BOOK REVIEW: Behind her Smile by Beverly Golden Cuevas
Book Title: Behind Her Smile: The Adventures of a Tall Girl from WVA and Her Life as a Stewardess by Beverly Golden Cuevas
Category: Adult Non-Fiction (18+), 392 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Publisher: Urlink Print & Media, LLC
Release date: August 2023
Content Rating: PG. Suitable for adult audiences.
Being raised in Parkersburg,WVA, Janie didn't have big aspirations for her life. Tired of her dead-end job at the phone company her best friend suggested she interview to become a Stewardess. Fearful she would be rejected because of her height; she was shocked when she was accepted. A whole new world opened up to her. Seeing places she had only read about, spending time with politicians, movie stars and professional athletes. One special athlete, a professional basketball player named Wendell Ladner stole her heart with his southern charm. An extraordinary 'connection' with Elvis Presley allowed her the unique experience to spend 'one on one' time with him and remain in touch until his passing. You'll share with her the challenges of marrying someone so different from her upbringing and coping with attempts to try and fit in. Behind Her Smile reveals a devastating event that deeply affected Beverly and made her reexamine her life and what she truly wanted out of it.
I have always
wanted to be a stewardess; I think the job would be fun (or not so fun in the
age of COVID and bad behavior) and you’d get to see the world as part of your job!
How cool would that be? I honestly have no idea why I’ve never actually given
it a thought outside of my mom being adamant I was going to college between
18-22. I did that and marriage felt like the right next step, and it didn’t
seem possible. Maybe it will be my post higher education career? Regardless, I have
digressed and appreciate your sticking with me.
Due to my
curiosity of what the life of a stewardess was really like, I jumped at the
chance to read and review this book. Another thing I know about myself is that
I often romanticize things that are anything but. I enjoyed Janie’s backstory; it
gave her story depth and helped me connect as well as identify with her. I was
also drawn to her because my family, minus me, worked for the phone company,
and I understood the culture. I like that the story begins in small town Parkersburg,
WV and ends with one awe inspiring career lasting decades.
Like any adult,
Janie faces various peaks and valleys through her life. The good news is, she’s
also preserved through them and has the strength to meet almost anything head
on. Throughout the book we meet many fascinating and powerful people
(politicians, athletes, musicians, etc.) but who would have thought she would
be friends with the King of Rock n’ Roll himself, Elvis Presley.
What I loved
most was how candid she was about her life. The good, the bad, and the ugly and
did so with humor and grace. I am always intrigued to read about life through
the eyes of others as it helps me to see all the commonalities between humans regardless
of our backgrounds. I also thoroughly the photos and meeting her family, her
first love, and high school besties. This is one of the best memoirs I’ve read
in a long time. I hope to read more from this author!
Beverly Golden Cuevas was born Beverly Jane Golden in Ironton, Ohio in 1945. She spent the first 10 years of her life in Parkersburg, West Virginia with her family. Her father had a job opportunity in Columbus, Ohio in 1955 so away they went. Beverly started working at the age of 14 to contribute to her family finances. She graduated Columbus North High School in 1963. She moved on to work at the Ohio Bell Telephone Company after graduation. In 1965, on the dare of her best friend she went to an interview to be a Stewardess for American Airlines. American hired her and she started her flying career in New York, then commuting from Tulsa, Oklahoma to her Dallas base. She flew both domestic and international. During her career, she never received a bad passenger letter. In 1977, she was 1 of 12 Flight Attendants selected out of 16,000 to participate in a highly coveted special assignment to work at the prestigious American Airlines Golf Classic. Her flying career ended on December 1, 2001 after 35 years. Beverly now lives in Dallas, Texas. She has been married to her wonderful husband Randy for 43 years. She has two sons, Joshua and Kaleb. She is a loving wife and mother, never missing a baseball game or school talent show, in spite of her flying schedule! Mimi is blessed to pass on her knowledge and love of life to her grandchildren Eden, Elijah, Ellie, Logan and Holly.
connect with the author: goodreads