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The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss

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A touching and intimate correspondence between Anderson Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, offering timeless wisdom and a revealing glimpse into their lives. Though Anderson Cooper has always considered himself close to his mother, his intensely busy career as a journalist for CNN and CBS affords him little time to spend with her. After she suffers a brief but seriou A touching and intimate correspondence between Anderson Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, offering timeless wisdom and a revealing glimpse into their lives. Though Anderson Cooper has always considered himself close to his mother, his intensely busy career as a journalist for CNN and CBS affords him little time to spend with her. After she suffers a brief but serious illness at the age of ninety-one, they resolve to change their relationship by beginning a year-long conversation unlike any they had ever had before. The result is a correspondence of surprising honesty and depth in which they discuss their lives, the things that matter to them, and what they still want to learn about each other. Both a son’s love letter to his mother and an unconventional mom’s life lessons for her grown son, The Rainbow Comes and Goes offers a rare window into their close relationship and fascinating life stories, including their tragedies and triumphs. In these often humorous and moving exchanges, they share their most private thoughts and the hard-earned truths they’ve learned along the way. In their words their distinctive personalities shine through—Anderson’s journalistic outlook on the world is a sharp contrast to his mother’s idealism and unwavering optimism. An appealing memoir with inspirational advice, The Rainbow Comes and Goes is a beautiful and affectionate celebration of the universal bond between a parent and a child, and a thoughtful reflection on life, reminding us of the precious insight that remains to be shared, no matter our age.


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A touching and intimate correspondence between Anderson Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, offering timeless wisdom and a revealing glimpse into their lives. Though Anderson Cooper has always considered himself close to his mother, his intensely busy career as a journalist for CNN and CBS affords him little time to spend with her. After she suffers a brief but seriou A touching and intimate correspondence between Anderson Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, offering timeless wisdom and a revealing glimpse into their lives. Though Anderson Cooper has always considered himself close to his mother, his intensely busy career as a journalist for CNN and CBS affords him little time to spend with her. After she suffers a brief but serious illness at the age of ninety-one, they resolve to change their relationship by beginning a year-long conversation unlike any they had ever had before. The result is a correspondence of surprising honesty and depth in which they discuss their lives, the things that matter to them, and what they still want to learn about each other. Both a son’s love letter to his mother and an unconventional mom’s life lessons for her grown son, The Rainbow Comes and Goes offers a rare window into their close relationship and fascinating life stories, including their tragedies and triumphs. In these often humorous and moving exchanges, they share their most private thoughts and the hard-earned truths they’ve learned along the way. In their words their distinctive personalities shine through—Anderson’s journalistic outlook on the world is a sharp contrast to his mother’s idealism and unwavering optimism. An appealing memoir with inspirational advice, The Rainbow Comes and Goes is a beautiful and affectionate celebration of the universal bond between a parent and a child, and a thoughtful reflection on life, reminding us of the precious insight that remains to be shared, no matter our age.

30 review for The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Masterson

    5 Stars! This book will forever hold a special place in my heart! I initially purchased "The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss" because years ago I learned that Anderson had lost his father when he was 10 years old and his brother committed suicide when he was 21. Having lost my father suddenly at 12 and having lost an ex-boyfriend to suicide I always felt a connection. I wanted to know more. Not only does this book tell more about Anderson but it tells the story o 5 Stars! This book will forever hold a special place in my heart! I initially purchased "The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss" because years ago I learned that Anderson had lost his father when he was 10 years old and his brother committed suicide when he was 21. Having lost my father suddenly at 12 and having lost an ex-boyfriend to suicide I always felt a connection. I wanted to know more. Not only does this book tell more about Anderson but it tells the story of his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. Except for wearing her jeans, I knew little about Gloria, but boy what a life she has had! This book was created through an exchange of emails between Anderson and Gloria right after she had recovered from a bout of pneumonia at the age of 91. It's the story of their lives. They both share so many rare and candid moments. Anderson talks about how losing a parent at a young age changes your life forever, and that anything can happen and that nothing in life is safe anymore. That's exactly how my life was after my father's passing. I found immense validation in what Anderson had to say. I listened to the audio version of this book. I highly recommend this version because Gloria became emotional several times making her story that much more sympathetic and genuine. I absolutely loved her! I cried for her when her first husband called her fat and beat her and I cried for her when her last husband, Wyatt Cooper, passed away. Come to think of it I cried for her through most of the book. If you are emotional like me, make sure you have plenty of Kleenex with you! Highly highly recommended!!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Angela M

