Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lessons from the Mountain: What I Learned From Erin Walton

Lessons from the Mountain: What I Learned from Erin WaltonAuthor: Mary McDonough
ISBN: 978-0758263667
Publisher: Kensington Books
Purchase Link: Lessons from the Mountain
Source: Author for Review
Reviewer: Laurel

In this book, Mary McDonough takes the reader through her years of portraying Erin Walton.  Growing up is difficult enough, but doing it in front of millions of viewers adds to that difficulty.  She begins her book with a view into her home life – a very sheltered and naïve rearing.  Her insecurities are heightened by assumptions and misinterpretations.  However, with the help of various cast members, Mary begins to realize and conquer with time some of her deep seated issues.

With the end of the series, Mary found transiting into an actor from child actor challenging. She was always seen as Erin Walton. During this time, Mary continued to evolve personally, found love and had a daughter. Unlike Hollywood stories, there wasn’t a happy ending. Mary became quite ill – the illness was a direct result of leaking silicone breast implants. Unfortunately, the damage was already done to her body by the time the implants were removed; she was diagnosed with Lupus.  

The throws of the disease, Mary encounters more challenges - her daughter has been affected by the silicone and her marriage has collapsed.  As she has done in the past, Mary picks up the pieces of the life and continues on. She becomes an advocate of the FDAs removal this type of implant.  The journey takes to Washington DC putting her in the public eye again.

In review, I understand the purpose of Mary McDonough’s book is to relate her growth, it became to predicable. Each story was told followed by what she learned. It would have been much more enjoyable to describe some tales without an educational purpose and merely for the pleasure of sharing an interesting story.   

Having lived for nearly twenty-five years in the immediate area of Schulyer, Virginia, and a fan of the show, I was interested in the “inside scoop” from one of the actors.  But I found Mary’s book a bit disappointing.  I understand her avid work with breast implants and Lupus; it is to be commended.  However, this portion needs some work.  


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