Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering
I read this autobiography for work (long story), and the good news is that I was able to blow through it in about 48 hours. The name Meredith Baxter did not ring a bell for me, nor did I recognize the attractive older blonde woman on the cover, although her sassy blonde mom-hair and super white, super straight teeth reminded me of Katie Couric.
As it turns out, Meredith Baxter is, among other things, the mom from Family Ties. I guess I am about 3 years too young to be the target demo for this memoir, because I don’t remember much about that show except that Michael J. Fox was a Republican.
The book is…not embarrassing. But there is nothing in it to recommend it. Baxter had a rough childhood, a series of bad relationships (one abusive), five children, and a long and varied TV career during which she worked with a number of very famous people, then got sober AND came out as a lesbian. That sounds exciting, right?!
Nope. You would think all of that could make for a juicy memoir, but Baxter only has nice, bland things to say about her coworkers, and her analysis of her relationships with family, spouses and children feels like just that – analysis. She takes responsibility for her bad decisions and tries to forgive and understand those who did her wrong. The entire book reads like an epic AA meeting.
I’m glad Baxter is happy and healthy these days. It seems like this book was probably therapeutic for her, and bully for her for getting someone to pay her to write it. But as a work of literature, it’s a waste of wood pulp.
Rating: If you are on vacation and it’s pouring rain, and this is the only book in the hotel lending library, this is not too painful to read. (Additional 10 points off the final score because the subtitle reminds me of my freshman English papers. Something like “Heroines in the works of Charles Dickens: Piety, Poverty, and Perseverance.”)