Sometime in the middle of 2016, I lost motivation to write on my blog. It's not Drew Barrymore's fault. In fact, I read her book Wildflower immediately after finishing my last book review in August, and I finished it in about a week's time! Let's see what I remember about Wildflower, which has been sitting next to my computer for months, waiting to be reviewed.
When I got the e-mail from Sixth and I Synagogue telling me that Drew Barrymore was coming to town to promote her new book, I gasped and bought my ticket. When the day arrived, I got in line about an hour and half before the doors opened. (I wasn't completely crazy; a few people were ahead of me.) All the while, I wasn't sure why I was so excited about this.
By the end of the event, I had figured it out: I've always wanted to be friends with Drew Barrymore. Apparently, I'm not alone. Our Sixth and I host noted that we've known Drew Barrymore for her whole life, and we all have our favorite Drew Barrymore moments. She's the girl from ET who was born into Hollywood royalty, the free spirit who spontaneously danced on David Letterman's desk and gave him a birthday surprise, the business woman who runs Flower Films and Flower Beauty, and now a wife and mother of two.
Ever After and Fever Pitch whenever I find them on TV, but what I love most about Drew is Drew, for being so down to earth despite her famous relatives, for surviving growing up in the spotlight and through her rebellious years, for starting a production company focused on films that empower women, for branching out into business and building a brand, and with the start of her own family, finally finding the personal happiness for which she always seemed to be searching. (Granted, after I finished reading this book, she and her husband got divorced, but it was the friendliest no-fuss divorce I've ever seen. Who else could achieve that but Drew Barrymore?)
I read Wildflower so quickly because this book is just like Drew – warm, welcoming, honest, and funny. While the editor in me initially hated all the incomplete sentences on these pages, I soon realized that these purposeful phrases helped capture Drew's voice, which I could so clearly hear telling these stories.
This memoir is a collection of moments from Drew Barrymore's life that show where she came from, where she's going, and how she's evolved in between. She talks about her parents and deciding as a teen to live on her own without their help, teaching herself from scratch how to be a grown up. She revisits fun road trips and adventures with friends, remembers finding her perfect companion pups, and pays tribute to the many mentors in her life, including her business partner Nancy Juvonen and her ET director Stephen Spielberg. She recalls feeling real purpose after reading a New York Times article about African school children who have no school to go to and does something about it. My favorite chapters are dedicated to her daughters and about her family life because she shares the same uncertainties and joys everyone experiences in new relationships and motherhood.
What you get in Wildflower is a full portrait of a woman we all think we know. She doesn't disappoint in giving what is expected of Drew Barrymore, the bubbly movie star. But you also find a thoughtful, driven private citizen, who is always striving to be a better one and enjoying life as best she can while its happening – just like the rest of us.