Honey, baby, mine A mother and daughter talk life, death, love (and banana pudding)

Laura Dern

Book - 2023

"Award-winning actresses and mother-daughter duo Laura Dern and Diane Ladd are the kind of women who draw strength from their lifelong friendships with other women, and most of all, from each other. Ever since Laura was born, the two have leaned on each other through the trials of everyday life and the tribulations that come with even the most storied Hollywood careers. They were always close, but when Diane developed a sudden illness, their relationship grew even deeper. When a doctor prescribed long walks to build back Diane's lung capacity, the pair began taking strolls together every day. These meandering walks soon became epic ones, and the conversations the two women shared began to break down the traditional barriers betwee...n mothers and daughters. With topics ranging from ambition and legacy to intimacy and marriage, drifting between humorous and deeply poignant, nothing was off limits. By the time Diane was healed they were more than a close duo; they had covered tremendous ground and formed a true adult relationship. Peppered throughout these intimate exchanges, they enclose personal photos, family recipes, and much more. The result is a book that will make you want to call your own mom-a testament to the intimacy that can be achieved when we are brave enough to speak our truths to those we love most"--

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2nd Floor BIOGRAPHY/Dern, Laura Checked In
2nd Floor BIOGRAPHY/Dern, Laura Checked In
New York : Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Book Group 2023.
Main Author
Laura Dern (author)
Other Authors
Diane Ladd (author), Reese Witherspoon, 1976- (writer of foreword)
First edition
Physical Description
239 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates ; illustrations (some color), photographs ; 24 cm
  • Foreword
  • Walk 1. The Family Business
  • Walk 2. Time Tock
  • Walk 3. Mary & Preston
  • Walk 4. The Safety-Pin Cross
  • Walk 5. Bent Spoons
  • Walk 6. Green Leotards & Show Folk
  • Walk 7. The Angels' Fault
  • Walk 8. The Sea is Wide
  • Walk 9. Morning Phone Calls
  • Walk 10. Banana Pudding & Red Wine
  • Walk 11. Dating, Divorce, & Diner Menus
  • Walk 12. Fish in Flowerpots
  • Walk 13. The Haircut
  • Walk 14. Our Old Street
  • Walk 15. What We Leave Behind
  • Appendix
  • Acknowledgments
Review by Booklist Review

Faced with the terrifying possibility that her celebrated actor mother, Diane Ladd, had six months to live, award-winning actor Laura Dern determined to carry out two projects. The first was getting her mother to walk for 15 minutes a day, an intensely painful activity for Ladd but the one thing doctors said could help heal her severely scarred lungs. The second project was recording their walking conversations: talks that let them reminisce, surprise one another, recall old hurts, occasionally revise the other's memory, and, quite often, laugh (and Ladd cough), and that became this book. It's an exercise in presence met with urgency--just making it to the next bench, asking that question now or never--that offers such uncanny utterances as, "Remember when you were eight and we went on that cruise with Erica Jong?" Family photos, recipes, playbills, handwritten notes, and individual asides break up the conversation transcripts. From their favorite colors to the legacy they share as single mothers and award-winning artists, this becomes a very full and generous picture of a mother and daughter, imbued with genuine gratitude. Having already outlived her prognosis, Ladd says, "Our talking and your love have prolonged my life, I just know it." It's quite special to witness. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The actress-authors' friend and book-club maven Reese Witherspoon provides a foreword, ensuring that this star-filled, buzzed-about book will be a sure-fire hit.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

When a famous mother and daughter take up walking in an attempt to heal mom's troubled lungs, hearts and souls become involved. Ladd and Dern, her daughter from her marriage to actor Bruce Dern, didn't realize quite how much they had to talk about until Ladd was diagnosed with a lung condition that could kill her in six months. There wasn't much to be done; the doctor could only suggest that walking might expand Ladd's lung capacity. It may have worked, as four years later, both mother and daughter are around for photo sessions, an audiobook recording, and publicity about the book. Based on the transcripts of a series of recorded talks, the book includes an introduction by Reese Witherspoon, additional commentary from both writers, a gorgeous collection of snapshots and studio stills, and a few recipes. Reminiscences of Ladd's Mississippi youth are one of the treats of this double memoir, but what is most remarkable about the book is that because of the nature of the conversations, Ladd and Dern were able to dig up all the unfinished business and resentments of their relationship. Instead of preserving them in amber as in many memoirs daughters write about their mothers, this book allows readers to share in the flare-ups, the sorting through, the soothing, etc. Dern recalls a haircut Ladd gave her son 14 years ago, without asking: "Thinking that boys can't have long hair is just so outdated, Mom. It really smacks of homophobia and gender bias. We should be raising our kids with a sense of freedom and openness toward their own self-expression." To which Diane replies, "Woo-boy! No, Laura. He asked for the haircut." "You are such an actress!" says Laura. "That is not true!" From the outset, this familial portrait is feisty, frank, and full of love. One of the best mother-daughter stories to come out of Hollywood. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.