It’s hard to believe that there was point in time when Olivia was pop's IT girl during the late 70s early 80s. I was fan and have kept an eye out for her in interviews over the years. While I was looking forward to reading this bio, I suspected that it may be a lot like Olivia herself in interviews - all positive and charming, but not giving too much away and forever plugging the cancer centre she created. Turns out her bio is just like that. It reads like a Wikipedia profile with a few familiar stories thrown in.
The best bios are like conversations with a friend. A bit about their life, how they felt about things, interesting perspectives, plus some gossip and dirt. All these things go a long way in helping you understand the person and what makes them tick. Olivia comes across as a positive person. She is "honoured" and "thrilled" to meet and work with some of entertainment's best and glosses over major events in her life (except for cancer). But it could have been so much more. What was it like to be the successful wife to a much younger man whose career went nowhere? How did it feel to be at the top of the game in the early 80s only to be at the bottom by the end of that same decade? What does she regret? What does she think of music now?
I read a few articles long ago about how her first husband Matt slept around a lot on her and how their affair began while she was in a relationship with Lee Kramer. He accused her of having an affair with Matt and she denied it. Also when Matt and Olivia divorced, he went on to marry their former babysitter. Clearly, there is a more interesting story behind their relationship than just “two people who started out as friends, married and then grew apart”.
The big passion in Olivia’s life is the creation of her cancer centre. While her cancer journey is commendable, it takes up too much of the book and has already been well-documented in articles and interviews. Unless you have a personal experience with the disease, this section of the book is not all that interesting. Most people want to know about her heyday and it's shame that the focus is not there.
Overall, it is worth a read but I can’t help but feel that there is a more interesting story about Olivia's life that we will never get to hear.
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