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The Girl Next Door: The untold story of Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door Hardcover – 5 Jun 2008
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A life that has had more down's than up's, a victim of domestic abuse, more than one failed marriage and more than one rumoured extra marital affair, financial embezzlement and ruin at the hands of one of her spouses (to list but a few of her tribulations) it is a wonder that this lady has maintained not only her sensibility but more importantly her senses! All that said she is not without her faults (something that the lady herself has reiterated many times), and it is in her relationships with friends, acquaintances and employees that we learn that Doris Day could and can be in her own way, quite ruthless and unforgiving. And it is perhaps these traits that I found particularly difficult to digest.
Perhaps like many I bought into the "public" persona and finding that Doris Day is a many faceted and complex persona kind of had me questioning her character. But my antipathy was only temporary. In the pages of this well researched and very detailed biography we discover that 'flaws and all', Doris Day today, is still a remarkable and endearing human being. As a movie star, a recording sensation, television legend and animal rights crusader Doris Day remains for me a true, legend.
This is not, as Mr. Kaufman would have it, a woman who is hiding from the rest of the world due to the bad treatment she received from people that came in and out of her life. Known to be a woman with a very forgiving heart and one who consistently has shown strength through adversity, she has been thrown a lot of life's surprises along the way. The fact that she is forgiving and moves on, does not make her someone who is afraid to look at the past, nor is she someone who is trying to get over an abandonment issue and so has devoted her life to the animals....his whole thought process through his book just makes me ill.
Ms. Day has always had a love for animals. This is a part of her nature. Now, that she has retired and has the time away from the silver screen, she is doing what she loves to do, and so for all the great humanitarian contributions she has made across this nation, we have people like Mr. Kaufman who have their own theories and then put them in print for their own self gain.
I did find alot of his information gathered as Doris' career took off to be enlightening at best, but he paints a picture of a woman who was thrown into a career she did not want by the manipulations of her mother, and then later, her agent husband Martin Melcher. Regardless of whether Marty was or was not the best person to guide Doris' career, the fact remains that it was Doris' innate talent that got her through the achievements she accomplished in both films and music. Everyone makes choices in their lives, some for the good and some not so good. I am sure there could have been more to her career if handled differently, but at this stage of the game, didn't she work enough? I think she did and am happy that we have so much of her talent to enjoy. Her music is such that she will live forever in the hearts of fans, because there is no one who can come across with a song like she does. Her film career made her the Box Office Queen for many years...because of this legacy she has and will leave behind, we have several authors now who find this is a good time to exploit her and mutilate what is real about her to make their books sell.
Ms. Day is not in hiding and she is not a recluse. She does what makes her happy and she has earned the right to do that. As someone who has seen the heart of this woman, it amazes me to see statements about her, in this book and in its publicity, that are so erroneous just to gain attention. Doris Day, who has always done and wanted to do rescue work for animals, has managed to change how an entire nation views their pets. Laws have now been adapted to eliminate animal cruelty from the grass roots and up to Washington's front door. Her organization rescued thousands of pets from their demise when Katrina hit New Orleans a couple of years ago. And most of all, due to her diligent efforts and her organization, many towns across our country have adapted a mandatory spay and neuter program to lower the overpopulation of unwanted pets. Does all this sound like a woman who hides behind another name known as "Clara," because she has disassociated herself with her persona? On the contrary, Ms. Day has used her persona to accomplish a lot of good in the world and to educate us all on the responsibilities we have as pet owners.
I differ with Mr. Kaufman's beliefs and find his book to be no authority on Doris Day, the person. I believe his ego overshadowed his judgement in his writings and theories. If he had seen and visited with the essence of this remarkable woman he would have found her to be a most sincere and caring individual, who has always known exactly who she is, where she is going, and what she wants out of life. No book has ever captured that essence and I doubt anyone ever will...because as the song goes, "It's Magic" and that is why she is still loved by millions of fans across the world.
Am I one of those fans? You better believe it!!!
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