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Natalie: A Memoir by Her Sister

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Here is the book that only Natalie Wood's sister could have written - a warm but unflichingly candid account of a great star's passionate love affairs, violent fights, stormy marriages, bitter divorces and her controversial death by drowning at the age of 43. Here is the book that only Natalie Wood's sister could have written - a warm but unflichingly candid account of a great star's passionate love affairs, violent fights, stormy marriages, bitter divorces and her controversial death by drowning at the age of 43.


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Here is the book that only Natalie Wood's sister could have written - a warm but unflichingly candid account of a great star's passionate love affairs, violent fights, stormy marriages, bitter divorces and her controversial death by drowning at the age of 43. Here is the book that only Natalie Wood's sister could have written - a warm but unflichingly candid account of a great star's passionate love affairs, violent fights, stormy marriages, bitter divorces and her controversial death by drowning at the age of 43.

30 review for Natalie: A Memoir by Her Sister

  1. 5 out of 5

    Natylie Baldwin

    I picked this up several years ago thinking it would be about Natalie from an interesting family perspective. While there were some interesting anecdotes from their childhood, including some insights into their typically narcissistic stage mother, it ultimately seemed to be more of a vehicle for Lana to detail her sexual escapades around Hollywood while trying to become an actress. Coming from such a dysfunctional family, I do have some empathy for both sisters, but in Lana's case, I also couldn I picked this up several years ago thinking it would be about Natalie from an interesting family perspective. While there were some interesting anecdotes from their childhood, including some insights into their typically narcissistic stage mother, it ultimately seemed to be more of a vehicle for Lana to detail her sexual escapades around Hollywood while trying to become an actress. Coming from such a dysfunctional family, I do have some empathy for both sisters, but in Lana's case, I also couldn't help wondering why it apparently never occurred to her to leave her clothes on long enough to put some actual effort into her craft, instead of expecting to get somewhere simply because she was Natalie's sister. This book, unfortunately, seems to be an extension of that thinking. In short, if you don't mind wading through Lana's rather trashy and uninspired life to get the few interesting tidbits on Natalie, then go ahead and read this as a supplement to one of the better quality biographies of Natalie.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Roberta

    Memoir of her sister, my a$$. This is a thinly disguised autobiography of the overshadowed, less-talented sister who knows no one would buy her biography so she pawns it off as her sister's story. What a dysfunctional family - lots of drugs, alcohol, fighting, and sleeping around. Memoir of her sister, my a$$. This is a thinly disguised autobiography of the overshadowed, less-talented sister who knows no one would buy her biography so she pawns it off as her sister's story. What a dysfunctional family - lots of drugs, alcohol, fighting, and sleeping around.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Merriam

    If it was a whole lot less about Lana, this book would undeniably be better. However, Lana simply isn't in a position to write a good biography about Natalie Wood. Everything about this book suggests that she was an outsider. She even make you feel like an outsider because of her viewpoint. Maybe if she had spent some time digging a little deeper into Natalie's life, she would have written a better book, but as it is...well, it's worth the read and it does have some interesting stories. It's sad If it was a whole lot less about Lana, this book would undeniably be better. However, Lana simply isn't in a position to write a good biography about Natalie Wood. Everything about this book suggests that she was an outsider. She even make you feel like an outsider because of her viewpoint. Maybe if she had spent some time digging a little deeper into Natalie's life, she would have written a better book, but as it is...well, it's worth the read and it does have some interesting stories. It's sad that that should be the best that can be said about it because someone who knew Natalie could have added a personal touch to a proper, full-length biography, but all you get here is Lana's slightly biased remembrances. It could have been so much better.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Karin