    An ongoing e-mail conversation between a mother and her son to get to know each other better when she’s in her early 90’s, is the basis for this book and as you might suspect it’s an intimate look, and certainly interesting. In this case made much more interesting because the mother is the famed Gloria Vanderbilt and the son, Anderson Cooper, a recognized anchor and reporter for CNN. It’s mostly Gloria’s story, and as I listened to the audiobook, it many times felt like Anderson was interviewing An ongoing e-mail conversation between a mother and her son to get to know each other better when she’s in her early 90’s, is the basis for this book and as you might suspect it’s an intimate look, and certainly interesting. In this case made much more interesting because the mother is the famed Gloria Vanderbilt and the son, Anderson Cooper, a recognized anchor and reporter for CNN. It’s mostly Gloria’s story, and as I listened to the audiobook, it many times felt like Anderson was interviewing her, yet there were so many poignant moments when they each talked about how they felt about each other, their regrets and so much more. I have to admit I wanted to know more about Anderson. I’m an avid viewer of his nightly hour on CNN. He's a skilled interviewer and I’m always touched by the sensitivity he shows to families of survivors of mass shootings and those affected by natural disasters when he is reporting on the scene. I especially remember when he reported from Sandy Hook and from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I’m of the age when I was a young girl, I just had to have those Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. I knew the Vanderbilts were a family of prestige and wealth, but I really knew nothing about her life. What a sad mixed up life she had as a child, moving around and then a public custody battle for her when she was ten years old between her mother and her aunt. She talks about her bad first marriage, her multiple marriages, the famous people in her life, the varied things she does - actress, designer, artist. Her privileged, well to do life wasn’t always a happy one. I was moved to hear them speak of the effect on both of them of the loss of Gloria’s husband and Anderson’s father and then her son and Anderson’s brother to suicide. Their exchanges felt so honest when he talks about when he came out to her, about their religious beliefs and how they feel about each other. What a gift these correspondences were to each other. Gloria Vanderbilt passed away this year and I still remember the loving tribute that Anderson Cooper gave about his mother when he returned to the air after her funeral. Definitely recommended and the audio is the way to go with this one. Hearing them read their own parts of the book make its so much more meaningful.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    A Shark and A Tight Rope...... .......Anderson Cooper and his 91 year old mother, Gloria Vanderbilt are both wonderful storytellers!!!!!! Two famous people: mother and son...have a personal conversation....taken from a year long e-mail exchange. Anderson asks questions about his mother's childhood - she gives intimate answers. I listened to the audiobook. Gloria shares about being a little girl, growing up with no men in her life- without a father. She shares about her troubled relationship with A Shark and A Tight Rope...... .......Anderson Cooper and his 91 year old mother, Gloria Vanderbilt are both wonderful storytellers!!!!!! Two famous people: mother and son...have a personal conversation....taken from a year long e-mail exchange. Anderson asks questions about his mother's childhood - she gives intimate answers. I listened to the audiobook. Gloria shares about being a little girl, growing up with no men in her life- without a father. She shares about her troubled relationship with her 'beautiful' mother...but distant mother. Gloria shares about her reckless teen years in Hollywood, dating, marriages, pregnancies, travel, art, theater, movies, acting, motherhood, fashions, ( her famous designer jeans), other designs, body images comments on beauty, thoughts about her son being gay, loss, and death, suicide, friendships, personal growth, and love. Gloria shared about her dreams & fantasies she had about men when she was a young maiden---wishing they would take care of her --- she hoped an older man would rescue her-- she had romantic thoughts about men and love which were like a fairytale. When she said her role models were actors in the movies...it made me realize how much TV and movies are influencing our young people still today. With A high divorce rate today, or no marriages at all...I begin to wonder about the fantasies of our youth today in the area of romantic - and long lasting love. As a growing girl - Gloria "went with the flow"... Her dream was to get married, wear an apron, have a man love her and serve him. She never made any plans - she was always too impulsive. She admits this impulsiveness as a fault- yet on the flip side she knows she has been a woman who thrived on chaos. She admires her own flaws - yet is aware they 'are' flaws. I personally thought it was pretty cool to listen to this 91 year old woman share so candid. She 'seems' ageless - alert - fully present! Anderson is the opposite of impulsive he says. He has 'always' - even as a boy- planned far into the future - he not only planned his future- but started planning his mother's when he himself was in his early 30's....thinking about how he would care for her when she aged. His father's death was a major loss in his life...( his strength)....it's as though he slowly stepped into his father's 'take-charge' shoes very young. Gloria shares about her insecurities as a young girl-- ( which made her feel insecure as a young mother as well - it was her husband who gradually taught her the value of their family). Gloria says she wasn't aware she had choices - "without plans, she had dreams". She inherited 4.5 million dollars when she turned 21 years of age....yet nobody taught her how to how to manage it. She did have her own drive and work ethics - she wanted to work hard and create. The money Gloria received from her own work was the only money she respected. The money she inherited never felt like it was hers. She never wanted to be called a "Poor Little Rich Girl"....( something she heard somebody say when she was a child). Those words hurt and stayed with her a lifetime - and she fought against it. Impatience is Gloria's biggest weakness she says. She is 'still' working on trying not to respond on her quick impulsiveness. She recognizes how exhausting it is for others around her. It's funny to me that at age 91 .... she is still needing to be advised to SLOW DOWN! I laughed- when she told Anderson -she was feeling and impulsive again and thinking about moving into a new apt. She loves to rearrange furniture and decorate....she gets bored once it's done. Her son laughed ..."MOM, you are almost 92 years of age". I laughed too! Gloria shares about her flaws - gaining wisdom with aging - she's honest about regrets in her life-and guilt. It's quite remarkable how open Gloria was. She even shared about her experience with LSD. ( under a doctors supervision...but it changed her life). At age 91, Gloria has discovered the type of happiness she 'had' been looking for most of her life - doesn't exist. ---This wisdom gives her peace today. She is also thankful for her restless spirit. It's who she is! She's thankful for her fire of passion! HECK, I NEEDED A NAP AFTER GLORIA'S 91 years of ENERGY!!! Enjoyable and touching..... .........inspiring 'Mother/Son' treasured experienced! It was a privileged to listen to Anderson and Vanderbilt --"Shark and Tight Rope".....love-communicating together!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    Like many other young women, i owned a few pairs of Vanderbilt jeans, they were the first in brand that were a must have. Remember too, my grandmother talking about the poor, little rich girl and how it must be so horrible for her, having to choose between her mother and grandmother. I didn't, however, know that Anderson Cooper as part of the Vanderbilt's, until after Gloria's death. I had seen him on TV and liked his reporting. This though is all I knew, no details about their lives, and truth Like many other young women, i owned a few pairs of Vanderbilt jeans, they were the first in brand that were a must have. Remember too, my grandmother talking about the poor, little rich girl and how it must be so horrible for her, having to choose between her mother and grandmother. I didn't, however, know that Anderson Cooper as part of the Vanderbilt's, until after Gloria's death. I had seen him on TV and liked his reporting. This though is all I knew, no details about their lives, and truth be told I've never been much of a fan girl in any area. When my Goodreads friend, Karen, said that this was the audio she most recommended to people, I decided to see what it was like. I loved it, and audio was definitely the way to go, read in their own voices made this mother, son discussion so incredibly personal. What an amazing thing to do, discuss ones fears, railings, triumphs, scars from the past, while one still has the opportunity. Gloria had quite a life, yet at 91 still remains hopeful, active, knowing life still has more to offer, surprises to uncover. Anderson, scarred by some of the events in his own life, talks to his mother on how this affected his life, and how some of the things she did, he couldn't understand at the time. This is a deeply honest rendering, and a wonderful tribute to mother and son. Reminds me not to leave things too late, and that hopefully the rainbow will come again.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Esil

    3.5 stars. The Rainbow Comes and Goes was a bit of a mixed bag for me, but on balance a positive experience. There were some real strengths, and then there were parts that were a bit tedious. I knew very little about Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper before I started listening to the audio book. As far as I knew, Gloria Vanderbilt was the brand name of jeans coveted by many of my friends in my late teenage years (determined to be a contrarian, I found them tacky). And Anderson Cooper is that 3.5 stars. The Rainbow Comes and Goes was a bit of a mixed bag for me, but on balance a positive experience. There were some real strengths, and then there were parts that were a bit tedious. I knew very little about Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper before I started listening to the audio book. As far as I knew, Gloria Vanderbilt was the brand name of jeans coveted by many of my friends in my late teenage years (determined to be a contrarian, I found them tacky). And Anderson Cooper is that CNN guy with the crazy blue eyes. It turns out that Gloria is Anderson’s mother, and together and separately they have had pretty interesting life journeys. The Rainbow Comes And Goes, is told through alternating emails between 91 year old Gloria and almost 50 year old Anderson. Gloria recounts her unusual difficult childhood – which it turns out involved a notorious custody battle between her mother and her aunt – and she dwells on the challenges of being a mother when she had no experience of being mothered or having a stable family. Anderson focuses on explaining what it was like to grow up with Gloria in the shadow of his father’s early death and his brother’s suicide. The exchange is a reckoning of sorts, and also an attempt to figure out how mother and son are similar and different, and what core values they strive to live by. For me, the strengths are each narrators’ perspective on their respective childhoods and early years, and their honesty about their perceived failings, the cost of their losses and their mutual love and respect. Gloria’s last letter and Anderson’s epilogue are especially moving. The weaknesses are that at times the narrative feels like it loses its thread – there is some repetition, some loss of chronology and some dwelling on details or events that don’t add much – including a bit too much name dropping by Gloria. In the end, it’s a bit of a message book, but these are good messages like the invitation to have difficult conversations with older relatives before it’s too late, the importance of respecting each other despite deep differences in temperament and perspective, and the message embedded in the title about appreciating good things while they last. A note on the audio: I loved Gloria’s voice. Anderson’s voice sometimes felt a bit flat, especially given the emotional content of what he was reading. Nevertheless, it’s worth listening to the audio to hear them tell their stories in their own voices.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Libby

