Natalie Wood c. 1950s
Natalie Wood c. 1950s
Ingrid Bergman, Natalie Wood and Jane Fonda during the 41st Annual Academy Awards Rehearsals, April 1969
Of course :) The first Natalie book I read was Natasha. You can get it through Amazon or it’s always at the public library. I’ve seen it at every branch I’ve gone to in the biographies section, so I’m sure it’s not difficult to get a hold of. It’s very touching and I believe even Lana helped in the writing process, so Finstad is definitely a credible source for all things Natalie. The pictures in the book are also so sweet and beautiful. This is one of my absolute favorites of Natalie with baby Natasha.
And the beginning of the book has that iconic photo of Natalie in the early ’60s.
I guess you’d be more interested in the substance of the book, but it was beautifully put together. Very Natalie. Very delicate and captivating. The beginning also gives you some great history on Natalie’s parents and how they came to America. Natalie’s mom was a very interesting woman. She’s pretty much the reason Natalie became a movie star. Not saying Natalie’s acting abilities and beauty didn’t play a big part in becoming such a star, but you’ll see in the book how her mother really pushed Natalie and pretty much lived out her dream of becoming a famous beauty through Natalie. You’ll also read about how a lot of Natalie’s fears stemmed from Natalie’s mom and her fears, which were brought about from a gypsy foretelling the future. There’s also a fair share of some heartbreaking stories along with some happiness. I don’t think Finstad left any crucial events in Natalie’s life out. I won’t give much away, but you’ll pretty much feel like you know Natalie from her childhood in Santa Rosa, her youth with James Dean and riding in back of Elvis’ motorcycle, great insight into her films and co-stars (love affairs and friendships), her marriages, her much desired and very loved Natasha and Courtney, and her final days in Catalina.
And the second one I’d recommend would be Lana’s memoir. I let one of my best friends borrow it last year and she got all teary-eyed at the end. It’s a very poignant account on Lana’s life with Natalie. Extremely detailed and some of the stories at the beginning brought me a little happiness. I’m also so in love with the pictures Lana placed in this book! They’re so rare to me as a Natalie fan. A lot of which you can’t just google image or find on tumblr. I read this when I was in a very rough patch in my life, but I remember laughing and feeling excited. I’d look forward to the evenings because I’d get to read another little story about a film or a party or family drama. Lana tells it from her point of view and you also feel as though you’re there with her. I remember picturing her father running around the pool after her mother, or little Lana playing pranks with Natalie and Nick Adams, or sleeping over at Natalie’s when she was married to RJ (he certainly wasn’t a fan of Lana sleeping over) because Mud was being mean. All a mixture of sweetness and pain. Lana also speaks of her youth and the changes she went through. She speaks of how Natalie was so delicate and petite, but Lana was blessed with great curves (my words, not hers..she wasn’t very excited about them at the beginning) and how she didn’t feel so comfortable attending school. I think it’s a great book for girls too. Little parts I could relate to here and there because I’m a lady lol. You also see how their relationship develops and Natalie was very defensive and caring of little Lana. She also gives you a little insight to Natalie’s habits. The way she’d dress, the way her makeup would be set up, how Natalie always dressed to impress no matter the occasion. She also speaks of her lovers as well as Natalie’s. There’s a bit of Warren Beatty that I found very shocking at the beginning, but then I realized Warren Beatty was quite the womanizer and wasn’t surprised he’d be putting the movies on Natalie’s little sister. She also speaks of her affairs with people like Alain Delon and Ryan O’Neal. Very fascinating and great read!
Thanks for the question! :)