Even though Ditch Flowers is available in paperback, kindle, and finally audio now (yay!) I’ll admit that I’ve never been a book on cd fan. I wasn’t an anti-fan. Just indifferent. I listened to one a few months ago, or, I should say, tried to listen to one. It was a romance novel, and I’m sure it was a perfectly wonderful story, but I was so turned off by the sole narrator- a woman- doing all these voices, including a drawling, sexy man plus TONS of accents, that I kept getting pulled out of the story. I was more distracted by her as a voice actress (and she was talented, certainly) that it was getting in the way of the story. For me. But, then again, maybe I just wasn’t ready to dive into the audiobook world.
A work friend has been listening to books on cd during her solo shift, and I kept noticing them on her shelf. She convinced me to give it a try. I decided to start with Wildflower by Drew Barrymore, because I had it on a cart near me, it was new, and the cover was pretty. Plus, I have enjoyed every Barrymore film I’ve seen. Ever After is my favorite.
My initial reaction was one of skepticsm, because as charming as the actress is, I didn’t know that I could listen to her voice for HOURS on end. Then, she herself brought up her accent, blaming “Fucking Sherman Oaks” and I had to laugh. I kept going.
What I found as I listened had me alternating between sadness, entertainment, laughter. Upfront she says, it’s not a memoir, but rather a series of memories of her life. Some of those memories were sad, such as the one about her eccentric father. Others were hilariously funny- I mean, I actually laughed out loud a few times. Still others teetered between the two. There was more than one time where I wanted MORE from her as a writer. I wanted her to really go there. To explain deeper. Sometimes she did, and other times she didn’t. I noticed repetitive word choice a few times. For example she’d say something was amazing, then in the next sentence describe it as amazing again. It was not a huge deal, however.
In the end, I really enjoyed Wildflower (and have since started another audiobook!). I learned a lot about Drew, even if it wasn’t the headline-making details I’d assumed I’d hear. I wavered between feeling unable to relate to her, such as when she flies to India to scatter her dog’s ashes (because what regular Joe just hops on a plane to India?) and then feeling like we could be BFFS because she is just a woman like me, trying to make a career, trying to raise her wonderful children, trying to do it the best she can.
I really was rooting for her to build her happily ever after, and I hope she is able to do just that despite the latest setback in her personal life.
In the end, I’d recommend Wildflower to anyone who enjoys her movies. Be prepared for a lot of colorful language, silly stories, and some tender, beautiful moments as well. 4 stars for Ms. Barrymore. Well, done. From one flower lover to another.