Book of the Week 4/21/14


On the heels of British personality Peaches Geldof’s unexpected passing at age 25, fascination for her late mother Paula Yates is once again in the spotlight. We learn the true story of Yates in Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Wild and Wicked World of Paula Yates’ Mother (John Blake, 2006), written by Paula’s mother Helene Thorton.

Big Girls Don’t Cry takes us from Yates’ early days as a lonely girl to one of Britain’s best-loved and misunderstood celebrities. Thorton’s memoir is intense, explosive, and straight to the point; nothing is sugar coated or glossed over in this book. Helene and Paula’s relationship was far from perfect, but there was no question unconditional mother-daughter love remained beneath the surface.

Thorton’s wit also shines through in her writing as she details Paula’s happier days and gives a brutally honest account of Paula’s birth father after keeping the secret for 37 years. Paula’s marriage to Sir Bob Geldof and relationship with the late Michael Hutchence are also outlined in Big Girls Don’t Cry in addition to Paula’s tragic 2000 death.

Big Girls Don’t Cry sets many records straight in candid and definitive settings, not exactly a book one could pass off as light reading. I found myself liking both women despite never hearing of them prior to reading about Peaches’ death. This book is a definite not-miss even eight years after its initial publication.


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