The Barnes & Noble Review
Why did daytime talk diva Rosie O'Donnell decide to shelve her megapopular, Emmy Awardwinning show? Her legion of fans will find the answers here in this surprisingly dark and emotional "tell-all."
There's been a lot of media hype over the fact that Rosie is finally revealing the truth about her sexual orientation. But this "revelation" is a very minor facet of this book. Indeed, her attitude about it seems to be, "This is what I am, no big deal." Instead, what's most revealing in Find Me is what it reveals about the day-to-day life of this pop culture celebrity.
It seems that the daily grind of a talk show is something Rosie goes through somewhat grudgingly -- frankly, she'd rather be helping people who'd like to adopt children. (Rosie has adopted children of her own and finances a New Jersey adoption agency's operation.) Children are obviously vitally important to her; tellingly, a portion of the book details her feelings of abandonment when her own mom died at an early age.
The focal point of Find Me is Rosie's attempts to come to the aid of what appears to be a pregnant young girl, one seemingly unsure what to do about her baby. Rosie, who considers herself an inveterate helper, goes well above and beyond the call of duty and finds herself in an intense emotional situation that, ultimately, leads her to conclude that it's time to end her show.
Rosie's many fans will find this revealing look at her life impossible to put down. (Nicholas Sinisi)
Nicholas Sinisi is the Barnes & Noble.com Nonfiction editor.
Part-memoir, part-detective story, Find Me is beloved talk show host Rosie O'Donnell's inspiring story about the emotional and traumatic event that changed her life dramatically.
Rosie had it all. Her daytime show won the Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show every year from 1998 through 2001, and she won the Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host each year. Then, in May 2002, Rosie decided to leave her hugely popular show at the height of her fame. In this powerful book, Rosie reveals the struggles and joys in her life that led to this decision. Her story is compelling and moving, a tale to be treasured for an honesty that distinguishes this book as more than the typical tell-all star biography.
...a quick-paced memoir that reads like a novel...
Despite the tabloids' fascination with O'Donnell's sexuality, her gripping memoir only deals with the topic in passing. O'Donnell, a volunteer at an adoption agency, focuses instead on the friendship she developed last May with a young girl who contacted her after she was raped and became pregnant. Incorporating snapshots from her own life, the author writes of her attempts to help the girl and the unexpected, disturbing events that followed. O'Donnell hasn't written a juicy tell-all but a quick-paced memoir that reads like a novel.
One day, TV talk show host O'Donnell (Kids Are Punny), aka Rosie, impulsively left a phone message for a pregnant, 14-year-old girl, whose tragic story of rape she had learned about at the New Jersey adoption agency she funds. Within days, the girl, Stacie, called back. Rosie introduced herself and offered to help the girl in any way she could. "And as I said those words, it was like a shell breaking open or a bird coming out," writes O'Donnell. "I said hello and a crack came, and we all fell in, straight into looking-glass land." What follows is an enormously powerful story about the mystery of identity, about how forces strong enough to shatter one person can make another shine like a diamond. Rosie chronicles her increasingly obsessive phone and e-mail relationship with a poor, broken kid who comes to show her that beneath her gifts of humor, fame, money and even love, she is still the child who lost her mother and is calling out to her. But what makes this brief book extraordinary by any standard is that it captures the way a core self, a true I, can appear in the midst of the most broken life. In the kind of lean, clean, witty prose that comes only with complete honesty, Rosie imparts some unexpected truths. Readers will come away persuaded that the road of obsessiveness can sometimes lead to the palace of wisdom, that faith and grace are real. Those who declare this merely a sexual "coming-out" story (there are passing references to dating a woman and to Rosie's partner, Kelli) need a heart and brain transplant. Here, Rosie offers us an unsentimental and utterly real tale about the power of love. (One-day laydown, Apr. 16) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
O'Donnell's life is the stuff of legend. She grew up in a poor household, and at the age of 11 she lost her mom to breast cancer. From that background she became a comic, an actress, an award-winning talk show host, and an activist for children's rights. But behind the success was a woman suffering with depression and her need to be perfect. The author parallels this memoir with her experience with a woman with multiple personalities who comes into her life. The book moves between O'Donnell's interactions with the young woman and her own story, including her decision to leave her talk show and become more public about her private life with her longtime lover. This work is extremely disjointed and can be quite confusing; the listener sometimes has trouble keeping track of whether O'Donnell is talking about her life or "Stacie," one of the multiple personalities. After hearing her tale, instead of wanting to cheer, listeners may wonder if O'Donnell is in need of mental health support as well. Given her problems with her magazine and other events that are keeping her in the news, libraries may want to purchase this tape for demand. Otherwise, not a necessary purchase.-Danna Bell-Russel, Library of Congress Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.