I received a free copy of Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty at a meeting I went to for work last year. Why, at a meeting for medical administrators, about Ebola, no less, did they bestow upon us autographed copies of Diane Keaton’s memoir? It’s a complete mystery. Anyway, the book sat in the closet at work for about eight months before I finally decided to suck it up and read it. And, ugh, it was just as horrible as I’d heard.
I knew I would have a problem with this book when, in the first few pages, Ms. Keaton refers to a wall filled with photographs of famous men as her “prisoners.” That was my first inkling that something was going to be a bit… off about this book. It only gets worse as, throughout the next several chapters, she rambles about her thinning hair, her dislike of the bump on her nose, how she’s never liked the slant of her eyes, and how she would never, ever think about having work done. Not that she’d shame another woman for it, but, wait, maybe she would.
The book is completely disjointed, with certain themes repeating over and over again – her thinning hair, for one, is mentioned frequently, as are her frequent trips to the dermatologist to get her precancers frozen, her skin cancers removed, and her prescription for Solaraze. I’d reference this book at my job – celebrities get skin cancers, too! But I’d feel so bad making the patients struggle through it. There’s nothing to tie the chapters together, so it just comes across as a laundry list of things Ms. Keaton doesn’t like about herself.
While much of the book was odd, I felt, in particular, that the chapter on her daughter’s first trip to Victoria’s Secret was completely inappropriate. A detailed debate of her then fifteen-year-old daughter’s bra size – 32B vs. 34C – culminates in her buying $200 worth of bras and underwear, and don’t worry – there’s a detailed description of her choices, too. I’m sure this was put in to make Ms. Keaton more relatable to the average mother, but it came across as attention-grabby, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for poor Dexter, who now has her lingerie choices on display for the world.
I can’t for the life of me figure out why this was published. There’s no flow – in fact, there are sections of the book where Ms. Keaton literally just lists every cliche phrase she can think of relating to the topic at hand. There are sections where she analyzes her dreams. Sections where she just quotes lyrics from songs her daughter likes. It’s a mess.
Do yourself a favor, and don’t waste the two hours it takes to read this book.
Final rating: ★☆☆☆☆
For my 2015 reading challenge, I’m crossing off #26: a memoir.