It is easy to look at those we see on the tv screen or on the movie screen and think there life must be amazing! Yet often there is more to the story than what we see in the flash of lights, a funny comment, and a great memorable movie line. Alan Cummings has just such a story. ~Sheila
Alan Cummings plays a wide variety of roles. You may know him from the popular series The good Wife, Any Day Now, Spy Kids, Burlesque, X2, Emma, Ghost Writer, and much more as well as Broadway plays.
Yet while Alan appears cool and calm when we see him on the screen; what we did not know was the deep dark pain that he hid deep inside of a painful childhood, a father with a quick temper and who was abusive. Leaving Alan feeling like he could never live up to the man’s expectations. Along with this was his mother, a loving gentle soul who never knew what had happened to her own father who she had last seen when she was eight years old.
Alan made the decision to go on the show Who Do You Think You Are?, a show that digs into your family history and then announces their findings on air. Alan’s curiosity about his heritage and his grandfather led him to make the decision to go on the show – having no idea the Pandora’s box he was about to open…
While I have this book in paperback, I chose to listen to it on audio. Not only for the convenience of being about to multi task while listening, but also for the fact that Alan Cummings narrates the book. Alan’s emotion though the book that opens his life wide open is at times heart wrenching, and at times he is hilarious…. and well worth the listen.
I admittedly knew little of Alan Cummings going into this read. I knew him from The good Wife, and I recognized him from a few movies, but honestly knew hardly anything about the man behind the acting. Not My Father’s Son was an honest look into Alan’s life as a child into his teens, and into his life now. Told in alternating “Then” and “Now” chapters, I found the book well written, thought-provoking, and I am so glad I counted this one in my 2014 reading.
Not only will fans of Alan Cumming find this book worth their time, I feel that those who like me, know little of the man, will also find this memoir of a boy looking for closure on a painful past so he can be the man he knows he is, is a powerful and positive reading choice.