No Ordinary Woman, May 9, 2012
By Micki Peluso (New York, USA)
This review is from: No Ordinary Woman (Paperback)
No Ordinary Woman
Valerie Byron enters the world with a bang, born on the 4th of July, 1942. The sparks flying from her celebratory birth lead her through a life of excitement fired by a strength that never burns out--and continues to flicker brightly as she grows older and perhaps wiser.
She begins her fascinating story with tales of her childhood in England; a mixture of misery and wild freedom, living with a mother who seems oblivious of the dangers that could and do beset her daughter. Her father abandons the family when she is very young, leaving her with a lifelong yearning for paternal love.
Valerie relates a childhood of hilarious antics and bittersweet times, but she's a survivor and `no ordinary child'. Moving to America is like opening a Pandora's Box for her. California seems like a paradise and like Eden, contains temptations that alter Valerie's life. After having surgery to fix her `aquiline' nose, she becomes the pretty girl she's always dreamed of becoming. And people,especially boys, begin to notice.
Her initial naïveté does not match her face and body, which often leads to trouble.
At twenty, Valerie is on a quest for love and some stability in her life--
but it is not meant to be. Men are available to her and she goes through
them faster than one would think possible, particularly after acquiring a
typist's job at Granada Television in England. True love eludes her as
she is too immature to realize that in order to receive it, she needs to
be able to give it.
Her job is the entranceway to meeting actors and stars, including The
Beatles, The Rolling Stones and the ever neurotic Woody Allen. A gypsy
fortune teller predicts that Valerie will travel overseas to a new and
wonderful life--and she is so right. Valerie joins her mother back in
California and, as is her style, lands a secretarial job at Universal Studios, meeting such celebrities as George Hamilton and Steven
Spielberg. She has a knack for being in the right place at the right time
and has the initiative to succeed.
Valerie's life changes when she meets Bill Fee, a nice man whom she figures will make a wonderful husband, if not a great lover. At long last
she seems to have grasped onto her dream. They have two children and a
happy life, intermixed with famous movie stars, until fate steps into her
life once again. Valerie catches Bill cheating on her with a mutual friend. And so her search for a lasting relationship continues,intertwined with situations most people manage to avoid; yet it
is never dull.
Valerie Byron's life story, told with a twinge of a British dialect, will
captivate readers as they approach the `no ordinary ending' of her journey toward unconditional love.
Micki Peluso: book reviewer, journalist and author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang
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