In 1936, young Luise Rainer won the Academy Award for best actress. The following year she won it again. Then she walked away from it all. Hollywood was not sufficiently interested in perfection. But Luise certainly was. Just ask her daughter.
Born in New York to two-time Oscar legend Luise Rainer and famed publisher Robert Knittel, author Francesca Knittel’s life was one of privilege though marked by slalom: “Everything my mother did was laced with drama and salted with difficulties,” writes the author. “In my life, she was a tornado, a roller-coaster ride, a whirling windstorm. My father, with his strong sense of self, was able to weather my mother’s moods and tirades with silent calm. I grew up buffeted between the stormy sea that was my mother and the safe pasture that was my father.” The duplicity would define her life.
In a story that jet-sets from the villas of Europe to the mansions of Hollywood, Francesca Knittel reveals—with great charm and wit—what it was like to become an independent woman in the shadow of a mother who could never be pleased—or, worse, upstaged. This is a story of passion, of the thin line between love and hate, how our lives are shaped by the those who love us—and those who won’t, and of the importance of loyalty—regardless.
After two marriages and two beautiful daughters, Luisa and Nicole, she has settled on writing from her current home in La Quinta, California.