7 books you must read if you love Audrey Hepburn
My torrid love affair with Audrey Hepburn began when I was 2 years old. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother because both my parents worked. Like Melissa Hellstern says in "How to be Lovely", a grandmother is the best teacher a little girl can have. My own grandmother was not an exception to this.
We used to watch movies togerher. The Wizard of Oz was an instant favorite. The Sound of the Music enchanted be with its magic, too. But My Fair Lady had something special. Something different. I became enamoured with the girl that sold flowers in Tottenham Court Road. I would watch the movie over and over again, and I'd never tire (my grandmother and my parents, however, did). I was a toddler, and yet I had already decided who would be my favourite actress, role model and inspiration for the rest of my life.
When I was old enough to ask questions, I learnt that Audrey had passed away in January 1993, eight months after I was born. We existed in the same time and space briefly, and that is something that brings me an odd sense of happiness and comfort every time I think about it.
My mother told me that Audrey had spent the last years of her life doing humanitarian work and fighting for children's rights. I became interested in her other films, her life, her career, and in her as a person. My curiosity about Audrey was endless. My thirst for information never sated. Hers was the first name I searched when we got internet at our home, and I would spend several hours trying to find every and any scrap of information that existed about her, my unsung hero. My mother always encouraged this, and she would do the impossible to help me get my hands on other movies Audrey had been in, which in Argentina were impossible to find at the time.
I was 14 the first time I bought a book about Audrey. I had to order it from a bookshop in Spain, and it was worth the small fortune I paid for it (it wasn't actually expensive, but remember I was 14 at the time. I didn't have a job, I just had the savings of a secondary school student, and I spent them all on that book).
I was allowed to miss school the day the book arrived. I spent all that day reading from its pages, handling it with the upmost care. An obsession was born that Thursday afternoon. An addiction of sorts. Every book about Audrey, every single thing written about her and printed on paper, I had to have them all.
Eleven years have passed since I bought my first book about Audrey Hepburn. I am now the proud of owner of her entire movie collection, and the books about her I've purchased in this time are enough to fill two long rows in my bookshelf. Some I got in Argentina, some I ordered online from bookshops in Europe and the US, some I bought personally when I travelled abroad. Here I've put together a sellection of my personal favourite, the ones I recommend the most if you, like me, are absolutely in love with the woman that she was and will always be (even long after she's gone).
Did these books satisfy my curiosity about Audrey Hepburn? The answer I have for this question is ambiguous, at best. Yes, I have learned a lot about who she was- her life, her family, her childhood in Europe, the stories behind the scenes, her love affairs, the happiness and the suffering. But my curiosity will never be satisfied in its entirety. I will always want to know more, and there will always be a new book I'll be aching to get my hands on.
I guess that when it comes to Audrey Hepburn, I will always be that 14 year old girl asking her mother if she could skip school to stay at home and read a book about her very first role model.