Friday, 26 February 2016

Book Review: Just Julie by Julie Goodyear

For twenty-five years, Julie Goodyear became part of everyone's family when she played Bet Lynch, the loveable brassy barmaid of the Rovers Return in Coronation Street.  

Julie's father walked out on the family soon after her birth, so, she was brought up by her mother and stepfather. At just thirteen, Julie had to deal with her beloved grandmother's death when she was found in a canal. Julie fell pregnant at sixteen, marrying Ray Sutcliffe. The marriage lasted three years. 

In 1966, Julie made a six-week appearance in Coronation Street as Bet Lynch from Elliston's Raincoat Factory, a role which made her Britain's best-loved barmaid. In 1996, she was awarded an OBE. Julie's much anticipated autobiography reveals, for the first time and with incredible candour, the truth, sadness and spirit behind this larger than life woman.

My Review:
It was horrific about her experience of having a baby with that bitch of a nurse humiliating and assaulting her. That seriously evil witch should never have been in charge of a ward, causing fear and misery, mistreating patients and babies alike. I'd never read anything like it! Having to crawl around the floor under the beds to sneak some time with her own child? Being abandoned after the delivery and left untreated and having to be rescued later by a doctor? Our NHS now has problems at times but I seriously hope that things like this are not happening. Julie was (reluctantly) married at the time yet was abused for being 'that sort of girl' who would amount to nothing. I think my favourite part of the book was when Julie sees that nurse again on a ward at the height of her Corrie fame...!

Julie is open about her bisexual relationships throughout the book and this was common knowledge in the media through her career so I knew about some of what she had to say. I was pretty shocked when her partner of four years decided to abandon her on the eve of her cancer surgery, only to come back after it was all over and expecting to pick up where they left off. Nice woman that! The time you need the support of your loved ones is times of stress and illness and I know myself what it feels like to be abandoned. I really felt for Julie. It was also horrible to see the way the press behaved when her mother was dying, trying to get a photo of the poor woman. To have these lowlifes yelling through the letterbox to give them the photo so they could all go home was shocking, but not a great surprise.

I don't actually remember the fraud trial that Julie had to endure. What is it they say, no good deed goes unpunished? Well that was certainly true here. Julie wanted to see better screening for cancer and was raising money through a charity set up in her name. When people involved in the charity were accused of fraud, she was dragged into it. Despite it being obvious that she had done nothing wrong, it was when when Julie found out who her true friends were. Close friends vanished when she was accused and then crawled back a year later when she was cleared. Yeah it's always lovely to have friends that shaft you like that.

There is also good humour in the book, like the time that she was trying to knee Denis Thatcher in the privates at a Downing Street party for touching her breast! In fact, Julie tells her story with a lot of humour and emotion which makes it a really good read. I'd recommend it for Corrie fans and those who like a good memoir.
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

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