    I remember hearing about Natalie Wood's death, but can't say that I really knew who she was before then, although as a child I saw West Side Story. I had certainly not heard of her sister. This book isn't just about Natalie--there is a lot of memoir and biography about Lana as well--her career, her marriages, her other things in her life. It's more about both of them. Parts of it are interesting, but, frankly, I found a lot of this boring as well as tragic. Their mother was a piece of work--the e I remember hearing about Natalie Wood's death, but can't say that I really knew who she was before then, although as a child I saw West Side Story. I had certainly not heard of her sister. This book isn't just about Natalie--there is a lot of memoir and biography about Lana as well--her career, her marriages, her other things in her life. It's more about both of them. Parts of it are interesting, but, frankly, I found a lot of this boring as well as tragic. Their mother was a piece of work--the epitome of the pushy stage mother. The two women grew up in a dysfunctional family unit and, apparently, for Natalie, who became a star as a child and stayed that way through her formative years, it became her identity, because even though she died a very wealthy woman, she was still trying to get back to being a big star, or so the story goes (not a spoiler here, since her death was well publicized and remains a mystery to this day). I did lose respect for a few actor while reading this book. I have to say that I far prefer the biographies that are about a lot more than just sex, betrayal, soap opera style lives and I know that not all actors live those kinds of lives. But mainly, I just don't think that Lana Wood is a brilliant biographer even if she has other talent. Also, I want to know what person put a bunch of erotic novels on her page that she did not write (just check her author page on Amazon, for only one place).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    I was rather disappointed in this book. I'm not saying everything about it was bad, but throughout its entirety, Lana Wood writes too much about HERSELF. It's almost like she wrote the book so she could sell the story of her own life. The thing is, no one cares. There were some interesting facts about Natalie, just not what you'd expect from a biography supposedly about her. I gave it 3 stars because there was enough good information about Natalie to deserve this, but I think I would definitely I was rather disappointed in this book. I'm not saying everything about it was bad, but throughout its entirety, Lana Wood writes too much about HERSELF. It's almost like she wrote the book so she could sell the story of her own life. The thing is, no one cares. There were some interesting facts about Natalie, just not what you'd expect from a biography supposedly about her. I gave it 3 stars because there was enough good information about Natalie to deserve this, but I think I would definitely read a biography about her by a different author next time!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I'm friends with Lana, so I got it from her to read. It's the only one of any that are out there that give a real story of a real girl who happened to be a movie star as told by her sister. I'm friends with Lana, so I got it from her to read. It's the only one of any that are out there that give a real story of a real girl who happened to be a movie star as told by her sister.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    I finished this book this morning after reading on it for a few days. There are actually a few books on Natalie so it was very hard to pick which to read. I think Lana did a wonderful job on this book, however there are a few things that have been discussed in other books that she didn't even mention. Does that mean Lana wanted them left out? Or that they never happened? I am going to read another book on Natalie now; Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour. I found her death to be questionable, how I finished this book this morning after reading on it for a few days. There are actually a few books on Natalie so it was very hard to pick which to read. I think Lana did a wonderful job on this book, however there are a few things that have been discussed in other books that she didn't even mention. Does that mean Lana wanted them left out? Or that they never happened? I am going to read another book on Natalie now; Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour. I found her death to be questionable, how Lana didn't think so, or wouldn't admit it I'm not sure. I believe that is why she was so angry, but she didn't have a confrontational bone in her body.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I believe Lana had good intentions when writing this book, but it ended up being all about herself and her affairs. If you are debating on whether or not to read this, read it for the special memories she recalls, for her point-of-view on specific events in Natalie's life, and for the photographs. I believe Lana had good intentions when writing this book, but it ended up being all about herself and her affairs. If you are debating on whether or not to read this, read it for the special memories she recalls, for her point-of-view on specific events in Natalie's life, and for the photographs.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeaninne Escallier Kato

    I had high school students who wrote better than Lana Wood, but as a child I revered Natalie Wood. I must say, Lana certainly made the read worthwhile because she did have an inside look into her famous sister's life. I appreciated her candor and her love for her sister. I had high school students who wrote better than Lana Wood, but as a child I revered Natalie Wood. I must say, Lana certainly made the read worthwhile because she did have an inside look into her famous sister's life. I appreciated her candor and her love for her sister.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shoshanna

