- What if Judy's loving father had lived longer? (He died in 1935)
- What if her mother hadn't started giving her those pills to keep her going?
- What if her first husband hadn't agreed with her mother and encouraged her to have an abortion?
- What if Judy had gone to Broadway in the mid-forties as had been her ambition?
Those are four of many 'what ifs' that popped up during my reading of this biography. Clarke's detailed interviews with his various sources have produced a text that is well informed but not over-saturated with information. Where one example of Judy's behaviour - or behaviour towards Judy - will suffice he doesn't clutter up his book with two. What we're left with is a concise and, I think, representative biography that finds the person behind the star as well as anybody could hope to.
I won't lie - on occasion I wanted more information on some scenarios and people she was acquainted with but, all in all, this book was very good, quite possibly excellent. It shows Judy the trouper, Judy the vulnerable, Judy the mother and doesn't gloss over the bad bits. However, the message I came out with was that Judy loved singing, loved entertaining, loved her audience. I just think it's remarkable that forty two years after her death people still love her with the same intensity they did when she appeared on screen. That's some legacy.