Reviews for This will be funny later : a memoir

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Roseanne Barr’s daughter recounts living with the glamour and chaos of her mother’s stardom. Before her mother became famous, Pentland lived a blue-collar suburban life in Denver with her eccentric yet intact family. “Aside from being half-naked and feral,” she writes, “we were also being raised part atheist, part Jewish, and part Wiccan, with a touch of paganism and voodoo thrown in.” She watched as her homemaker-turned-waitress mother found unexpected acclaim in Denver’s alternative comedy club scene and then moved to Los Angeles to do stand-up. Pentland navigated an increasingly unstable home life as well as her own struggles with overeating and acting out while her mother built a career. Too busy to attend to her daughter, Barr hired a series of live-in counselors, private chefs, and hypnotherapists and sent her to “Fat Camp.” The author’s childhood also brought with it scrutiny from the media and seemingly everyone around her. In adolescence, she went through a series of psychiatric hospitals, wilderness-based “self-improvement” camps, and Synanon-affiliated schools with mandatory therapy sessions that were “borderline abusive and violent.” Barr’s highly publicized divorce from Pentland’s father, relationship with “abusive addict” Tom Arnold, and midlife pregnancy by her bodyguard only added to the turbulence. The author eventually met and married a set dresser whose steady presence brought balance to her tumultuous world. Yet even after she started the family she always wanted, her life continued to intersect with her mother’s. When Barr bought a ranch in Hawaii, Pentland and her husband moved in as caretakers. Several false starts later, the author and her husband finally began an island farm life, finally free of Hollywood. This complex, scathingly funny memoir about dealing with the toxic glow of fame offers an intimate look at a woman’s struggle to shape a life on her own terms. Pentland also provides a unique angle on the cult of celebrity and how its effects ripple out far beyond just the celebrity. A mordantly poignant memoir of finding oneself amid hectic external forces. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Library Journal
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In I Came All This Way To Meet You, New York Times best-selling author Attenberg explains that as the daughter of a traveling salesman she came by her wanderlust naturally and shows how reflecting on her early years during her travels led her to writing—and particularly her theme of troubled families (75,000-copy first printing). Award-winning actress and Food Network star Bertinelli follows up her No. 1 New York Times best-selling memoir Losing It with inspiration as she turns 60 in Enough Already (100,000-copy first printing). In High-Risk Homosexual, a memoir ranging from funny (a baby speaking an ancient Jesuit language) to heartbreaking (the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando), Gomez explains how he came to embrace his gay, Latinx identity within a culture of machismo. In This Boy We Made, Harris relates her efforts to determine what is suddenly wrong with her bouncy 22-month-old boy in a system frequently inhospitable to Black mothers and her discovery when meeting with a geneticist that she has medical issues of her own. In Admissions, James relates the complications of being a diversity recruiter for select, largely white prep schools after attending The Taft School as its first Black legacy student. Attorney, podcaster, and Extra correspondent Lindsay discusses growing up in Dallas, TX; her career in law; and why she chose to be the first Black Bachelorette on The Bachelor in Miss Me with That. Miller reveals how he made the Jump, taking Nike's Jordan Brand from a relatively modest $150 million sneaker producer to a $4.5 billion worldwide footwear and apparel phenomenon while also recalling his teenage jailtime and the nightmares from which he still suffers and arguing for criminal justice reform and greater educational opportunities for the currently or formerly imprisoned. After her mother, actress Roseanne Barr, moved the family to celebrity-soaked Hollywood from working-class Denver, using personal details from their lives there for her sitcom's storylines, the teenaged Pentland endured anxiety and eating issues and various 1980s-sanctioned self-help interventions while muttering to herself This Will Be Funny Later (evidently proved here). In Lost & Found, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker staffer Schulz explores the bittersweet reality of meeting the woman she would marry just 18 months before losing her father. Readers Rise with Vonn as she earns 82 World Cup wins, 20 World Cup titles, seven World Championship medals, and three Olympic medals to become one of the top women ski racers of all time. Raised in Albania, the last Communist country in Europe, where the final tumble of Stalin's and Hoxha's statues soon led to economic chaos, political violence, and the flight of the disillusioned, Ypi has earned the right more than most to ponder what it means to be Free.

Publishers Weekly
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“My life is a sitcom.... I know everyone’s life is, but mine is literally,” writes Pentland in this immensely affecting and hilarious debut about growing up with her mother, comedian Roseanne Barr. Pentland recalls her childhood in working-class Denver in the early ’80s, when her mother—tired of playing the role of suburban wife in a strained marriage—began doing stand-up. After finding minor success and moving the family to Los Angeles in 1984, Roseanne catapulted to fame with an HBO special in 1986 and, a couple of years later, her eponymous hit series on ABC. Though the show was based on her family, Pentland reveals their home life diverged wildly from what she saw on the screen. The characters “were lightweight, PG versions of us with no complicated backstories,” she muses before recalling story lines that didn’t make the show: her stepfather’s struggle with substance abuse, Pentland’s time spent in psychiatric facilities, and her sister Jessica’s drug overdose. Like her mother, Pentland has a scathing, unapologetic wit, and it’s on full display throughout her chronicle of navigating the “parallel-reality version” of her tumultuous adolescence and eventually finding her real-life happily-ever-after with her husband and sons. This intimate portrayal of the dark side of Hollywood is hard to put down. (Jan.)

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

The daughter of comedian Roseanne Barr recounts her unusual childhood with humor and self-deprecation. Pentland’s early years in the late 1970s was spent in Utah, where her father worked as a postman and her mother stayed at home raising her, her older sister Jessica, and younger brother Jake. All of that changed when her mother decided to pursue her dream of being a stand-up comic in Los Angeles. When Roseanne skyrocketed to superstardom with her eponymous sitcom, the Pentland kids became the subject of paparazzi attention, and Jessica and then Jenny found themselves shipped off to fat camp and then reform school for what, at least in Jenny’s case, amounted to little more than typical teen antics. Though she often takes a comedic tone when describing the ups and downs of her time at many different reform schools and a survivalist camp, when Pentland grows up, marries, and has a family of her own, she finds that she has lingering PTSD from her experiences. This offers plenty of heart and laughs, especially for children of the 1980s and 1990s.