Notes on a Life: A Portrait of a Marriage

Eleanor Coppola, Author . Doubleday/Talese $25 (290p) ISBN 978-0-385-52499-5

Coppola (Notes on the Making of Apocalypse Now ) has gathered together excerpts from 20 years of her personal journals and in the process she captures the experiences of being a wife, mother and artist trying to find her own self-expression in the midst of a talented family. While there's an emotional price to pay in supporting her family's careers, Coppola has expressed herself in painting, conceptual art pieces and her documentary, Hearts of Darkness , which chronicled the creation of Apocalypse Now . As the author confesses: “I'm an observer at heart.” As befits its source material, this book has a fragmented style; Coppola uses objects to spark memory, such as a pair of patent leather shoes found in 2002, which prompts her to recall a 1998 brunch when her husband advised their daughter about filmmaking. Some of the entries seem aimless and the jumps in time are occasionally forced, but Coppola's most touching memories, following the sudden death of her son Gio, are expressed with honesty and dignity. While this is certainly not a book for film buffs, it does supply an intriguing view of one of the central figures in the Coppola filmmaking dynasty. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/24/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 290 pages - 978-1-4234-8905-4
Open Ebook - 184 pages - 978-0-385-52683-8
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