    3.75 stars rounded up - Anderson Cooper is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to things he wants to ask his mother. I was unaware that Gloria Vanderbilt was Anderson Cooper’s mother, but Cooper makes it clear he never wanted to rely on the Vanderbilt name to take him places. The most I’ve known about the Vanderbilts is 1). They’re rich. 2). They own the Biltmore House in Asheville, N.C., where my husband and I went on our honeymoon in 1976, and 3). Gloria Vanderbilt designed jeans. Yes, I h 3.75 stars rounded up - Anderson Cooper is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to things he wants to ask his mother. I was unaware that Gloria Vanderbilt was Anderson Cooper’s mother, but Cooper makes it clear he never wanted to rely on the Vanderbilt name to take him places. The most I’ve known about the Vanderbilts is 1). They’re rich. 2). They own the Biltmore House in Asheville, N.C., where my husband and I went on our honeymoon in 1976, and 3). Gloria Vanderbilt designed jeans. Yes, I had a pair. They were nice. I enjoyed this correspondence between Gloria and her son. They both felt accessible; their trials, hardships, and traumas, their hopes, and dreams felt real and relevant. They never came across as pompous or full of their own self-importance. Gloria’s life has been in the limelight since her birth and she relates how that has not always easy. A romantic, Gloria comes across as someone who believes the best will eventually come. She quotes books and writers, talks about her travels, and all the people she’s known. She loves to paint and loves to have a project going. Details of her four marriages are shared, the first one at age seventeen, the last one to Anderson Cooper’s father. Plucky and determined, it took a while for Gloria to grow wings of independence. She grew up in a different era, one in which women mostly did not make decisions for themselves. A longtime pawn between family members (especially in her younger years) because of her wealth, it makes for fascinating reading to see how she eventually learns to stand on her own two feet. She’s fifty-four years old when she designs her jeans. In many ways, Anderson Cooper is the opposite of his mother. Practical, pragmatic, Anderson always has a plan. When he was growing up, he realized that his mother didn’t. They talk frankly of her alcohol use and many other details of their shared lives. Together, it seems they come to terms with the losses and traumas they have both experienced. They are the kind of experiences that would leave anyone reeling. I’ll leave the reader to discover what they were and how they dealt with them. Having heard Anderson Cooper on the nightly news, I wasn’t surprised that his voice translated so well to the audiobook. I loved Gloria’s voice, because I could hear her age in it (she’s ninety-one while they’re working on this book), rough and a little throaty, but her vibrancy and eagerness to know, as she says, “what comes next?” is there, in her voice as well. Frequently emotional, as she talked about her memories, her voice would break, tears at the surface, then she would collect herself and read on. This was a surprisingly enjoyable read, and for me, their voices added an extra level of engagement. I got my audiobook from Hoopla. Recommended for its historical significance as well as insight into a special mother-son relationship.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper This book is based on email correspondence between journalist Anderson Cooper and his nonagenarian mother Gloria Vanderbilt. Though perhaps not so well known today, Gloria was once a darling of the media. During her long and eventful life Gloria was an heiress, socialite, actress, artist, designer, fashion mogul, and author. She had numerous affairs with famous men and was married four times. All this made Gloria fascinating to the public. Gloria Vanderbilt w Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper This book is based on email correspondence between journalist Anderson Cooper and his nonagenarian mother Gloria Vanderbilt. Though perhaps not so well known today, Gloria was once a darling of the media. During her long and eventful life Gloria was an heiress, socialite, actress, artist, designer, fashion mogul, and author. She had numerous affairs with famous men and was married four times. All this made Gloria fascinating to the public. Gloria Vanderbilt was a model Gloria Vanderbilt was a fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt was an artist Though Gloria had an enviable life in many ways - with ritzy apartments, beautiful clothes, celebrity friends, a fulfilling career, and so on - she was a troubled soul. Gloria was born in 1924 and lost her father when she was just 15 months old. Gloria's mother, a young and beautiful free spirit, had no interest in raising a child. Thus, little Gloria was brought up by her caregiver (Dodo) with the help of her grandmother (Nanny)...and later on her Aunt Gertrude (Auntie Ger). Gloria Vanderbilt's parents Gloria's young life was chaotic. Her mother, wanting to attend all the best parties in Europe, towed little Gloria (and her caretakers) all over France and England. Thus the child was constantly moving from one hotel or apartment to another, packing, unpacking, meeting new people, etc. - with no stability in her life. Gloria considered Dodo and Nanny her 'mother and father' and the lack of a real dad had a lasting impact. From the time Gloria was 17 years old she tended to fall in love with much older men. Young Gloria Vanderbilt had a chaotic life One of the most significant events in Gloria's life was a highly publicized custody battle when she was 10 years old and residing in the United States. Nanny and Auntie Ger went to court to wrest Gloria away from her mom, who they deemed an unfit mother who was squandering Gloria's support money. Nanny and Auntie Ger won custody, and mom got visitation rights. Ten year old Gloria Vanderbilt was the subject of a fierce custody battle The custody fight apparently caused lasting bad feelings and may even have played a role in Gloria's first marriage. At 17 Gloria wed an abusive gambler named Pat DiCicco - a superficial charmer in his mid-thirties. According to Gloria, her mother quickly planned the (ill-considered) wedding to get Gloria away from Auntie Ger. Gloria Vanderbilt and Pat DiCicco Reading about Gloria's life, I was struck by her odd behavior with men For example, Gloria was in the midst of a torrid affair with the billionaire Howard Hughes - whom she said she was going to marry - when she suddenly got engaged to (her previous beau) DiCicco. After Gloria's first divorce - at the age of 21 - she 'fell in love at first sight' with 63-year-old conductor Leopold Stokowski...and married him. When this union ended, Gloria 'fell in love at first sight' once again, this time with director Sidney Lumet...and they wed. Finally, Gloria fell madly in love with and married Wyatt Cooper - who fathered Anderson and his brother Carter. The book also mentions affairs with Frank Sinatra and an unnamed married man. Gloria attributes these impulsive relationships to the absence of a father in her life. Gloria Vanderbilt and billionaire Howard Hughes (inset) Gloria Vanderbilt and Leopold Stokowski Gloria Vanderbilt and Sidney Lumet Gloria Vanderbilt and Wyatt Cooper Gloria Vanderbilt and Frank Sinatra Sadly, Gloria and Anderson experienced two terrible tragedies, with the death of Wyatt Cooper in 1978 and the suicide of Carter Cooper in 1988. Gloria Vanderbilt and her son Carter Gloria also had the misfortune of trusting people too much. She was defrauded by her psychiatrist and attorney - who 'managed' her business affairs and didn't pay her taxes. Gloria lost a fortune, but her spirit was never broken. She sued the crooks and won but - since the doctor was disgraced and the lawyer died - Gloria never recovered her money. Still, (over time) Gloria rebuilt her fortune and paid off the IRS. Anderson is much more reticent about himself in the book, though he does mention the discomfort he felt about telling his mother he was gay. He also talks about feeling driven to establish a career, and choosing to become a foreign correspondent in some of the world's most dangerous regions. Teenage Anderson Cooper Anderson Cooper was a foreign correspondent It's interesting to learn a little about Gloria Vanderbilt's life, but - in all honesty (and making allowances for her difficult childhood) - I don't find her to be a completely sympathetic character. Gloria talks a lot about her loves, marriages, acquaintances, painting career, acting roles, etc. in the early 1940s - during World War II - but there's almost no mention of the fighting. It seems like Gloria and her social circle just partied on, unaffected by the cataclysmic event. I was also put off by some of Gloria's relationships with men. For instance, two months after the death of her beloved husband, Wyatt Cooper, Gloria was entangled in a serious romance with her former spouse, Sidney Lumet. Gloria also (rather shamefacedly) admits that she burned an unread letter from the nurse taking care of her beloved (now elderly) Dodo....just before the woman died. Of course it's not for me to judge Gloria, and I did enjoy the peek into the lives of some privileged and wealthy people. I was also touched by the close relationship between Gloria and Anderson, who love and admire each other; have the same the drive to succeed on their own merits; and share the sadness of their early losses. Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt I'd recommend the book to readers who enjoy celebrity memoirs. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....