    Much of the book is filled with Lana's little escapades and personally memories without Natalie, more so from her stand point of what it was like growing up in her shadow as a young girl, with her mother and the struggle with needing to please her and everyone. It held a lot of dynamic in that sense, showing the unhealthy relationship both Lana and Natalie had with their mother. While there are parts that seem to go nowhere and have little to do with Natalie I think it makes sense for it to be t Much of the book is filled with Lana's little escapades and personally memories without Natalie, more so from her stand point of what it was like growing up in her shadow as a young girl, with her mother and the struggle with needing to please her and everyone. It held a lot of dynamic in that sense, showing the unhealthy relationship both Lana and Natalie had with their mother. While there are parts that seem to go nowhere and have little to do with Natalie I think it makes sense for it to be that way. She is writing it from hr point of view and her memories, so as a young child when a lot of what she saw of Natalie she may not remember or even be present on set a lot since her mother slowly turned her focus form Natalie to her and pushing her to also become a star. Then later they were estranged and what she did know or hear of her sister was through other people which also was very little. To expect this tell all memoir and details from every aspect of Natalie's life you would need her to have written an autobiography. So it depends on what type of account you wish to read. I think family dynamics show a lot of insight to what a person was like far more than all the stories from a friend or celebrity that may have once known her because it is then only from that pin point in her life. A lot of people complained that there were parts that had very little to do with Natalie, but while they didn't they sort of did. They were Lana's accounts and she wasn't always in a point in her life with Natalie and knowing what she was doing. I think it was as well written as it could be with a different insight. If you want more or prefer stories from a bunch of different people to complete a whole picture then this book isn't for you.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ria Rörich

    Well-written I have an older sister - we have our ups and downs. This is an excellent book about Lana’s experience of their relationship. Thank you, Lana, for sharing something so personal. It helped me in my relationship with others - making me more aware of what THEIR experience is.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Erika

    Lana Wood writes about her famous sister and her own tumultuous life with candor and emotion. An intimate look into the tragically shortened life of a much beloved star. Includes many studio and personal photos. A must-read for fans of the Wood sisters!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michael Goth

    Lana Wood's touching memoir if her late sister Natalie. This is not so much a biography as the story of a special bond between two sisters. Lana Wood's touching memoir if her late sister Natalie. This is not so much a biography as the story of a special bond between two sisters.

  14. 4 out of 5

    David White

    This book had tidbits about Natalie wood but it should’ve been an autobiography about Lana woods. This book bored me to tears

  15. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Very interesting on how Lana and Natalie where raised and their relationship.

  16. 4 out of 5

    JoAnn Bell

    Natalie was one of my favorite actresses growing up. I have had this book on my shelf for years, and just now took it down to read it. Reading from her sister's perspective, I got an interesting peak into the life of Natalie and her sister. It was quite eye opening to see how lives of someone so beautiful and talented could be so controlled and constantly seeking. It was an unexpected bonus to learn more of Natalie's sister and author of the book as well. It would be interesting to read a biogra Natalie was one of my favorite actresses growing up. I have had this book on my shelf for years, and just now took it down to read it. Reading from her sister's perspective, I got an interesting peak into the life of Natalie and her sister. It was quite eye opening to see how lives of someone so beautiful and talented could be so controlled and constantly seeking. It was an unexpected bonus to learn more of Natalie's sister and author of the book as well. It would be interesting to read a biography now on Robert Wagner who was one of my favorite television actors through my later years to see if any of the questions Lana brought up are answered.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Allen

