Despite her success receiving Emmys for her Food Network show and critical praise for her books and cookbook, Bertinelli still judged herself harshly if she gained a pound or showed too many wrinkles. But after her mother died, she found an old recipe box with notes of the strong women that came before her, reminding her that she has to find out who she is and take care of herself. Saying, “enough already!” Bertinelli set out on a journey to love herself and see that perfection is not the goal; it’s the joy we can find every day in our lives, our loved ones, and the food we share.
Valerie Bertinelli and I are the same age ... I was a fan of One Day at a Time back in the day and she seems very likeable. I like reading bios/autobios so thought I'd check it out.
The book is about her coming to terms with her weight and her body image, which she has been obsessed about since she was young. She loves to cook and eat and loves cooking for others.
She talks about growing up and having fun cooking with her Italian paternal side of the family, not having a close relationship with her parents, meeting and marrying Eddie Van Halen, having and raising their son, splitting up with and divorcing Eddie, the series she's done since One Day at a Time, how she has been able to turn her love of cooking into a new career and more.
The book reads like a diary covering different parts of her life in chronological order (the chapters are labeled), which felt a bit odd since something from 2020, for example, is written about in current tense.
I knew she had remarried but didn't know Eddie had until I read about it in the book. She barely mentions Tom, her second husband, until the end when she mentions they had recently separated. She talks about Eddie and Janie, his second wife, by saying a few times throughout the book that their marriage was in the process of ending. It was nice that Valerie and Eddie could remain great friends and co-parents but it seemed like they were closer emotionally (physically and virtually) than they were with their recent spouses.
With her love of cooking, it was nice to have her include detailed recipes of some of the things she loves to make like chocolate cake, pizza, lasagna, etc.