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Although I'm not actually a massive fan of Kym Marsh I like reading autobiographies in general but I love reading autobiographies of showbiz type people. Also, being a fan of Coronation St and reality shows I have followed Kym's career since she began.
I thought this was a really good book, it was very honest, and due to the nature of a lot of difficulties she's had in her life, quite upsetting at times. It was interesting to read about her childhood and early adult life as it really painted a strong picture of how tight money was back then. She was a mother of two by the time she was 21 and evidently struggled with life as a single mother as she split up from her partner Dave not long after her daughter was born.
It went into detail about her time on Popstars which was good to read about as I remember the tv series so well. It also talked about how she got the role on Corrie as well. It was always a dream of hers to appear in the soap and you can feel the sense of pride she has now that she is a main character in the show.
I did find it hard to read about all of her struggles with pregnancies. She really did go through a lot and you could tell how hard it was for her to write it all down. It was brave of her to go into such detail and not gloss over the facts. It was nice that she could end the book on a positive note now that she has her daughter Polly. A good book to read, especially if you're a Corrie fan!
This is available from Amazon for just over £11.
Despite only being in her mid-thirties, Kym Marsh has lived enough to write an autobiography which seems to have plenty to say. Her 345-page hardback book From The Heart is a really good read and one I finished in just a few days and thoroughly enjoyed.
I first saw Kym when she was on the reality talent show Popstars back in 2000. I thought she was lovely and had a great voice. Sure enough, she was in the winning five members who formed the group Hear'say and got a number one single with their debut song Pure and Simple. I took two of my daughters to see Hear'say in concert and they were really good. The highlight of the evening for me was when Kym sang a solo which was so beautiful, it moved me to tears.
But Hear'say didn't last and in 2002, Kym left the band. Reading From The Heart, I realised this was the first time I had heard much about the background behind the break-up and had a chance to hear Kym's side, so it was an interesting read and she comes across very well, happy to realise her own part in the problems they had and not being particularly bitchy about her band mates.
All the way through the book, it comes across that Kym is really lovely, but not some perfect goddess trying to show a facade. Whether the issues are personal or professional, she tries to put across a balanced view and to see how she could have acted differently to improve the situation.
Kym writes about her family and her childhood, dwelling for quite a while on the bullying she suffered at school and her eating disorder which ensued. She then became a teenage mum and describes how she was struggling to support her kids on benefits, before her lucky break in 2000. Although this meant her financial worries were eased for a time, she then had to cope with being apart from her son and daughter who were up north with her parents, while Kym was in London with the rest of Hear'say.
Around this time in her life, there are some issues surrounding her children, which she can't go into detail about due to legal restrictions. While this is understandable, it does make slightly annoying reading as if you keep finding a page with text censored. It also disrupted the flow of the text for me, as I was happily reading it then would find yet another sentence along the lines of "I'd like to tell you why, but can't, due to legal reasons." This is probably my only quibble with the book overall though.
Kym writes about her relationship with EastEnders actor Jack Ryder and her current partner, Hollyoaks actor Jamie Lomas. She also explains very movingly about her difficult pregnancies which resulted in her son Archie being born prematurely and dying at birth in 2009. She goes on to have a healthy daughter Polly in 2011, so the book ends on a positive and optimistic note, but any woman in early or mid-pregnancy may wish to avoid reading this book until late pregnancy or after birth. Kym really had to struggle throughout Polly's pregnancy too, as she nearly lost her several times and this is a scary reminder of the times when pregnancy can be anything but straight-forward and easy. You really have to admire her bravery as well as her honesty in sharing these experiences through her autobiography.
Since 2006, Kym has played Michelle Connor in Coronation Street. I remember when she first appeared in the role and how I was surprised how good she was and what a natural actress. Once she had left Hear'say and her solo career had seemed very brief, I hadn't seen much of her, unless she was in a magazine with Jack Ryder or something about her personal life. From The Heart fills in the gaps very well, as we learn about her acting career on stage and television, as the parts become bigger and she gets more recognition for her talent. She is now a well-loved and established Corrie character and has hopefully proved she can act as well as sing.
There are two sections of photos included in the book and these begin from her being a baby and a young girl through to her having her own children, Popstars and Hear'say, her acting work, award ceremonies and relationships. The last couple of photos are of Kym and Jamie with their daughter Polly.
Overall, I was very impressed with this book, as it looks great and was a really interesting read without much of the bitching or 'kiss and tell' type controversies of some other books in this genre. Despite her youth, Kym has done enough to warrant an autobiography and this didn't feel at all padded, which is a criticism often levelled at autobiographies written by those under fifty.
The hardback edition was published in June 2011 and has a cover price of £16.99, but I bought it from Amazon UK, where it is currently available for £9.33. You can buy a Kindle edition for £8.99 or wait for the paperback to come out in May 2012.