  8. 4 out of 5

    BAM Endlessly Booked

    2017 Reading Challenge: written by someone I admire; book club selection 2017 Lenten season nonfiction read #1 I did not know this, but Gloria Vanderbilt is an accomplished magazine correspondent and artist. No clue she's also the author of eight books. But unfortunately we know her for a pair of jeans from 1979, which seems so unattached from the child fought over in the "poor little rich girl" custody battle of the 1940s. Anderson Cooper, her youngest son and the CNN and 60 minutes reporter, cow 2017 Reading Challenge: written by someone I admire; book club selection 2017 Lenten season nonfiction read #1 I did not know this, but Gloria Vanderbilt is an accomplished magazine correspondent and artist. No clue she's also the author of eight books. But unfortunately we know her for a pair of jeans from 1979, which seems so unattached from the child fought over in the "poor little rich girl" custody battle of the 1940s. Anderson Cooper, her youngest son and the CNN and 60 minutes reporter, cowrote this book with his mother through a series of emails to not only get to know his 92 year old model matriarch but also to inspire us to "think about your own relationships and perhaps help you start a new kind of conversation with someone you love." I am fortunate enough that I had started something similar over Saturday morning breakfast sessions with my father until he recently died of a heart attack. Gloria lived with a hole in her heart from losing her father to alcoholism at the age of fifteen months and the estrangement of her mother, also named Gloria. Being born a Vanderbilt meant nothing to her and their significance and wealth were never explained to her. She just knew she never wanted for anything, that is , anything except love and attention. This led to a lifelong sense of unsettled searching and impulsivity. Dating and marrying older men followed as she searched for a father figure. But once she found Wyatt Cooper, she found contentment and the love of her life, only to lose him to heart disease in 1978. Anderson is her second son with Wyatt. Anderson reflects throughout the book how alike he is to his mother, how her upbringing affected his, how his definition of fear and success differ from hers. However, it's immediately apparent how close these two are. They see little of each other due to Anderson' traveling duties, but that certainly has no affect on their intimacy. She is certainly quite proud to be his mother and never stops expressing her love in both obvious ways as well as by inference. This book was quite touching. This is definitely a book Anderson will cherish.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cheri

    The year that this book was released, my brother bought a signed copy for me (along with a lot of others) although at the time, I wasn’t sure why he chose some of the books he bought for me, this one I knew. I’d come to love Anderson Cooper’s ability to be both strong and vulnerable, but I didn’t expect to be quite as moved as I was by this book. But… I’m getting ahead of myself, since I didn’t read it at the time, and now wishing I’d read it earlier. Lovely and heartbreaking, it was wonderful to The year that this book was released, my brother bought a signed copy for me (along with a lot of others) although at the time, I wasn’t sure why he chose some of the books he bought for me, this one I knew. I’d come to love Anderson Cooper’s ability to be both strong and vulnerable, but I didn’t expect to be quite as moved as I was by this book. But… I’m getting ahead of myself, since I didn’t read it at the time, and now wishing I’d read it earlier. Lovely and heartbreaking, it was wonderful to listen to the back and forth of their narration as I listened to the audio version of this. We’ve all, or most, grown accustomed to hearing Anerson Cooper’s voice, and can hear the moments where we’re sure he’s smiling as he’s recalling some moment, or holding back frustrations and tears in others. And while, yes, I did own a pair or two of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, I had forgotten the sound of her voice, so hearing it again, and years after she’s gone, was both lovely and heartbreaking. All of this, in fact, has an element of that knowledge, or at least it did for me. To hear her voice after that voice has been silenced alternately lifted my spirits. Her story, their combined stories are fairly simple when you boil it down to the essence – this was their joint memories, her life with her own memories, their life with the memories they shared, and his memories. A chance over one year in time of letters written back and forth to heal wounds, prepare for the future and hopefully to understand the whys and why nots that haunted each of them. A lovely and brave mother-son autobiography-memoir.

  10. 5 out of 5

    ☮Karen

    4.5 stars. Years ago my husband and I  read and enjoyed the book Little Gloria... Happy at Last about  the child Gloria Vanderbilt and the famous custody battle  between her neglectful  mother and her Aunt Gertrude Vanderbilt  Whitney.   My husband's interest  goes  way back, you see, as his Grandmother Jenny claimed  that they were descended from Cornelius Vanderbilt (they were, actually, but not THAT Cornelius--that was quite a common name in the 1700s it turns out.  She also said they came fro 4.5 stars. Years ago my husband and I  read and enjoyed the book Little Gloria... Happy at Last about  the child Gloria Vanderbilt and the famous custody battle  between her neglectful  mother and her Aunt Gertrude Vanderbilt  Whitney.   My husband's interest  goes  way back, you see, as his Grandmother Jenny claimed  that they were descended from Cornelius Vanderbilt (they were, actually, but not THAT Cornelius--that was quite a common name in the 1700s it turns out.  She also said they came from German royalty).  My genealogy research thus far shows that Grandmother Jenny had her head in the clouds. Here's how the book idea developed.  Gloria and Anderson wanted to get to know each other better as adults before it was too late.  Mother and son exchanged a long series of very personal emails; at times it was as if Anderson was doing an interview.  She tells stories; he digs deeper. She's  an amazingly sharp ninety-one then, ninety-two  now.  She expounds much deeper into her own character than does Anderson into his.  She is hopeful, he is more a realist.  She loves and trusts freely, he is more skeptical. They have their differences and some similarities are discovered too.  While both personalities are revealed, Gloria is really the star of this book, as her life was so full of ... life!  And she likes to talk about it.   An interesting, very eventful life, at times tumultuous and tragic--Anderson's  brother committed  suicide in her presence--as well  as the times when she just wanted to be normal and to feel loved.   I highly recommend the audio if you're going to go with this one. The two of them narrated it together and it was like sharing an intimate conversation with us,  almost as if we're family.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    I remember learning only recently that Anderson Cooper is Gloria Vanderbilt’s son. Now, reading their book, The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss, I learn that she is 92! And she’s been an actress, an artist, and a writer. To think, I’ve always only associated her with blue jeans! This book is basically Gloria’s memoir, although it is a year-long collection of e-mails between mother and son that often reads like an interview by journalist Cooper. In his desire to kn I remember learning only recently that Anderson Cooper is Gloria Vanderbilt’s son. Now, reading their book, The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss, I learn that she is 92! And she’s been an actress, an artist, and a writer. To think, I’ve always only associated her with blue jeans! This book is basically Gloria’s memoir, although it is a year-long collection of e-mails between mother and son that often reads like an interview by journalist Cooper. In his desire to know more of his mother’s life, her experiences, thoughts, and feelings, Anderson gently probes his mom’s memories and impressions of her family wealth, her lonely childhood, her wild teen years, her affairs, her marriages, and motherhood. Gloria’s father died when she was fifteen months old. Her mother was quite young, and the two never bonded. Young Gloria grew dependent upon her caretaker, a woman she called Dodo. She later became a pawn in a vicious custody battle staged by her grandmother and aunt. Eventually, the court ruled against her mother, and custody was granted to her aunt. When Gloria was seventeen, however, she went to California to visit her mother for the summer. There she experienced freedom for the first time. She met her mother’s Hollywood friends and was introduced to many famous people, including men who were much older than she was. She dated Howard Hughes and thought she would marry him. Instead, she married Pat DiCiccio. It was an abusive marriage, and they divorced shortly before she was of age to receive her inheritance. She was to marry three more times; the fourth marriage was to Anderson’s father, Wyatt Cooper. This last marriage ended in great sadness. Wyatt died during heart surgery when Anderson was only ten years old. Then, just more than a decade later, Gloria’s son Carter Cooper committed suicide by jumping out a window in her apartment. He was 23. Both Gloria and Anderson express endless sorrow at Carter’s death. It is simply something they live with. Gloria does reinforce for Anderson how much his father loved him and what a good parent he was – something she says she learned from Wyatt, because she never had parental role models in her life. Her biggest regret, it seems, is the relationship she never had with her mother. Her mother was young and didn’t know how to bond with her infant daughter. She was too busy with her social life to have time for a child. Then the custody case caused a huge breach in the relationship, and after that, neither one could talk about it. Even though her mother eventually did meet her grandchildren, conversations just touched the surface. I found it interesting that each time Gloria became pregnant, she hoped for a girl because she thought she could relate to a girl. Perhaps she wanted to be a mother like the one she never had. Certainly, when she dated older men and married Leopold Stokowski, she was looking for a father figure. While she admits this now, she seemed to take little note of it at the time. She readily concedes that she is impulsive; on the flip side, she says, this is what gives her creativity, her “rage” for life (I equate this with “zest”, not to be confused with the rage/anger she felt at being abandoned.) At times, she comes across as self-absorbed and unsympathetic. The press had referred to her as a “poor little rich girl,” and that phrase crossed my mind as well. But as a child, she had no mentors to guide her decision-making. Her mother, when she had access to her, indulged her daughter and let her run wild in order to attempt win her favor. What she really needed was a parent. One very positive thing that struck me, though, is something that Anderson points out. His mother worked – and still works – extremely hard. She never considered herself “a Vanderbilt.” That is, she never considered that inheritance to be something that she earned. Anderson himself never wanted to be associated with the Vanderbilt name, and feels that he got that same work ethic, in part, from his mother. I was surprised, frankly, with all the turmoil that Gloria experienced – constantly moving, multiple marriages, seemingly insatiable longing to belong and be loved – that she had so much self-awareness. However, at almost 92 at the time of the publication, she has had a lot of time to reflect. There are plenty of little gems of wisdom tucked away within these pages. The title, The Rainbow Comes and Goes, comes from a poem by William Wordsworth. Rainbows are like bright surprise gifts after the rain. They don’t last long, but we know that someday another will appear. It was refreshing, even heartwarming at times to see the exchange between mother and son, even though much of the correspondence was not overly emotional, at least in print. I think Anderson learned much about his mother, and about himself in the process. I just wish he had shared more information about himself as well. 3.5 stars

