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Then Again by Diane Keaton
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Then Again (edition 2011)

by Diane Keaton (Author)

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6093330,426 (3.28)23
The award-winning actress documents her rise from an everyday girl to an acclaimed performer while exploring her defining relationship with her mother and how their shared and separate dreams influenced their experiences.
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Title:Then Again
Authors:Diane Keaton (Author)
Info:Random House (2011), Edition: 1st Edition, 304 pages
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Then Again by Diane Keaton (Author)

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Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
a very sweet story of mother and daughter. more like 3.5 stars, not quite 4 because parts felt really disjointed ( )
  RunsOnEspresso | Mar 25, 2020 |
Diane Keaton's unforgettable memoir about her mother and herself. In it you will meet the woman known to tens of millions as Annie Hall, but you will also meet, and fall in love with, her mother, the loving, complicated, always thinking Dorothy Hall. To write about herself, Diane realized she had to write about her mother, too, and how their bond came to define both their lives. And so, in a remarkable act of creation, Diane not only reveals herself to us, she also lets us meet in intimate detail her mother. Throughout her life, Dorothy kept eighty-five journals - literally thousands of pages - in which she wrote about her marriage, her children, and, most probingly, about herself. Dorothy also recorded memorable stories about Diane's grandparents. Diane has sorted through all these pages to paint an unflinching portrait of her mother - a woman restless with intellectual and creative energy struggling to find an outlet for her talents - as well as her entire family, recounting a story that spans four generations and nearly a hundred years.
  Gmomaj | Oct 9, 2019 |
This review was first posted on Melissa's Midnight Musings Here on August 14, 2012.

I have to admit that I have somewhat mixed feelings about this book. I like it, because it lets you see more into the life of Diane Keaton, and really of her entire family. There aren't too many memoirs that go as deeply as this one does into the whole family. But then there are the parts where I didn't like it so much. There's a lot of self deprecation on Keaton's part, and a lot of what I might call bitterness at lost opportunities.

On the whole, I felt that I connected more with Keaton's mother, than I did with Keaton herself. Diane Keaton just seems very unsure of herself, she has low self esteem. (Which she does admit to, on page 116) At first, the self deprecation was refreshing. It was realistic, and honest. But as I kept reading, it sort of got old. I was waiting for the evolutionary writing where Keaton grows out of putting herself down and grows into her own. And while she does, to a point, once she adopts her two children, she still has the tendency to put herself down. Keaton's mother, while she's not without her own insecurities and self doubt, has more of a sense of self, and has a freer spirit.

The one thing that really stood out for me personally was the fact that Keaton's mother had 85 journals. That is just amazing to me. I hope to have that many some day. I think it I were to count right now, I have around 10 or so. I don't write nearly as often as I should, and the fact that this woman had 85 made me want to write more. Maybe I can pass them on as a legacy to my kids someday.

An interesting part of this memoir is Diane Keaton's relationships. Or lack thereof really. She had on and off romances with Woody Allen, Al Pacino, and Warren Beatty. It was interesting to see her thoughts on these relationships and the men long after the fact, but in a way I ended up feeling sad for her. Even though it was by her own choice, she never really got close to them, or let herself be free with any of them. The one exception might be Al Pacino, because she did talk about wanting to marry him, (but he didn't want that) Although it felt like there were things wrong with their relationship anyway. When I was reading about it it felt like they didn't really connect and she just wanted to be with him for comfort. When I read the ending correspondences in that section of the book, it sounded like they were barely friends.

I did enjoy reading about Keaton's experiences with being an older parent. I've got to give her a lot of credit for adopting babies at 50 and 55. That takes guts. And it's clear that she loves them. Reading her letters to them though, it sounds as if they are formal. Not that they aren't loving, they're just written in a different voice than a younger mother might have written them in. Maybe it's just that they have more wisdom to them than emotion you might expect from a younger mother.

Overall though, the book is really only snippets of Diane Keaton's life. It's more about her paying tribute to her mother, and the legacy that Dorothy Hall left behind. It's a very powerful recollection of a life, both from Hall's perspective and Keaton's reflection as her daughter.

My Favorite Quote:
"For most poor dumb brainwashed women marriage is the climactic experience. For men, marriage is a matter of efficient logistics: the male gets his food, bed, laundry, TV...offspring and creature comforts all under one roof...But for a woman, marriage is surrender. Marriage is when a girl gives up the fight....and from then on leaves the truly interesting and significant action to her husband, who has bargained to 'take care' of her...Women live longer than men because they haven't really been living."'
(quoted in Then Again on page xi-xii, as it was quoted in one of Diane Keaton's mothers' scrapbooks directly from Tom Robbins book, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues)

That quote speaks volumes to the institution of marriage. It certainly spoke to me.

All around, this is a very interesting read and I'd recommend it for anyone who wants to know a little more about Diane Keaton and her background. ( )
  Melissalovesreading | Sep 30, 2018 |
I liked the small bit of star gossip without it being catty. Very classy lady. ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
I have to admit to being disappointed with this book. I adore Diane Keaton and had such high hopes, but it left me a little lost. I think that was mostly because she kept switching between her own memories and her mother's journals. I lost count of the times I was unsure who's words I was listening to. All in all I'm sad to say, wouldn't recommend it. ( )
  jhullie | Mar 20, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Keaton, DianeAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Keaton, DianeNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I always say my life is this familiy, and that's the truth. Dorothy Deanne Keaton Hall
Dedication
To my City of Women: Stephanie Heaton, Sandra Shadic, Lindsay Dwelley. Plus two men: David Ebershoff and Bill Clegg. They know why.
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The award-winning actress documents her rise from an everyday girl to an acclaimed performer while exploring her defining relationship with her mother and how their shared and separate dreams influenced their experiences.

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