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A Full House of Growing Pains: A Hollywood Mother's Journey    by Barbara Cameron order for
Full House of Growing Pains
by Barbara Cameron
Order:  USA  Can
Bridge-Logos, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Barbara Cameron started her adventure as a mother just as most people do. She married Robert, a math teacher, and the two had four children (Kirk, Bridgette, Melissa, and Candace) in fairly close succession. Money was tight, and their marriage wasn't ideal, but it was decent. Though Robert was emotionally distant with Barbara, their family and spending time together was extremely important. On a whim, Barbara took her friend Fran up on her offer to have Barbara's children meet with her son's Hollywood agent, Iris. Iris took Kirk on as a client, and later took on Candace.

This initial meeting started rounds of auditions, commercials and, later, opportunities for long-running television shows for both kids. Barbara became their manager, and the adventures were whirlwind. Kirk took the role as Mike Seaver on Growing Pains and Candace took the role of DJ Tanner on Full House. The two literally grew up on their respective television series, and Barbara provides her insider's view of the world of a television mom.

But Barbara's marriage was not as ideal as the careers of her two children. She became more and more disenchanted with her relationship with Robert, and began making plans to leave him for someone else. The results of this changed her entire life and future and are a second focus of her book.

Barbara's writing style is simple and easy to follow and read. Her journey emotionally makes her a real person, with whom readers immediately feel a connection. It is clear that Barbara is not an untouchable Hollywood mother, but has experienced her own struggles and is transparent enough to share them with others.

There is a spiritual message in the book. Ray Comfort has been a tremendous influence on their entire family, and their testimony to their Christian beliefs is quite evident. If you were a fan of these television shows as I was (and still am) you will delight in this great behind-the-scenes story about the lives of some of our favorite characters from their mother's point of view. A Full House of Growing Pains is a wonderful, touching memoir, and would make an excellent gift.

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