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Journalist and television personality Anderson Cooper always had a good relationship with his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. But when she turned 91, he realized that he really didn’t know very much about her early life. In fact, she had rarely talked about her life at all. So he suggested that they begin an email correspondence which transpired over the course of a year. The emails are compiled into this honest and heartfelt memoir reflecting on their lives, relationships, and their thoughts about li Journalist and television personality Anderson Cooper always had a good relationship with his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. But when she turned 91, he realized that he really didn’t know very much about her early life. In fact, she had rarely talked about her life at all. So he suggested that they begin an email correspondence which transpired over the course of a year. The emails are compiled into this honest and heartfelt memoir reflecting on their lives, relationships, and their thoughts about life in general. It’s a story of sadness and tragedy, but also of resilience, perseverance, family, love and hope. A wonderful, inspiring book and so worth reading!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Reese

    Not a boring page in this "epistolary memoir" (letters=emails) through which Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt offer access to layers of their individual lives and layers of their relationship with each other. Those who already mourn "the lost art of letter writing" may "read it and weep." And readers burdened by missed opportunities may feel the weight of the burden increase. A rainbow -- who doesn't think, "Oh shit," when (s)he realizes IT WAS THERE, NOW IT'S NOT ? We missed it and perhaps Not a boring page in this "epistolary memoir" (letters=emails) through which Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt offer access to layers of their individual lives and layers of their relationship with each other. Those who already mourn "the lost art of letter writing" may "read it and weep." And readers burdened by missed opportunities may feel the weight of the burden increase. A rainbow -- who doesn't think, "Oh shit," when (s)he realizes IT WAS THERE, NOW IT'S NOT ? We missed it and perhaps keep missing it -- and the next one too because we're still missing the one(s) before the most recent one. Need inspiration to make changes in your life? Get The Rainbow Comes and Goes. Chew it. Swallow it. Digest it. Let your body's tissues absorb it before you use the tissue in the bathroom. A recipe for reducing the number of times you think, "If only, if only --" while you're sitting on the crapper or anywhere else.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    A very intriguing memoir about the lives of two American icons, from two different generations, who happen to be mother and son. Well, it's more about Gloria Vanderbilt's life, than Anderson Cooper's, but you still get a glimpse into his childhood and adult life. I, like many it seems, did not know these two were mother and son until right before this book was released and it was being marketed. But that seems to be Anderson's intention. He didn't want to be known as a Vanderbilt and kept his li A very intriguing memoir about the lives of two American icons, from two different generations, who happen to be mother and son. Well, it's more about Gloria Vanderbilt's life, than Anderson Cooper's, but you still get a glimpse into his childhood and adult life. I, like many it seems, did not know these two were mother and son until right before this book was released and it was being marketed. But that seems to be Anderson's intention. He didn't want to be known as a Vanderbilt and kept his lineage private in order to make a name and career for himself without using his mother's surname as an advantage. However, as I previously said, this book was more about his mother than himself. Uniquely written, this memoir started on Gloria's 91st birthday as a series of emails between mother and son. Anderson, ever the investigative reporter, used his skills to unlock the untold secrets of his mother's eccentric and tumultuous childhood, her four marriages and many celebrity boyfriends, and the tragic death of her son and his brother. The email correspondence lasted exactly one year and ended on her 92nd birthday. Many interesting facts and tidbits given along the way that I won't ruin for you if you plan on reading. What endeared me to this story even more was the audio book, read back and forth (as the emails went) by the authors. Oh, how I loved Gloria's voice! Filled with passion, love, regret, confusion, it was as if she was living the days and moments she recounted again in the now. Definitely recommend if you enjoy celebrity/icon memoirs. 4.5 stars.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lesa

    After hearing Anderson Cooper at PLA, talking about his conversation with his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, I picked up the book about that conversation. The Rainbow Comes and Goes is the story of their life, told through a year-long conversation after Vanderbilt turned ninety-one. Cooper challenged us at the conference to have a meaningful conversation with members of our family. Vanderbilt and Cooper are the last survivors in their immediate family. When his mother was hospitalized at ninety-one, After hearing Anderson Cooper at PLA, talking about his conversation with his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, I picked up the book about that conversation. The Rainbow Comes and Goes is the story of their life, told through a year-long conversation after Vanderbilt turned ninety-one. Cooper challenged us at the conference to have a meaningful conversation with members of our family. Vanderbilt and Cooper are the last survivors in their immediate family. When his mother was hospitalized at ninety-one, Cooper realized there were questions about her life that he had never asked. He didn't know about her relationship with her mother, and the "trial of the century" that awarded Gloria's custody to an aunt she didn't know. He didn't know about his mother's numerous lovers (and was a little squeamish when it came to knowing about his mother's love life). And, the two of them never really talked about the death of Cooper's beloved father, his brother's suicide, or the fact that Anderson Cooper is gay. But, a year-long email correspondence brought them much closer, and revealed emotions and feelings neither knew the other had. At ninety-one, Gloria Vanderbilt had rich stories to tell her son. But so many of them stemmed from the loss of her father when she was a toddler, and the loss of a mother she never really knew. Vanderbilt developed "a rage to live" as she called it. Her restlessness, her searches for love, stemmed from the lack of a home, stability and love as a child. Even so, she's the optimist in the family, the one who still believes in fairy tales, and, as her son says, that there is a the right man in a yacht in the Mediterranean, just waiting for her. Cooper, too, feels he is fueled by rage, but it's the rage of losing his father and brother. Both mother and son feel as if they need to keep moving forward, not becoming "too self-reflective or too mired in the pain of the past". Cooper sees himself as a catastrophist, just waiting for the next catastrophe. Because his mother never had a plan, from the time he was ten and lost his father, Anderson Cooper has felt he needed to be the one in the family with a plan. He is always searching for security. When Gloria Vanderbilt quotes writer Mary Gordon, "A fatherless girl thinks all things possible and nothing safe," her son agrees. He said when he lost his father at the age of ten, he lost the fantasy of childhood. He knew bad things happen to people, and nothing was safe. He says he is not the person he would have been if his father had lived. With the name Vanderbilt, most people immediately think of money. The Rainbow Comes and Goes is not a book about money. It's a book about two lonely, lost souls, both of whom suffered great losses in their lives. It's actually a very sad book despite the connection Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt still have.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Huether

