Top critical review
Not the best Vivien bio out there
Reviewed in the United States on April 11, 2019
I'm a lifelong Vivien Leigh fan and I anxiously awaited this books release. I've read every Vivien Leigh biography and was really excited for this one, but unfortunately it was not the intimate portrait of Vivien Leigh it promised to be. The beginning was a brief summary of her early life, glossing over her early days on the stage and first marriage and then it dives obsessively into her time with Laurence Olivier. At this juncture, the book becomes more about Olivier than Leigh and this was very disappointing. The historical details and research are more about the British theater and The Who's Who of that era, not the details of Vivien's life. Many times the author is very vague about details of Vivien's life meanwhile obsessively laser focused on Olivier and his career. It's bad enough Vivien had his shadow in her actual life, but it was too much to take in her biography too.
The author clearly did extensive research and knows the theater in and out, BUT he really does not do Vivien justice. Some of his claims about her are questionable and unproven and at times I found myself wondering if he even respected her as an actress or person.
Alexander Walker's "Vivien" is a much better choice.