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Ah, Kate Gosselin. She’s come so far, from the overwhelmed wife and mom of twins who wanted “just one more” baby but got 6 — to now, when she’s divorced, made over to the point that she’s hardly recognizable as her former self, and fighting to find another platform to make money.
During the transformation, Kate went from being mostly liked to being a hugely polarizing figure. She still has some fans out there, but for the most part she’s looked upon negatively today.
As the Gosselin saga unfolded, Kate’s generally nasty personality and attention-grabbing antics were noted all over the internet. Rumors swirled that someone was writing a “tell all” book about her.
Well, the book is out, and it is Kate Gosselin: How She Fooled the World. I was anxious to read the book, having heard quite a bit about it, and I bought the Kindle version.
This is a difficult book to review. The author, Robert Hoffman, was a celeb magazine reporter assigned to the Gosselin family, so he has had quite a bit of access to them (especially Jon, who’s apparently a friend or at least acquaintance of his). The book is huge, at over 700 pages. It’s mostly not written in a narrative style, but more as a data dump: tons of Kate’s journal entries. Tons of tweets by Kate, grouped by topic. I found it interesting, since I’m fascinated by the whole Gosselin tale, but if you’re not, I can’t imagine wading through all this.
What did I learn? A few new assertions. One, that Kate had purposely set out to have sextuplets, and that she had possibly even adjusted the timing/amount of fertility drugs she was taking to increase her chances. It was interesting, although disheartening, to watch her descent from Christian, churchgoing mom to someone who actively worked to book speaking appearances at churches and take in thousands of dollars from them, playing poor while in her real life she had stopped going to church almost entirely and was far from needy anymore.
She allegedly treats her kids and dogs very badly — once leaving one of the dogs outside whimpering in the cold all night while mocking it through a glass door. Another time, leaving one of her boys outside without a coat in sub-freezing temps as punishment for some infraction.
Since her kids’ arrival (and possibly even earlier), she is all about the freebies. Apparently she wrote to Gymboree when the sextuplets were born, writing “if there is a way my children could be a help in marketing your clothing lines, we’re all for it!” An incident is noted of her shopping at a Gymboree store, realizing that a gift card Gymboree had given her had run out, and calling from the store to see if they could load more money onto it.
Sometimes, the book veers into the petty: criticizing Kate for typos and misspellings (which comes across badly as this book is full of them from the author as well). Kate is also criticized for wrapping the kids’ Christmas gifts in plain paper. Sorry, but although I fault her for many things, I’ll give her a pass on wrapping paper choice.
So, a long, winding look at a rather nasty personality. Can you think of another way you’d rather spend 700+ pages of reading?
I didn’t think so 🙂