So I just finished My Journey with Farrah: A Story of Life, Love, and Friendship. Published yesterday, it’s being marketed as Alana Stewart’s tribute to Farrah Fawcett, her best friend of 30 years. I have mixed feelings about it in the same way that I had mixed feelings about the documentary Stewart produced about Fawcett, Farrah’s Story. Not that it’s not a tearjerker. (It is.) Not that you won’t come away from it without respect for Fawcett’s bravery. (You will.) The mind-numbing array of painful surgeries, radiation, biopsies, and chemotherapies will come as no surprise to anyone who’s helped a loved one through cancer treatments, but it’s still hard to read about. The question to me is, why write the book? Wasn’t the documentary enough? It’s hard for me to understand what there is to be gained by publishing what is essentially an agonizing laundry list. (I understand that a percentage of Stewart’s royalties will be earmarked for cancer research. Great. But the rest?) It just doesn’t seem like there’s any purpose served in recounting how Fawcett once angrily threw a bottle at a hotel housekeeper, or what she said when high on pain medication. The only mildly interesting part? Ryan O’Neal is nowhere to be found in most of the account. Near the end, Stewart, clearly grasping at anything to try to save her friend, finds a healer named Howard Wills (this is also around the time she latches onto the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy). Shortly after they have all met with Wills, she writes, “I also see a huge difference in Ryan. I think he really gets from Howard how important it is to be loving and positive with Farrah and he’s doing it.” This is in late May 2009, a month before Fawcett’s death, and O’Neal is just learning the benefits of being loving and positive with Farrah about her treatment?
So what do you think — was the documentary enough? or will you be reading Stewart’s book?