Valerie Byron's back story reads like a script pitched at the TV and movie stars whose lives and loves she shared in the swinging sixties. But it is true and told with all the candour and raw honesty of a beautiful woman remembering heady days and passionate nights with celebrities on both sides of the Atlantic. She was part of Britain's ground-breaking ITV company, Granada, which made global successes of Coronation Street and many an edgy drama. In America, she worked in the film business and continued to bewitch those who sought to bed her. This is a book that could only have been written by an older, wiser woman but one who knows herself and is at ease with a life well lived.
I still had not been intimate with any of the men I had dated and my sexual longings were becoming more and more intrusive. All I could think about was sex. One night, Brett called me, after we had been chatting on-line. It was late and I was ready to go to bed. He asked if he could drive over to see me. I know I should have behaved like a sensible, mature woman, but I was longing to see him, and to feel some physical affection after so many years. Like a fool, I agreed. “Yes, come over. I’ll be here.”
I dressed in my most seductive pair of black slacks, with a form fitting black sweater. I put on my make-up carefully, and made sure I smelled as good as I looked. I sat in the living room and waited for him to arrive. Finally, around 11:00 p.m. I heard him outside the patio door and I opened it. He walked straight through my dining room, into the living room and stood there, looking at me. I cannot tell you how I felt at that moment. He was everything and more than his photos had shown. He was larger than life! It was as if a movie star had walked into my house and said “Here I am - all yours.”
He was about 6’4” tall – incredibly broad and strong. He had told me he was a water polo competitor, and he looked the part. He wore a black leather jacket and jeans, with a black shirt. His hair was blonde and curly, and his eyes a piercing blue. I could not believe my eyes, and had to sit down to catch my breath. I offered him a scotch, and we sat and talked for a while. Needless to say, I behaved like a complete slut and took him to bed. What else could I do? I had not had satisfying sex since 1969 – over thirty-eight years before! And how satisfying it was! He was strong and capable and made me feel like the most desirable woman in the world. I kept my wits about me, and made sure we used protection, but that one-night stand was the best thing that had happened to me in almost forty years. He held me all night in his strong arms, and we parted the next morning with a kiss and a hug. I knew there could never be a relationship between us – but I would never forget that one night of bliss.
Sensational and Unputtdownable
I loved this book.
I've read autobiographies where I felt the writer was holding back and I've have often felt a little cheated by their reluctance to 'spill the beans', 'dish the dirt', 'let it all hang out'. Not so in 'An Ordinary Woman'. Valerie Byron's candidness in this, her tell-all autobiography, is not only refreshing, but it is often startling as she leaves nothing to the imagination when talking about her sexual exploits.
Her connection to the rich and famous in her early years is a fascinating read. I was especially fascinated with her quite blase and brief appearance at a Hollywood party, where the hostess was none other than Natalie Wood herself. Imagine that!
And of course 'love conquers all' at the end. That pleased me immensely, seeing as I had become quite taken with the author, who was quite simply a girl on the ride of her life as she searched for that one true soul mate to make her journey complete. If you want to know how she did that, then read this yourself. You won't be disappointed.
A fascinating book by a fascinating woman
With brilliant wit and a truly fine writing style, Valerie Byron keeps us on the edge of our seats waiting to read what happens next - but instead of a hard wood stool, we are in a comfy, overstuffed chair! A fine memoir by a fascinating woman.