the rainbow comes and goes by a cooper & g vanderbilt

I love you in ways that are infinite and as in eternity have no beginning or end. 

Love can be many things, but at the end of the day there is only one true love that is substantially genuine and stands the test of time.  It’s the love a mother has for her child.  Every other kind can be only an illusion.  So there’s nothing more heartfelt for a mother to feel when her child reciprocates the display of unconditional love.

the-rainbow-comes-and-goes-cover-244The Rainbow Comes and Goes is a compilation of email exchanges between Anderson Cooper and his heiress mother Gloria Vanderbilt over a course of a year, prompted after Gloria suffered from a brief but serious illness at ninety-one.  It begins as a simple birthday note from Anderson and Gloria’s reflection on her eventful life, to say the least.  But it ends up becoming a very intimate conversation about family, love, loss, and how life keeps moving on no matter what.  It’s definitely a different tone from his other book, Dispatches from the Edgebut equally powerful and personal.

Rather than the appeal of prying into the exclusive stories of their famous heritage, it’s the brutal honesty that makes the book and the mother-and-son relationship so authentic and envious.  Her optimistic steadfastness and attitude towards love and life is admirable.  Even after ninety years of intense triumphs and tragedies, it’s refreshing to witness that Gloria is not jaded, and even more refreshing to observe her youngest son cherishing every part of her past and present.  The book is truly a celebration of family.

[Gloria to Anderson] But are we alike? Sometimes I think hardly at all.  You are the living image of your father, not only in appearance, but in valuing the same standards he held in high regard, standards that are sometimes hard to live by.  Other times, yes, we are indeed completely alike.  We share sensitivity, tempered by poise and the reserve to reveal only what we wish to communicate… All my life I have craved and longed for love, and I have not been deprived; my cup hath runneth over, but it was never enough.  It never got anywhere near where the trouble really was: no mother and father.  Here, Andy, thankfully we are not alike.  Even though you lost your father when you were ten, you knew that there wasn’t a moment from birth when you didn’t have and know his support.  How fully, completely, he loved you and Carter.  They were enough for him to pass on to you the values that have made you the person you are: my son, treasured each moment of my life.

dee’s recommendation: 4/5