California Girl Miss USA 1959
Terry Huntingdon Tydings
Outskirts Press (2013)
Reviewed by Christine Watson for Reader Views (12/13)
“California Girl” by Terry Huntingdon Tydings is a very interesting book about the life and experiences of a pageant girl and model. I enjoyed learning about her experiences during her year as the reigning Miss U.S.A., and the ups and downs that came with the crown.
The author shares some very personal experiences she had throughout the whirlwind year of being Miss U.S.A. I was fascinated to learn about how her life changed quite dramatically overnight and the attention brought to her by winning the Miss California title and then quickly after, the Miss U.S.A. title. The spotlight was suddenly upon her and the suitors came in droves to be close to her. She seemed to keep an open mind, but made smart decisions regarding whom to trust. It was refreshing to see her focused on keeping her values intact amid much temptation.
Ms. Tydings claims to be a bit of a closed person, not used to sharing her emotions and feelings with others. That was her family culture growing up, and once she was put in the spotlight, everyone wanted to know everything about her, making it difficult for her to share her personal feelings with the public. I would have liked to have had her share more of her emotions and feelings about her experiences shared in the book. While the facts and stories she shares are very interesting, sometimes they just ended, leaving me feeling a bit unfulfilled. I found myself wanting more details because her experiences were extraordinary.
I recommend Terry Huntingdon Tydings’ “California Girl” to anyone looking for an honest story about a pageant winner and her life during her reign. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about Ms. Tydings’ experiences and hope to read more from her.