Rating:

Reviewed by M.L. McFall

The cover of I’m Just Sayin’! says a great deal about Kim Zimmer who played Reva Lewis Shayne on The Guiding Light, a CBS soap opera. Since I was a fan of this soap, reading Kim’s breezy memoir was a hoot. The tone of this book is just what you’d expect, especially if you are familiar with the character she played. Blonde (most of the time), brassy (nearly all of the time), and blunt (absolutely). If you’re looking for a quick, fun read, this is it.

Kim Zimmer is above all an actress, and she talks about how she got started in the business as a young child. She takes us through her high school drama training, her college drama lessons, then to a California acting school. She gains experience mainly in stage drama, and doesn’t have any notions of working on daytime television even after moving to New York. She gives lots of kudos to her husband, A.C., for his support and understanding and exchanging of roles in raising their children over the years. She eventually auditions for a job on a soap, lands the job, but doesn’t stay with that soap.

Her details of her eventual audition and securing the role of Reva (which she felt was made for her) was told with great sincerity. She expresses her gratitude to the many people who helped her get roles and who mentored her acting career. She never dishes any dirt about her cast mates on TGL, but she hints at one actress who had a proclivity for married men. She doesn’t name the actress, darn it. Her male leads she maintains she loved to pieces, but only in a professional way. As to her many Emmy nominations and her eventual wins, well, she expresses surprise about a couple of the wins and more surprise about the times she didn’t win.

It was fun to read about some of the characters Reva became on many episodes I missed. The clone who died, the Amish girl in a time warp, and then her later roles when she pushed Josh (her favorite husband and soul mate according to her fans) away when she (and Kim herself) went through menopause. She relates in all honesty about the last few years of the soap, her part in its demise (her drinking to just get through a tough time on the show), and her outspoken (too much so, she says) criticism of the producers of the show in its later years.

The middle section of the book is graced with color photos of Kim, her family and her friends and the cast of The Guiding Light. The photos show Kim as the kind of woman you’d want as a friend.

Change in life is inevitable and unfortunately for The Guiding Light, that change was not for the better. When producers decided to film “outdoors”, the show was dealt its final blow. The lighting was grossly intimate and unflattering to the actors, and the sound and lighting—well, it was terrible, and Kim said so in so many words. The soap will be missed by many who viewed the actors and the characters they played as extended family. Don’t miss this look back at Kim/Reva and bask in her light for a good read.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

M.L. McFall is a retired teacher, professional massage therapist, customer service/research at Omega Books in Peachtree City, Georgia, and the author of Passports to Change, currently out of print.

A review copy was provided free of any obligation by Penguin Group. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.