I had the chance to check out the new Bettie Page book not long ago and loved it. This book is for the die hard fans, those new to her and the ones in-between. For those looking for racy photos only, this book is not for you. With this book you get a sense of who she was personally, how she connected with her family, and learn more about her sister Goldie. (more details in review below)
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The book is full of awesome photos, ranging from her modeling days to family times, and handwritten letters to her sister Goldie (aka Gloria). The authors do an excellent job at describing the letters and then stating what was happening in Bettie’s life at the time. At no point was I bored with this book, despite having watched documentaries and read about Bettie over the years. This book gives a look into how normal of a person Bettie was and how ahead of her times she was. I think we tend to put her on this pedestal and forget she’s not just the legendary pin-up queen. She is someone’s sister, daughter, aunt, etc. and the letters show that. You’ll get a good idea about Bettie’s personality and humor throughout the book. At the end of the book, you will learn more about her sister, Goldie, and her nephew, Ron. Why Goldie didn’t become as famous as Bettie, I don’t know...when you see Goldie’s photo’s, you’ll wonder the same thing.
This book would make an excellent gift or if you’re a Bettie fan, it’s a must have. I will be purchasing this for myself and one for a friend who loves Bettie. Overall, I recommend the book and can’t say anything bad about it.
For those who need a little more info about the book layout: foreword by Tempest Storm, introduction, followed by four parts (The Early Years, The Pinup Years, The Lost Years, Meet Goldie Jane), then epilogue and acknowledgments.
While reading this book, I couldn’t help but wonder what mental illness and health problems did she really have? Was it what they said or something else (we’ve come a long way with medical advances/learning about diseases/illness since she was diagnosed)? How did she maintain such a positive attitude despite everything that happened in her life? The authors mentions the body positive movement (I thought the same thing at multiple times throughout the book), and wonder how Bettie would feel now about her photo being taken as she aged.
Parental Advisory/Trigger Warnings: talks of Bettie’s time in psychiatric hospitals due to her threatening others with knives/injuring them, lots of body image talk (dieting, indulging in food, gaining/losing weight, growing old and dislike for it), talk of suicide if she ends up in a wheelchair or bed-ridden, gambling, marriages and divorces, religion, sexual assaults (briefly mentioned, not detailed).
Thank you to the authors, publishers, and Netgalley for allowing me an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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