Amanda, Liz, Dan and Diana Welch grew up in the wealthy community of Bedford, N.Y., born to glamorous, successful parents. Then, a series of devastating losses upended their lives as kids: In 1983, their oil executive father was killed in a car accident, leaving a large debt behind, and their mother died of cancer 3½ years later.
In "The Kids Are All Right: A Memoir," each describes, with humility, candor and humor, what happened next. Dan became a hellion, and was eventually kicked out of boarding school. Amanda got into drugs and dropped out of New York University. A neighbor reconsidered adopting Diana after she reached her teens. Meanwhile, Liz traveled to free herself of all of it.
Does it feel that your life's become a catastrophe? Oh, it has to be for your to grow, boy. -"Take the Long Way Home," SUPERTRAMP
introduction Our mother died three times. We have the first death on tape, recorded the day it aired in 1976: Morgan Fairchild, wearing a trench coat and pale pink lip- gloss, shot her in the back. Over the past thirty years, we've each watched the tape several times, pulling it from dusty cardboard moving boxes and crossing our fingers it doesn't get eaten by the VCR. It's our only copy.
The scene opens with Morgan, as Jennifer Pace, hiding in a darkened hallway. Our mother, playing Eunice Wyatt on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow, is kissing actor Val Dufour good- bye at their apartment door. His square jaw and dimpled chin are powdered an orangey tan. As John Wyatt, Eunice's cheating husband, Val is dressed conservatively in a suit and tie, but we know him as the guy who once wore a kilt and a feather boa to our parents' annual Christmas party.
The music swells. Commercial break.