As you might already know, I’m a big film nerd, and I love the old Hollywood classics. I also like to read the biographies of people who inspire me, or at least buy them so they can make my future bookshelf look interesting.
A year ago or so, I bought the biography of Sonja Henie, written by her brother Leif Henie and Raymond Strait.
“Queen of Ice, Queen of Shadows: The Unsuspected Life of Sonja Henie” is the original title, but the Norwegian title translates as “My Sister Sonja Henie – In her own shadow”.
The book has been standing there, unread, on my shelf until now. I have no idea why, but suddenly I just wanted to read it. And of course, reading about her Hollywood movies, the “Hollywood classics-nerd” in me got intrigued and purchased Sun Valley Serenade, which is said to be one of her best. And it also features Glenn Miller and his orchestra, which I’m even more excited to see!
The biography is open and honest, probably describing Sonja just as her brother Leif saw her. She didn’t make life easy for the people around her, and as the cover says, it’s sad that so much of her story should be so difficult to read about. But everything has it’s backside, and to rise like she did both in ice skating and in Hollywood requires quite a strong will and ambitious mind.
I’ve read a few negative reviews of the book because it’s so honest, and apparently “making her seem like a monster”. But personally I prefer the biographies that shows us what’s beneath the facade, even though it’s not always so pleasant to read about. Who wants to read about someone who’s all perfect??
I haven’t read the whole book yet (I’m not in the reading mode atm), but so far I think it seems like a believeable portrayal of her. She had a bad temper and a big ego, and knew how to make people do what she wanted them to. But she did work very hard to make her dreams come true, I’ll give her that.
I am looking forward to see her in this movie, especially her ice skating. Who knows, maybe I’ll go and buy more of her films after watching this one..?
She was Norwegian after all, and her films might make my movie collection a bit more interesting..