Love, Ellen: A Mother/Daughter Journey

Betty DeGeneres, Author Rob Weisbach Books $24 (366p) ISBN 978-0-688-16274-0
DeGeneres spent most of her life as a hard-working, middle-class woman consumed with her marriages, raising her kids and making a living. That changed in 1997 when her actress/comedian daughter, Ellen DeGeneres, ""came out"" as a lesbian, both personally and as ""Ellen Morgan,"" her character on the nationally televised sitcom Ellen. The first TV show to feature a major gay character, it precipitated extreme scrutiny of its star's life, prompting Betty to make a series of television appearances in support of her daughter. In this autobiography, DeGeneres details her own life, Ellen's childhood and how she came to terms with her daughter's lesbianism. She writes clearly and honestly about her innocence as a young adult, the problems of her second and third marriages, her breast cancer and her eventual ability to accept herself as ""her own person."" The only ""shocking"" revelation is that, allegedly, her third husband made advances on her daughter when Ellen was 17. The elder DeGeneres is now a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights lobbying group, and continues today as an ""everymom"" helping parents understand and accept their gay children. Little here is particularly unique or interesting, which is, in part, DeGeneres's point: her family and her daughter are average Americans, and homosexuality is a normal variation of sexual identity and activity. While DeGeneres's intentions are good and she's clearly motivated by her love for her daughter, her book is far too long and uninvolving. The most important parts of her message probably would have been better conveyed in a 45-minute speech. Eight-page photo insert not seen by PW. Major ad/promo; 10-city author tour; 22 city satelite tour. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/29/1999
Release date: 04/01/1999
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-688-17688-4
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-06-227610-0
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