The Beauty of Living Twice

Sharon Stone. Knopf, $27.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-525-65676-0
Though the title refers to Stone's near-death from a stroke in 2001, the actor has arguably lived many lives, as her bold memoir recounts. Stone revisits her small-town Pennsylvania youth, where strict "kitchen-sink Irish" parents and incidents of abuse failed to crush her spirit or her subsequent roles as ambitious student, celebrity, sex symbol, philanthropist, and adoptive single mother. Stone was determined to get the most out of her improbable circumstances, campaigning hard for the film roles she wanted, grieving many losses (including three miscarriages), and searching out avenues for spiritual connection. Suffused with wry humor, Stone's storytelling alternates between literary descriptions and intimate colloquialisms ("Well, that was just the Cracker Jack best!"). Though there are plenty of celebrity cameos, the memoir is neither tell-all nor fluff; without veering into self-pity, Stone's clear about the difficulties of being a woman who became famous for baring it all on screen, but didn't want to sleep with her coworkers: "People criticize me and say that men are intimidated by me. That just makes me want to cry. I was often alone on a set with hundreds of men," she writes. "And now I am the intimidating one?" The mix of moxie and vulnerability conveys a life well lived, and well examined. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 03/25/2021
Release date: 03/30/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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