a mom. I saw myself in many ways through Carrie and realized through it all Carol never gave up on her.

    Even in the Tough-Love times. This book changed my life and will change your life also. This will remain close to me and I will cherish the Joy of what Carrie added to my life as much as what Ms. Burnett has added to my heart. RLPerrin

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Heartwarming

    Like a good visit from an old friend who shares a story close to her heart

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    Posted August 29, 2013

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    Posted August 25, 2013

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    Posted September 20, 2013

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    Posted May 25, 2013

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