    An honest story of Gloria Vanderbilt and her her son Anderson Cooper . Gloria had an unusual childhood, being separated from her mother and being close to her governess and nanny. Her mother was too busy having fun and traveling to pay any attention to Gloria. When Gloria had her children she vowed to be a part of their lives and enjoy motherhood. Part of the book Anderson tells of his feelings of not remembering his father Wyatt Cooper, and the death of his brother Carter. At ninety two Gloria and An honest story of Gloria Vanderbilt and her her son Anderson Cooper . Gloria had an unusual childhood, being separated from her mother and being close to her governess and nanny. Her mother was too busy having fun and traveling to pay any attention to Gloria. When Gloria had her children she vowed to be a part of their lives and enjoy motherhood. Part of the book Anderson tells of his feelings of not remembering his father Wyatt Cooper, and the death of his brother Carter. At ninety two Gloria and Anderson are very close.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    When I see, and it is often, the words "New York Times Best Seller" on a cover- it is NOT a forecast for a positive outcome for me with any book. Non-fiction or fiction, that has been the case for some years. So when I looked at this cover, I tended to see those exact words and not the lovely picture below them. Well, this truly is the exception. Enough for me to give it the 5th star. Enjoyable, loving, heart-warming, approaching emotive truth, and just completely well done in word form. All of t When I see, and it is often, the words "New York Times Best Seller" on a cover- it is NOT a forecast for a positive outcome for me with any book. Non-fiction or fiction, that has been the case for some years. So when I looked at this cover, I tended to see those exact words and not the lovely picture below them. Well, this truly is the exception. Enough for me to give it the 5th star. Enjoyable, loving, heart-warming, approaching emotive truth, and just completely well done in word form. All of those things. And it is difficult, difficult to accomplish that within a duo memoir, and especially for the celeb and known. In fact, I can't think of another with this amount of "work" to get to the memory and the results. Both. I've always known they were mother and son, but this approaching and in age- is something adult children, especially those who are so busy embedded in their own lives, seldom accomplish. Do I know it. Admitting that I was too busy and so are all my kids. The two older have tried to bridge it, but nearing fifty now- they are just starting to get to the place where Anderson is. To give it that time. And it takes time. The "poor little rich girl" has excellent memory and reveals some soul bottom voids which color all her reactions. The son knows how to listen and knows too the vast areas of significance and event which reflect and distort his own identity and path in reply. At nearly 5 decades when he did this, it is the perfect age to put that scale in order, as well. All that money and so many choices. But just as many shattered bridges to family and ultimate purposes. Knowing quite a bit about both of them, I was stunned at the Carter situation. And how those two older brothers have reacted and flown away from the core at different times and in different ways. And how some women, especially women, can seem to survive, start over and over, and initiate new cores of success over innumerable barricades and failures. And most do it too, as Gloria did- by knowing herself. Her real self, not her action self. There is an excellent PBS production of this book. It has more photos and moving films of different periods of Gloria's life. Most of which did not appear in the book. I happened to see the film first, but the book was better in being able to repeat read some core issue and quoted sections. Anderson talks from that apartment and balcony too. How hard it must have been to do that! Highly recommend. He holds a natural calming reserve too that I find especially rare in his field. Now I know a bit more about why that is. Before I knew anything at all about him, he was the only one on CNN that I could abide to watch for more than 10 minutes. He has a centrist hold in emotion and within nearly any subject discussion that is rare. Plus his voice is soothing and clear. I give him huge credit to develop this entire email started endeavor. In age it is much easier to separate that time, than it is in mid-life.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Naksed

    These memoirs, based on email exchanges between Anderson Cooper and his mother Gloria Vanderbilt, have the two ingredients that are so rare in books of this genre, which are candidness and insight. There are two aspects, equally fascinating, to these memoirs. First, the personal, family story. And second, the "celebrity" story. Rainbow is first and foremost the story of the unrequited love of a child for her parents, a father who died of alcoholism at the age of 45 when Gloria was a baby, and a mo These memoirs, based on email exchanges between Anderson Cooper and his mother Gloria Vanderbilt, have the two ingredients that are so rare in books of this genre, which are candidness and insight. There are two aspects, equally fascinating, to these memoirs. First, the personal, family story. And second, the "celebrity" story. Rainbow is first and foremost the story of the unrequited love of a child for her parents, a father who died of alcoholism at the age of 45 when Gloria was a baby, and a mother whose narcissism was so vast it would make the most infamous of Mommy Dearests look like veritable cocoons of nurturing, warmth and tenderness. Even as she speaks of so many unspeakable tragedies like the passing of her husband and the suicide of her 23 year old son, Anderson's older brother Carter, it is when Gloria Vanderbilt speaks of the yearning she had to be close, intimate, and bond with her father and her mother that her voice falters, almost breaking, taking on suddenly the timber of a childlike voice recounting a particularly traumatic nightmare. It is also, of course, the story of Anderson Cooper's life dealing with the grief of losing his own, doting father, and the terrible tragedy of his brother's suicide. There are plenty of five hankies moments in these memoirs but also a lot of humor. Which brings me to the "celebrity" aspect of the memoirs. For someone who has a sense of the absurd, of kitsch and camp, this book is like catching a glimpse of the Fellini-like plane that the rich and famous inhabit. Gloria's mother and her twin sister were kind of like the Hilton sisters of their time, socialites who were famous for being famous and hobnobbed with European jet-setters, royalty, and movie stars alike. There is one scene that is so particularly evocative, which takes place at a dinner party hosted by Gloria, her mother and her aunt at their Malibu house. A famous 1930s singer (Gloria calls him the Frank Sinatra of her girlhood) comes by for dinner. This is decades after his glory days and he is now a white-haired elderly man who has lost his instrument and any claim to celebrity. But at the invitation of Gloria's aunt, who does this as a gesture of goodwill towards her niece, lost as she is in the past and thinking that it will make Gloria happy to see her onetime idol, he shows up to dinner in full stage costume of that era, and proceeds to lip-synch to his own songs for his spellbound audience. This is so Norma Desmond that I can't even. I absolutely loved it and many other anecdotes that Gloria recounts, without resorting to gossip or slander. This mother and son team are a first class act and I delighted in listening to their elegant, frank, self-introspective, lyrical, generous, and loving conversation.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    This is billed as an email exchange between Anderson Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, but it is actually an email interview. Professional interviewer that he is, Anderson reveals little about himself and gives his mother openings to tell her story. Gloria has led as full a life as any world leader or talking head he has encountered on his job. Unlike them, she is 92, and has no need to measure how her words might build or sink a career. Also, at 92, she has had a lot more time than othe This is billed as an email exchange between Anderson Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, but it is actually an email interview. Professional interviewer that he is, Anderson reveals little about himself and gives his mother openings to tell her story. Gloria has led as full a life as any world leader or talking head he has encountered on his job. Unlike them, she is 92, and has no need to measure how her words might build or sink a career. Also, at 92, she has had a lot more time than others to reflect on her life. She shows the need a child has for parental love and attention. Even the best caretaking money can buy does not fill the hole from the loss of her father (he died when she was 15 months old) and a mother whose globetrotting social life leaves no time for a child. She shows how the search for her father resulted in poor marriage choices (older men/father figures) and allowed her to be taken in by her accountant and psychiatrist. While her mother famously battled for her custody, it was the trust fund she wanted. There are gaps. How did Gloria come to realize her mother’s agenda and understand how the ill fated wedding of a 17 year old to rough and tumble gambler fit nicely into it? Why didn’t her caretakers, who were with her through that marriage, help/advise her? There is a lot on the grief both Anderson and Gloria have over the suicide of their brother/son, but little on his reasons for it. What makes this book is the history that this mother and son bring to their email exchanges. While Anderson says he identifies with his father, the Cooper side, he is like his many relatives who do not bear the Vanderbilt name but have enriched the country through their work. His aunt Gertrude V. Whitney (briefly profiled in this book) injected energy into the American art world when it needed it and promoted it through the museum that her bears only one of her names. John Hammond, Sr. fostered the careers of artists who would document, define and develop truly American music. The “married into” relatives reach from Winston Churchill to August Belmont whose mother was the daughter of Commodore Perry (who “opened” Japan). The list is long. I got this book from the library, but had I paid the $27 price, I’d be disappointed. It can be read in one sitting. It is nice and touching, but I don’t see the 5 stars in it that others do.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Liz Lazarus

