After the Fall: How I Picked Myself Up, Dusted Myself Off, and Started All Over Again

Suzanne Somers, Author Crown Publishers $23 (308p) ISBN 978-0-609-60312-3
This combination of Hollywood memoir and pop psychology self-analysis follows Somers's 1986 bestseller, Keeping Secrets, in tracing the long-term effects of growing up with an alcoholic father. While relating her professional ups and downs, Somers also reveals the personal life lived behind the glittering facade that concealed a disastrous sense of isolation and ""keeping secrets."" Marriage, motherhood, step-parenting and professional ambition were all colored by the classic traits of adult children of alcoholics--fear, low self-worth, control issues, denial, self-sabotage and a nearly insatiable need for approval and love. Somers identifies her own mistakes and ""lessons"" along the way with insight that comes only with age (she is now in her 50s) and unrelenting self-examination. At the height of her popularity as Chrissy Snow in the TV sitcom Three's Company, she reports, ""the network had decided to make an example of the next big star who asked for a salary increase,"" and she was dropped from the show and virtually blackballed from show business. In simple, conversational prose, Somers recounts her resulting ""diversification"" into night-club acts (including a long-running hit in Las Vegas), ThighMaster exercise equipment, jewelry and books; she eventually returned to TV series comedy, in Step by Step. Her book is a cheerful pep talk, not high literature, but it does its job well and, in any case, it's hard to dislike a book that posts the dedication, ""My goal in life is to become the person my dog thinks I am."" Simultaneous Random House audio; TV satellite tour. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/30/1998
Release date: 04/01/1998
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