I chose to read this biography of Henry Fonda for many reasons. I wanted to understand why his children became the people they are today. Second, I highly respected his filmwork. He seemed to be a really incredible, respectable person.
One thing to keep in mind, if you read a biography of a famous person, you will likely have your preconceptions dashed. Henry Fonda's life is no different. While I still respect his work and military service, there are many troubling things you will learn about. Multiple marriages, dysfunctional family life, health problems. If anything, you will discover that Henry Fonda is a real person.
Another thing I learned is that I would never wish an actor's life on anybody. Years of poverty and struggle followed by wealth and family troubles. An actor does not have any time for his family. They are constantly gone or in the zone of the current character they are portraying. Constant travel and promotion. No stable home life. No wonder Peter and Jane Fonda struggled in their adult lives.
I still am left with questions about Henry Fonda. I still wonder who he really was. There are hints and bits of information throughout the biography, but you only get a sense of him. Even with this tell-all book, you can tell he still remained a bit guarded. Just as well, he deserves some privacy and dignity.
Book Rating: Notable