    Like most young girls, I had the a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, but admit that I was much more familiar with her son, Anderson Cooper, so it was interesting to hear about her life. In “The Rainbow Comes And Goes,” Anderson asks most of the questions so we learn much more about Gloria - the custody battle of her childhood, the early loss of her father, an aloof mother that left her rudderless as a young teen, and several lovers and marriages. We learn of the similarities between mother and so Like most young girls, I had the a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, but admit that I was much more familiar with her son, Anderson Cooper, so it was interesting to hear about her life. In “The Rainbow Comes And Goes,” Anderson asks most of the questions so we learn much more about Gloria - the custody battle of her childhood, the early loss of her father, an aloof mother that left her rudderless as a young teen, and several lovers and marriages. We learn of the similarities between mother and son - they both lost loved ones: Gloria never knew her father, and lost her husband and son. Anderson lost his father at age 10 and brother to suicide when he was in college. Both have a strong work ethic, wealth or not, they both have a “rage to live” that propels them forward. Anderson likens himself to a shark, always advancing to force the air through his gills, worrying about becoming complacent. But we also see their differences. Anderson is a planner, saving for a rainy day while Gloria is more impetuous saying "chaos is my natural habitat." She’s an incurable hopeful, knowing the rainbow is out there and will always return. Anderson is more measured. He can’t be certain the rainbow will return, and for such a successful man, it’s interesting to see that he never rests on his laurels. In the prologue, Anderson states that the past year was the most valuable of his life, in that he had the opportunity to really get to know his mother. Through their exchange, he will have no regrets, nothing left unsaid. He states that it's never too late to change a relationship and that I must say is the best lesson from this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kelley

    I bought this book as soon as it came out and I NEVER buy a book! From the moment I saw Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt talking about this book I knew I had to have it. A book of e-mails between mother and son over the 91st year of a mother's life; what a way to be able to say all that needs to be said. I didn't know anything about Gloria Vanderbilt and her storied life of heartbreak, rejection, love and money. Hers in such an interesting story to read. To learn that Anderson Cooper is her I bought this book as soon as it came out and I NEVER buy a book! From the moment I saw Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt talking about this book I knew I had to have it. A book of e-mails between mother and son over the 91st year of a mother's life; what a way to be able to say all that needs to be said. I didn't know anything about Gloria Vanderbilt and her storied life of heartbreak, rejection, love and money. Hers in such an interesting story to read. To learn that Anderson Cooper is her son and how different his outlook on love and life is from hers was also interesting to read. However, the book is really about a mother and a son and how they are fortunate enough to leave no words unsaid. We don't usually get that privilege in life. What a gift! Personally, the book also taught me that the rainbow really does come and go. For every down that we experience there is usually something positive that will come around the corner. I can't wait to pass this book on to friends!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Darren

    I'm a fan of both Cooper and Vanderbilt, so this should have been a slam-dunk (especially listening to the two of them on this audiobook edition). But it's instead kind of a 50-50. First of all, it's Vanderbilt who is so much more fun to listen to...Cooper is in full "reporter/announcer" mode and, compared to his mother's narration, comes across as very isolated from the emotional aspects of this story. Second, there's just not much about Anderson Cooper in these stories, which may be a flaw of I'm a fan of both Cooper and Vanderbilt, so this should have been a slam-dunk (especially listening to the two of them on this audiobook edition). But it's instead kind of a 50-50. First of all, it's Vanderbilt who is so much more fun to listen to...Cooper is in full "reporter/announcer" mode and, compared to his mother's narration, comes across as very isolated from the emotional aspects of this story. Second, there's just not much about Anderson Cooper in these stories, which may be a flaw of the structure (the Q&A between son and mother), although I most enjoyed the first two-thirds of this as a Vanderbilt memoir...and maybe she has really had the more interesting life? Last of all, the final sections of the book feel repetitive, padded, airy. An easy audiobook to listen to.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    First of all, the extent of my Anderson Cooper knowledge basically only includes his friendship with Andy Cohen and how darling of a giggle he has when flustered on his own show. Nevertheless, this book was moving to the point of tears several times. Not only is Gloria Vanderbilt a beautiful wordsmith, but she also seems incredibly self aware of how her early life shaped her and those around her. The conversation between Anderson and Gloria is raw and real and touching. Anyone who has a parent s First of all, the extent of my Anderson Cooper knowledge basically only includes his friendship with Andy Cohen and how darling of a giggle he has when flustered on his own show. Nevertheless, this book was moving to the point of tears several times. Not only is Gloria Vanderbilt a beautiful wordsmith, but she also seems incredibly self aware of how her early life shaped her and those around her. The conversation between Anderson and Gloria is raw and real and touching. Anyone who has a parent should read this!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Clumsy Storyteller

    i love Anderson Cooper i can't wait to read his book :D :D , Remember when he told donald trump "That's an argument of a 5-year-old is, he started it., Every parent knows a kid who says he started it" yeah .. that was FUNNY :DD !! i love Anderson Cooper i can't wait to read his book :D :D , Remember when he told donald trump "That's an argument of a 5-year-old is, he started it., Every parent knows a kid who says he started it" yeah .. that was FUNNY :DD !!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gerald