    This was a short, interesting read. Well worth the time, but it was mostly about LanA Wood. That is OK, but I really wanted to know more about Natalie. I did find out some very interesting things along the way (Sean Connery)as Lana Wood was one of the Bond Girls in Diamonds Are Forever! See, some nice info here you didn't know you'd find. The tragic death of Natalie is also described in the back of the book. Seems everyone that was there when it happened have kept their mouths very closed shut ab This was a short, interesting read. Well worth the time, but it was mostly about LanA Wood. That is OK, but I really wanted to know more about Natalie. I did find out some very interesting things along the way (Sean Connery)as Lana Wood was one of the Bond Girls in Diamonds Are Forever! See, some nice info here you didn't know you'd find. The tragic death of Natalie is also described in the back of the book. Seems everyone that was there when it happened have kept their mouths very closed shut about it. Case closed.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sophie Strand

    This is a wonderful and fascinating look into Natalie Wood's life and the details of her mysterious death. Lana Wood, her sister, writes frankly and sincerely about all aspects of Natalie's life and goes into great detail about everything. I loved reading about her affairs with Warren Beatty and other leading men and of course, her 2 marriages to Robert Wagner. Surprisingly, Lana Wood herself is a fascinating character and she strikes a great balance between revealing lots of details about Natal This is a wonderful and fascinating look into Natalie Wood's life and the details of her mysterious death. Lana Wood, her sister, writes frankly and sincerely about all aspects of Natalie's life and goes into great detail about everything. I loved reading about her affairs with Warren Beatty and other leading men and of course, her 2 marriages to Robert Wagner. Surprisingly, Lana Wood herself is a fascinating character and she strikes a great balance between revealing lots of details about Natalie while sharing some of her own fascinating life.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bonni Sweet

    I have read a lot of book on Natalie Wood and I believe this one is one of the best .Her sister has first hand knowledge of a lot of events that happened her her life and she did share a life with her. I'm not saying that maybe some of it wasn't exageratated, all books are I think to a point, but I think that there is something to be said about growing up in a household with the person that you have written about. Facts, dreams, etc that may be just a little more in detail because you are so clo I have read a lot of book on Natalie Wood and I believe this one is one of the best .Her sister has first hand knowledge of a lot of events that happened her her life and she did share a life with her. I'm not saying that maybe some of it wasn't exageratated, all books are I think to a point, but I think that there is something to be said about growing up in a household with the person that you have written about. Facts, dreams, etc that may be just a little more in detail because you are so close to the drama.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Pam Herrmann

    Hmmm. A Memoir about Natalie Wood by her sister Lana. More likely a book about Lana trying to be just like her sister or maybe even better than her sister. Their mom was not a very good role model and Natalie could do nothing wrong in her eyes. Both girls had major relationship issues including both sleeping with the same guys. Lana portrayed Natalie as very controlling and mean spirited. I wonder if the theory of her being drunk and possibly on medication and falling overboard is really how her Hmmm. A Memoir about Natalie Wood by her sister Lana. More likely a book about Lana trying to be just like her sister or maybe even better than her sister. Their mom was not a very good role model and Natalie could do nothing wrong in her eyes. Both girls had major relationship issues including both sleeping with the same guys. Lana portrayed Natalie as very controlling and mean spirited. I wonder if the theory of her being drunk and possibly on medication and falling overboard is really how her death happened.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Althea

    I chose this book after reading Robert Wagner's autobiogrpahy. I wanted to find out if Natalie Wood was as she was portrayed by him. Her sister's book is just as complimentary to Natalie; however, there's a certain animosity in Lana's book toward RJ and in RJ's book toward Lana. Now, I'm going to read a book by the captain of RJ and Natalie's boat Splendour supposedly telling the true story of what happened on the boat the night Natalie died. I chose this book after reading Robert Wagner's autobiogrpahy. I wanted to find out if Natalie Wood was as she was portrayed by him. Her sister's book is just as complimentary to Natalie; however, there's a certain animosity in Lana's book toward RJ and in RJ's book toward Lana. Now, I'm going to read a book by the captain of RJ and Natalie's boat Splendour supposedly telling the true story of what happened on the boat the night Natalie died.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    This book is supposedly a biography of Natalie Wood written by her sister, Lana. What it actually is is Lana's memoir with Natalie's picture on the front. I didn't hate it because it was actually interesting, and there of course were stories about Natalie in the book. But it wasn't really what I was looking for when I picked it up. As a sidenote-- her editor should be shot. This book is not well written at all. But I guess that's what you get when a movie/tv actress writes a book... This book is supposedly a biography of Natalie Wood written by her sister, Lana. What it actually is is Lana's memoir with Natalie's picture on the front. I didn't hate it because it was actually interesting, and there of course were stories about Natalie in the book. But it wasn't really what I was looking for when I picked it up. As a sidenote-- her editor should be shot. This book is not well written at all. But I guess that's what you get when a movie/tv actress writes a book...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sherry

