More than love An intimate portrait of my mother, Natalie Wood

Natasha Gregson Wagner, 1970-

Book - 2020

"The heartbreaking, never-before-told story of Hollywood icon Natalie Wood's glamorous life, sudden death, and lasting legacy, written by her daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner"--

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Subjects
Genres
Biographies
Published
New York, NY : Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc 2020.
Edition
First Scribner hardcover edition
Language
English
Physical Description
293 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
ISBN
9781982111182
1982111186
9781982111199
1982111194
Main Author
Natasha Gregson Wagner, 1970- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Natasha Wagner was 11 when her mother, Natalie Wood, drowned in a boating accident. As a child, Natasha was obsessed with her famous mother, begging her to call frequently when they were apart and even worrying about her when they were home. Her mother's death ripped a hole in her life and left her with relationship anxiety. Natasha's memories are vivid and heartbreaking, carefully pieced together from conversations, photographs, Natalie's writings, news stories, and her family's recollections. Wagner speaks freely about her battle with anxiety, her work in therapy, and her failed marriage. Like her famous parents, she was determined to be an actor, but her journey was rockier and more difficult than her mother's rise from child star to Hollywood icon. This memoir, like Wagner's life, is filled with the film elite, and her insider's view is fascinating. What makes this work memorable, however, is her willingness to share her psychological struggles so candidly. While rumors still circulate about Natalie Wood's death, her daughter remains convinced of Robert Wagner's innocence. She admits that her parents had conflicts but believes in their overpowering love. And it's this love that comes through in this personal account that fans of old Hollywood will savor. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

In this heart-wrenching debut, actor and author Wagner (Natalie Wood: Reflections of a Legendary Life) pays loving tribute to her late mother, Hollywood legend Natalie Wood. Wagner was 11 years old and on a sleepover at her best friend's when she heard on the radio that the drowned body of her mother had been found near Catalina Island, Calif., on Nov. 29, 1981. But rather than casting her mother as a tragic character, Wagner sets aside the controversy surrounding Wood's death (friends and family believed that husband Robert Wagner was responsible for her death) to show a fiercely loving mother who wanted Natasha and her younger sister, Courtney, to enjoy the simple pleasures of childhood rather than follow in her footsteps as a child star. Wagner pulls no punches as she describes the repercussions of her mother's death—her sister Courtney's attempts to self-medicate with drugs; and Natalie's estranged younger sister, Lana, who continues to believe that Wagner had something to with Natalie's death, are explored. Endearing details will humanize for readers this beloved Hollywood star, such as the petite Wood's love of lamb chops and beef bourguignon (but "right before a project she'd do a grapefruit fast"). Wagner's beautifully written and unashamedly emotional memoir is a love letter to Natalie Wood and an enduring gift to her fans. (May) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"The heartbreaking, never-before-told story of Hollywood icon Natalie Wood's glamorous life, sudden death, and lasting legacy, written by her daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The daughter of Natalie Wood poignantly recounts the story of her mother’s tragic 1981 drowning, the suspicions that targeted her stepfather and the ongoing impact of the unsolved mystery on her family. 150,000 first printing. Media tie-in.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

The heartbreaking, never-before-told story of Hollywood icon Natalie Wood’s glamorous life, sudden death, and lasting legacy, written by her daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner.More Than Love is a memoir of loss, grief, and coming-of-age by a daughter of Hollywood royalty. Natasha Gregson Wagner’s mother, Natalie Wood, was a child actress who became a legendary movie star, the dark-haired beauty of Splendor in the Grass, Rebel Without a Cause, and West Side Story. She and Natasha’s stepfather, the actor Robert Wagner, were a Hollywood it-couple twice over, first in the 1950s, and then again when they remarried in the 70s.But Natalie’s sudden death by drowning off Catalina Island at the age of forty-three devastated her family, made her stepfather a person of interest, and turned a vibrant wife, mother, and actress into a tragic figure. The events of that weekend have long been a mystery, and despite the rumors, scandalous media coverage, and accusations of wrongdoing, there has never been an account of how the tragedy was experienced by her daughter. For the first time Natasha addresses the questions surrounding that night to clear her beloved stepfather’s name.More Than Love begins on the morning after her mother’s death in November 1981 when eleven-year-old Natasha hears the news on the radio that her mother’s body has been found off the coast of Catalina after her parents had spent the weekend on the family boat, The Splendour.From this profound and shattering loss, Natasha shares her memories of her earliest bonds with her mother; her warm, loving, and slightly chaotic childhood as the daughter of two stars; the lost and confused years of her adolescence; and her halting attempts to move forward as a young woman.Beautifully told, More Than Love is an emotionally powerful tale of a daughter coming to terms with her grief, as well as a riveting portrait of a famous mother and a vanished Hollywood.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

The heartbreaking, never-before-told story of Hollywood icon Natalie Wood's glamorous life, sudden death, and lasting legacy, written by her daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner.More Than Love is a memoir of loss, grief, and coming-of-age by a daughter of Hollywood royalty. Natasha Gregson Wagner's mother, Natalie Wood, was a child actress who became a legendary movie star, the dark-haired beauty of Splendor in the Grass, Rebel Without a Cause, and West Side Story. She and Natasha's stepfather, the actor Robert Wagner, were a Hollywood it-couple twice over, first in the 1950s, and then again when they remarried in the 70s.But Natalie's sudden death by drowning off Catalina Island at the age of forty-three devastated her family, made her stepfather a person of interest, and turned a vibrant wife, mother, and actress into a tragic figure. The events of that weekend have long been a mystery, and despite the rumors, scandalous media coverage, and accusations of wrongdoing, there has never been an account of how the tragedy was experienced by her daughter. For the first time Natasha addresses the questions surrounding that night to clear her beloved stepfather's name.More Than Love begins on the morning after her mother's death in November 1981 when eleven-year-old Natasha hears the news on the radio that her mother's body has been found off the coast of Catalina after her parents had spent the weekend on the family boat, The Splendour.From this profound and shattering loss, Natasha shares her memories of her earliest bonds with her mother; her warm, loving, and slightly chaotic childhood as the daughter of two stars; the lost and confused years of her adolescence; and her halting attempts to move forward as a young woman.Beautifully told, More Than Love is an emotionally powerful tale of a daughter coming to terms with her grief, as well as a riveting portrait of a famous mother and a vanished Hollywood.