Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story

Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story

4.7 14
by Carol Burnett
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

“More than anything, we are remembered for our smiles: the ones we share with our closest and dearest, and the one we bestow on a total stranger who needs it right then, and God has put us there to deliver.” — Carrie Hamilton

You are about to meet an extraordinary young woman, Carrie Hamilton. The daughter of one of television’s most

See more details below

Overview

“More than anything, we are remembered for our smiles: the ones we share with our closest and dearest, and the one we bestow on a total stranger who needs it right then, and God has put us there to deliver.” — Carrie Hamilton

You are about to meet an extraordinary young woman, Carrie Hamilton. The daughter of one of television’s most recognizable and beloved stars, Carol Burnett, Carrie won the hearts of everyone she met with her kindness, quirky sense of humor, and wonderfully unconventional approach to life. Living in the spotlight of celebrity, but in an era when personal troubles were kept private, Carrie and Carol made a brave display of honesty and love by going public with teenager Carrie’s drug addiction and recovery. Carrie lived her adult life of sobriety to the fullest, enjoying happy and determined independence and achieving a successful artistic career as an actress, writer, musician, and director. Carrie’s passion for life and her humorist’s view of the world never wavered as she aggressively battled cancer. Carrie died at the age of 38.

Carrie and Me is Carol Burnett’s poignant tribute to her late daughter and a funny and moving memoir about mothering an extraordinary young woman through the struggles and triumphs of her life. Sharing her personal diary entries, photographs, and correspondence, Carol 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 story of hope and joy that only a mother could write.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

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.)
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.”
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.”
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."
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.”
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.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611737325
Publisher:
Center Point Large Print
Publication date:
05/28/2013
Edition description:
Large Print
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)

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.

    Read More

  • What People are saying about this

    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.”
    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.”
    author of Bautiful Boy and Clean - David Scheff

    “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
    “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.”—Fannie Flagg

    Read More

    Customer Reviews

    Average Review:

    Write a Review

    and post it to your social network

         

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    See all customer reviews >