Category Archives: Beaver Country Day

Beaver Graduation

“At graduation, after the diplomas were handed out, my class sang the Beatles song ‘In My Life.’  I’m sure that to the faculty or other students it seemed an appropriate choice of a song for a group of people whose lives were about to change forever, and who had happy times to look back on, but to me, it sounded like a dirge.

Mother, decked out in one of her Chanel suits, took my picture in my white cap and gown beside Robbie in the pretty, tree-lined courtyard in front of the school, where the Beaver graduations always took place.”

from Chapter Eleven, Smoke and Mirrors

Happy Return to the Scene of the Crime

I had a wonderful time at my old school, Beaver Country Day in Boston, talking to a number of classes of students in the theater and then reading and signing books for alumni in the afternoon.

People who knew me then frequently say that they had no idea what kind of craziness was going on in my life (although my mother’s arrest at my sister’s Beaver graduation kind of opened a window).  Mostly that was because I was afraid to let anyone know.  As I say in the book, covering it up was my full-time job.  

But kids like the students I met at Beaver are eager to know and ask lots of questions about how I survived — I suspect because some of them are going through their own difficult times.  One of the reasons I wrote the book was that I was hoping young people would read it and know that they’re not alone and don’t have to be alone.  


With my incredibly brave sister, Robin, co-heroine of Chanel making her first return to Beaver since the cops showed up.


Scene of the Crime

It’s strange to find myself in Boston on Mother’s Day weekend.  I’m speaking to students and alumni at my old high school Beaver Country Day (scene of Mother’s arrest at my sister’s graduation).

And look what I found:

My old self, Wendy Rea, dreaming of Broadway.   And despite everything, ten years later that’s where I ended up in the Heidi Chronicles.  I talked to the students about Chanel and surviving a homelife I’d tried to conceal.  I think it’s important for kids, for people, who may think they’re alone in that situation to know that they’re not and that they can come through it and achieve what they hope to achieve.


From Chanel Bonfire

My mother did finish her book, “Somebody Turn Off the Wind Machine” and it was optioned by Columbia Pictures by the famous fellow (and his daughter) in this photo. Sadly, the film was never made. Can anyone guess who was attached to play my mother? Think hot in the 80’s. Go!


Four Stars from People, people!
And I’ll keep posting this offer periodically: If your book club is reading Chanel, I’d be happy to schedule a Skype Q & A with you!  If you all are having coffee or tea, I’ll have coffee or tea on my end!  Cocktails?  Cocktails!