I love Alan Cumming. I don’t know exactly when or where he entered my life but I have always had affection for the Scotsman. When I discovered that he had written a memoir and that it was well received I decided to add it to my list of summer reads memoirs. Summer is officially underway (I just finished working my first week of summer camp) and I have listened to Mr. Cumming tell us a series of stories about his life.
Cumming does not aim to tell the whole of his life story, or even the story of his fame. Instead, he recounts the events of the summer of 2010 while he was filming an episode for the British version of the television show Who Do You Think You Are. I admit, I’m a sucker for this show, but have only seen its American cousin. He agrees to be a part of the show in order to answer a question for his mother whom he simply adores. You see, her father died under suspicious circumstances in Malaysia when he was 35 years old. In the lead up to his taking part in the show, Alan’s own estranged father, fearing what might be uncovered about his own connection to Alan, hits him with news that is completely unexpected and must be dealt with immediately.
Interspersed with the stories of Alan’s relationship with his father and his hunt for information about his maternal grandfather he takes us back and forth along the timeline of his life from growing up in Scotland to his early career, his first marriage, and his life with his husband. There is a lot that Cumming is working through and we’re better for taking the time to listen.
This book was read and reviewed as part of the charitable Cannonball Read.