    Memoir is perhaps the most frequently attempted book genre but – unless there’s a celebrity photo on the cover – these manuscripts rarely find a mainstream publisher, much less become bestsellers. But in this case, there are two smiling portraits and two famous brands – television journalist Anderson Cooper and his fashion-designer mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. However, until recently anyway, the general public may not have been aware of the family relationship. For his part, Cooper has assiduously Memoir is perhaps the most frequently attempted book genre but – unless there’s a celebrity photo on the cover – these manuscripts rarely find a mainstream publisher, much less become bestsellers. But in this case, there are two smiling portraits and two famous brands – television journalist Anderson Cooper and his fashion-designer mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. However, until recently anyway, the general public may not have been aware of the family relationship. For his part, Cooper has assiduously avoided the association. He explains: "Vanderbilt is a big name to carry, and I’ve been glad I didn’t have to. I like being a Cooper. It’s less cumbersome, less likely to produce an awkward pause in the conversation when I’m introduced. Let’s face it, the name Vanderbilt has history, baggage. Even if you don’t know the details of my mom’s extraordinary story, her name comes with a whole set of expectations and assumptions about what she must be like. The reality of her life, however, is not what you’d imagine." His mother, for her part, has been anything but shy about using – and exploiting – the name. Her signature jeans and fragrances have been her single most commercially successful venture. And other than lending cachet to the brand, this was a self-made fortune among several she has attained and lost. And, without trading on the name, Cooper has made his reputation on his own as media phenomenon. He is today one of the most credible names in broadcasting, and not because he carried a famous name. The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss is an exchange of intimate personal correspondence – conducted via email while the now-ninety-two-year-old Vanderbilt stayed mostly in her luxury apartment in Manhattan while Cooper jetted around the globe covering news assignments, mostly in locales ravaged by war or natural disaster. Cooper says he took the initiative to get closer to her, and the lessons learned in the book prove the wisdom of his intentions. One trait these two share is a dogged ability to withstand profound loss and – not just survive – but become the stronger for it. They share two huge, untimely wounds. First, her third husband and Cooper’s father Wyatt Emory Cooper died of open-heart surgery at age 50. He left two young sons, Carter and Anderson. The second blow came when Carter committed suicide at age 23. Cooper confides to his mother: "If my dad hadn’t died and Carter had not killed himself right before my senior year of college, if I hadn’t been left reeling by those losses, would I have taken the risks I did early on in my life and my career? I don’t think so." Vanderbilt is open about the intimate and sometimes sensational details of her life story. Cooper relates these to his own personal struggles, but details of his personal relationships are not included. Vanderbilt could have owned to four surnames from a succession of celebrity husbands – Pat DiCicco, presumed mobster and former husband, as well as rumored murderer, of actress Thelma Todd; brilliant orchestra conductor and then-crusty older man Leopold Stokowski; Cooper’s father Wyatt, a small-town boy from a poor rural family who became a Hollywood screenwriter; and legendary movie director Sidney Lumet. And, we also learn in this book, had she been so inclined she could have added other names to the list – including Howard Hughes and Frank Sinatra. Cooper says he set out on a career as a war correspondent because he wanted to see how people who had no advantages coped with sudden and profound loss. (He’s told the story of his early career in another book, Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival.) A significant portion of Vanderbilt’s confessions center on her difficult and mostly estranged relationship with her mother, the glamourous widow Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt. Cooper’s mother summarizes the humiliating custody battle and trial as her aunt Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney sued to make the child a ward of the court on the grounds her mother was unfit. (This story was widely publicized at the time and is a major episode in the daughter’s autobiography Once Upon a Time: A True Story and in Barbara Goldsmith’s biography, Little Gloria, Happy at Last, which was made into a TV miniseries.) Perhaps surprisingly, the staid “Aunt Ger” comes across in this account as the girl’s well-meaning benefactor and ardent protector, but never one who was demonstrative with her affections. Little Gloria was cherished by her nanny and her maternal grandmother, but she never really knew her father, Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt, who died from his alcoholism just a year after she was born. The main takeaway from Rainbow is clear from its stated intention, to have an intimate exchange with a loved one. As a generation of Boomers must face the challenges of caring for parents whose faculties may be diminishing, here is an example that it may not too late to talk frankly. As Cooper explains: "I know now that it’s never too late to change the relationships you have with someone important in your life: a parent, a child, a lover, a friend. All it takes is a willingness to be honest and shed your old skin, let go of the longstanding assumptions and slights you still cling to." But between the lines of The Rainbow Comes and Goes is another powerful truth, one so fundamental to the national debate in this election year. The Vanderbilts were the One Percenters of yesteryear. When Cooper’s great-grandfather Cornelius Vanderbilt II split the family inheritance with his brother William in the mid-nineteenth century, between them they controlled the largest personal fortune in the world. But by the standards of today’s multibillionaires, that money and its power have all but dissipated. As a society, we may fear the overweening influence of the rich and powerful. But, in America at least, their personal empires often don’t survive more than a few generations. Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt both learned how to reinvent themselves. It didn’t hurt that they were born in comfort. But their achievements and any happiness they’ve gained have come, not from their presumed advantages, but from personal resilience in the face of anguish.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I decided to read this book because the concept intrigued me - Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt, two such successful and well-known celebrities, son and mother, getting to know each other a little better through emails. I'm not much for reading autobiographies of celebrities (except for musicians and songwriters). This book sounded as if it would be different than the usual celebrity tell-all. It took me a couple of chapters to really warm up to their email chit-chat, and maybe that's becau I decided to read this book because the concept intrigued me - Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt, two such successful and well-known celebrities, son and mother, getting to know each other a little better through emails. I'm not much for reading autobiographies of celebrities (except for musicians and songwriters). This book sounded as if it would be different than the usual celebrity tell-all. It took me a couple of chapters to really warm up to their email chit-chat, and maybe that's because it was the same for them, a little tentative at first and then full-blown discussions of how each of their lives have unfolded and why. By the end of the book, I was thoroughly engrossed, as they exposed more of their feelings and joys and fears, and how their lives have been shaped by the events in their families. It was touching to read about things that Anderson Cooper only found out about his 91 year old mother through these emails. I know I'll never watch Anderson Cooper on TV again without trying to see behind those blue eyes and thinking about the things he shared regarding his own personality.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lubinka Dimitrova

    Hm... I not sure what to say about this book. For me, Gloria Vanderbilt evokes mixed feelings - I really admired what she was able to make of herself growing up under such dire circumstances. But I also wonder who could regard as a normal thing the fact that two months after the death of her deeply beloved husband she's back with her former husband, whom she left after suddenly falling in love with another man. Nevertheless, it's not my place to judge her, or anyone else, obviously. What I gaine Hm... I not sure what to say about this book. For me, Gloria Vanderbilt evokes mixed feelings - I really admired what she was able to make of herself growing up under such dire circumstances. But I also wonder who could regard as a normal thing the fact that two months after the death of her deeply beloved husband she's back with her former husband, whom she left after suddenly falling in love with another man. Nevertheless, it's not my place to judge her, or anyone else, obviously. What I gained from this book was hope. Hope that however screwed up your childhood might have been, it's up to you to make your life worth living. That it's never to late to make the best of your stay here on earth. That it doesn't matter whether you are a hopeless romantic or a dry pragmatist, you can achieve whatever you wish, as long as you truly put your mind to it. It's kind of heartening that in the end, people are really equal, and wealth is no guarantee that you'll grow up a normal person, with parents who care and love you. The most valuable lesson from this book, for me personally, is that it's never to late to forgive yourself and to accept the past for what it is - past.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    his book was first mentioned on Episode 064 of the Reading Envy Podcast by Tracy Landrith back in August 2016, but of course the recent death of Gloria Vanderbilt (and touching tribute by son Anderson Cooper on CNN) brought it back to mind. My longtime friend Kimberly read it and sent me an email about it, and wanting to discuss it with her I downloaded it from hoopla and my husband and I listened to it while driving around in the mountains on our anniversary. Gloria Vanderbilt undoubtedly has a his book was first mentioned on Episode 064 of the Reading Envy Podcast by Tracy Landrith back in August 2016, but of course the recent death of Gloria Vanderbilt (and touching tribute by son Anderson Cooper on CNN) brought it back to mind. My longtime friend Kimberly read it and sent me an email about it, and wanting to discuss it with her I downloaded it from hoopla and my husband and I listened to it while driving around in the mountains on our anniversary. Gloria Vanderbilt undoubtedly has a fascinating life that spans almost an entire century, her wealth and circle connecting her to many famous and influential people throughout her life. But due to painful losses in her childhood and an early abusive marriage she considers herself more of a self-made woman, a trait that she passed on to her son Anderson. The audio is basically the two of them reading emails they sent one another, much heavier on Gloria than Anderson (who is interviewing more than he is sharing.)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hank Stuever

    Fascinating, I thought. Details from a whole other world, past and present. I read this to go along with my Washington Post story about the Liz Garbus documentary for HBO, "Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper." Here's a link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entert... Fascinating, I thought. Details from a whole other world, past and present. I read this to go along with my Washington Post story about the Liz Garbus documentary for HBO, "Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper." Here's a link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entert...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vera Long

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I've been a fan of Anderson Cooper's for years and have read several biographies of Gloria Vanderbilt in the past, so the story was not new to me. What was new was the poignant mother-son interaction in such a detached medium as emails. Loved the last chapter, The Rainbow Comes and Goes, with each sharing their reflections on the ebbs and flows of life, meandering towards its inevitable conclusion. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I've been a fan of Anderson Cooper's for years and have read several biographies of Gloria Vanderbilt in the past, so the story was not new to me. What was new was the poignant mother-son interaction in such a detached medium as emails. Loved the last chapter, The Rainbow Comes and Goes, with each sharing their reflections on the ebbs and flows of life, meandering towards its inevitable conclusion.

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