Monday, June 18, 2007

Book #23 On the Couch by Lorraine Bracco

Lorraine Bracco is best known as Dr. Jennifer Melfi, Tony Soprano's psychiatrist. I found her portrayal of Melfi so brilliant, and when I saw that she had a memoir I was pretty excited.

I learned so much about not only her life, but about how important it is to own decisions, to make the best out of bad times, and to remember that ultimately we are our own best friends. It was a tremendously empowering book.

Bracco was in a relationship for a number of years with actor Harvey Keitel. This relationship was the main focus of the book, since the majority of good and bad either led to their relationship or resulted from it. Reading about someone else's relationship--someone who is willing to write about it candidly--is very interesting. She offered a really balanced view of the positives and negatives of their life together...though I would guess that Keitel would strongly disagree.

She gave advice, but it was "mom" advice...the kind that makes sense because you know she's been through the shit to prove she knows what she's talking about. She didn't preach, didn't wallow, just said things as they were and it all made perfect sense.

This book isn't for everyone. Dr. Melfi was my favorite character on The Sopranos, and I felt really connected to her both in terms of her desire for the "bad guy" and her flaws, as well as her desire to put on the perfect front. She ultimately always tries to do the right thing. I found seeing Melfi through Bracco's words, reading about how she brought this character to life, absolutely fascinating.

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