I don’t often read non-fiction books because I usually find them a little harder to stay engrossed in and too easy to put down. Anderson Cooper’s new book, The Rainbow Comes and Goes, was one of those stories that pulls the reader in from the first chapter. I have wanted to read this book since I had the privilege of seeing Anderson Cooper speak at a conference not too long ago. Amazingly, what kept this book in my mind [and on my ‘to read list’] wasn’t the fact that his mother is a Vanderbilt or that he is a famous reporter. No, it was the reasoning behind the writing of this book that made me want to read it.
Have you ever lost someone and then realized you had so many questions that you never asked and could now never be answered? I have. It was because of this and a health scare that Anderson Cooper and his ninety-one year old mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, decided to take the time to answer all their questions and talk about all the hard things they’d never discussed with each other before. Due to their busy lives, these interactions ended up happening mostly through email, which in my opinion, is the way it needed to be done. It seems like it would be much easier to ask and answer the tough questions when you don’t have to look someone in the eye when you ask. It also helps because you have the time to organize your thoughts into an answer. So what was a convenience for them, creates an amazing story of a mother and son rediscovering each other.
This story is captivating in that both mother and son have had extraordinary lives with crazy and devastating highs and lows. To see memories discussed years later with both interpretations of the same event is amazing. You begin to understand how extremely different we all view the world and how our lives color our perceptions. This is a great story that makes me want to have this conversation with my remaining family members.
By Susana Goldman
Associate Director of Operations at Alamance County Public Libraries