Review: Ethel Merman, Mother Teresa . . . and Me by Tony Cointreau

ethel mermanEthel Merman, Mother Teresa . . . and Me
written by Tony Cointreau
published by Prospecta Press

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: The publicist asked if I would be interested in reviewing this book. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: 
I seem to be making a habit of reading memoirs written by famous people I’ve never heard of, but I liked it just the same.  Cointreau’s book is thought-provoking and lovely:  he writes about his dark moments with poise, his bright moments with humility, and his in-between moments with a charming respect for the world around him.  Cointreau may not have motivated me to head to Calcutta or volunteer for hospice care, but he’s certainly motivated me to snuggle my son a bit more tightly.

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Would I recommend it: Sure!

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About the book – from Goodreads: 
How many people can count among their closest friends Ethel Merman (the Queen of Broadway), Mother Teresa (beatified by the Vatican in October, 2003), Lee Lehman, (wife of Robert Lehman, head of Lehman Brothers), Pierre Cardin (legendary couturier and major show-business force in Europe), and many others?

Well, Tony Cointreau, a scion of the French liqueur family, can. After a successful international singing career, and several years on the Cointreau board of directors, he felt a need for something more meaningful in his life. His voice had taken him to the stage, and his heart took him to Calcutta. Tony’s childhood experiences with an emotionally remote mother, an angry bullying brother, a cold and unprotective Swiss nurse, and a sexually predatory schoolteacher left him convinced that the only way to be loved is to be perfect. This led him on a lifelong quest for love and for a mother figure.

His first “other mother” was the internationally acclaimed beauty Lee Lehman. Then, after Tony met the iconic Broadway diva Ethel Merman, she became his mentor and second “other mother.” His memoir describes in detail his intimate family relationships with both women, as well as his years of work and friendship with Mother Teresa, his last “other mother.”

Tony’s memoir voices his opinion that he had no special gifts or talents to bring to Mother Teresa’s work and that if he could do it, then anyone could do it. In the end, all that really matters is a willingness to share even a small part of oneself with other

About the author: Tony Cointreau, author of Ethel Merman, Mother Teresa . . . and Me: My Improbable Journey from Chateaux in France to the Slums of Calcutta, christened Jacques-Henri Robert Mercier-Cointreau, is an heir to the French liqueur family. Although Tony served on the Cointreau board of directors for several years, his voice took him to the stage and his heart took him to Calcutta.

After a successful international singing career and several years on the Cointreau board of directors, he felt a need for something more meaningful in his life.

Tony’s childhood experiences with an emotionally remote mother, an angry bullying brother, a cold and unprotective Swiss nurse, and a sexually predatory schoolteacher left him convinced that the only way to be loved is to be perfect. This led him on a lifelong quest for unconditional love and for a mother figure.

His first “other mother” was the internationally acclaimed beauty Lee Lehman. Then the iconic Broadway diva Ethel Merman became his mentor and second “other mother.” His memoir describes his close family relationships with both women, as well as his years of work and friendship with Mother Teresa, his last “other mother.”

Tony believes that he had no special gifts or talents to bring to Mother Teresa’s work and that if he could do it, then anyone could do it. All that really matters is a willingness to share even a small part of oneself with others.

For more information please visit http://tonycointreau.com

 

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  1. […]  for an honest review. Did I enjoy this book: I’m on the fence. It reminds me a lot of Tony Cointreau’s memoir, but I feel differently about the two. I spent the first half of the book sifting through the usual […]