Friday, 26 February 2016

Book Review: Pulling Myself Together by Denise Welch

One of our most popular actresses, Denise Welch got her television break in the BBC's Spender opposite Jimmy Nail and followed it by achieving success in ITVs worldwide hit drama Soldier Soldier. She really became a household name when she took on the role of Rovers Return landlady Natalie Barnes in Coronation Street. Today she stars in the award-winning drama Waterloo Road and is a regular on the hugely popular Loose Women, where her warmth and honesty have won the nation's hearts.

But even as her career was taking off, Denise was hiding a secret—that she was suffering from a crippling post natal depression so severe that she was at times suicidal. As she concealed her heartbreak on the set of Coronation Street, she turned to alcohol and drugs to cope. She even had an affair that threatened her marriage.

Now she reveals for the first time the full details of her battle with depression and alcoholism, how she fought back and, helped by the love of her husband Tim Healy, turned her life around. Powerful and moving, Pulling Myself Together is ultimately an uplifting book that will appeal to her many fans old and new.

My Review:
This was a well written and interesting book which didn't pull any punches and was full of the worst of her behaviour. It seems that some people were shocked by the book because of its content but for me, there is no point in a celebrity biography that misses out the embarrassing or contraversial things. I want to read the full story, not edited highlights. This book certainly provides a lot of detail.

I used to watch Family Affairs and thought that David Easter was seriously hot but Denise is blunt about her destructive relationship with him. I try not to judge when I've only read one half of the story but if what she says is true, I would not have wanted to be in her shoes. She claims that he was a possessive bully and a serial cheat, all of which he has since denied. Her second husband Tim Healy seems to have been the polar opposite and Denise took a long time to really warm to him. He sounds like a decent bloke for the most part.

Denise talks about her battles with depression, which I could very much relate to and I am so grateful that I never went down the road of feeling suicidal. Quite a few of her doctors could have done with a good slap for the way they treated her. Thankfully, healthcare has improved a lot since her treatment and more help is available for depression now. She talks also about her drug taking which I had less sympathy for and her battle with alcohol.

She talks also about her varied career-Byker Grove, Grease stage show, Spender, Soldier Soldier, Coronation Street and Loose Women. How she was able to perform so well in these shows with all her problems is beyond me. The other thing I found interesting was the jealousy shown to her by Robson Green when Simon Cowell was looking to offer her a record deal after seeing her sing on Soldier Soldier. Robson obviously didn't like the idea of anyone stealing his thunder and Simon had to withdraw his offer when Robson threw a tantrum about it.

Interesting book.
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