    A guilty read. Like I really need to know about the sordid lives of celebrities. And this one's written by the 'sister-who-never-made-it-big' sister of a well known celeb. Still...it was interesting. Sounded like Lana was trying to explain away too many things. Whatever. It was on my mom's book shelf. I had time to burn. A guilty read. Like I really need to know about the sordid lives of celebrities. And this one's written by the 'sister-who-never-made-it-big' sister of a well known celeb. Still...it was interesting. Sounded like Lana was trying to explain away too many things. Whatever. It was on my mom's book shelf. I had time to burn.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I enjoyed the stories of the sisters growing up, but agree with several other reviewers that Lana shares/ hogs a lot of space within the book itself. It also gives no detail or follow up about the accident which claimed Natalie' s life. I tend to believe there is more to the story than meets the eye. I enjoyed the stories of the sisters growing up, but agree with several other reviewers that Lana shares/ hogs a lot of space within the book itself. It also gives no detail or follow up about the accident which claimed Natalie' s life. I tend to believe there is more to the story than meets the eye.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Beyourself17

    i find it interesting to read about other peoples lives. I was surprised to read how co-dependant and competitive these two sisters were. I thought the book would be more about Natalie but I felt that Lana focused more on herself. It was a bit disappointing but I bought it for .50 cents at a cute little coffee shop in Boissivain Mb so how can I really complain :)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lesley

    I grew up watching most of the Natalie wood movies and remember I got this book at the time I was in one of those mail book clubs. I was so excited to read this then when done so disappointed. I learned more about Lana than I did about Natalie. Title should have been called Lana, a memoir about the sister of Natalie Wood. I guess no one would read it then!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Bugeja

    As Natalie's sister Lana provided us with insights that only she could recall. Natalie's progression from child actress to adult star was recounted along with her colorful lovelife. A must for fans of this wonderful actress. As Natalie's sister Lana provided us with insights that only she could recall. Natalie's progression from child actress to adult star was recounted along with her colorful lovelife. A must for fans of this wonderful actress.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mindy

    I have re-read this book on and off for years. I found it interesting because it was from her sister's point of view. I wish it was less about Lana's life though, but I realize there was a great deal of her life without Natalie due to thier estrangement. I have re-read this book on and off for years. I found it interesting because it was from her sister's point of view. I wish it was less about Lana's life though, but I realize there was a great deal of her life without Natalie due to thier estrangement.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mira

    What is with people writing hateful books about their family members? So disgusting. The worst thing about this book is perhaps the fact that it was published only a year after Natalie's tragic death. What is with people writing hateful books about their family members? So disgusting. The worst thing about this book is perhaps the fact that it was published only a year after Natalie's tragic death.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Linda Dolan

    A Personal, poignant, and sensitive memoir Lana Wood has written an engrossing and very personal story of Natalie Wood and her rise to stardom without focusing on her own legitimate struggles growing up as the sister of one of Hollywood's greatest stars. A Personal, poignant, and sensitive memoir Lana Wood has written an engrossing and very personal story of Natalie Wood and her rise to stardom without focusing on her own legitimate struggles growing up as the sister of one of Hollywood's greatest stars.

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