In Pieces by Sally Field

In Pieces by Sally Field
Publisher: Grand Central
Genre: Contemporary, Non-Fiction, Autobiography
Length: Full Length (417 pgs)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

In this intimate, haunting literary memoir and New York Times Notable Book of the year, an American icon tells her own story for the first time — about a challenging and lonely childhood, the craft that helped her find her voice, and a powerful emotional legacy that shaped her journey as a daughter and a mother.

One of the most celebrated, beloved, and enduring actors of our time, Sally Field has an infectious charm that has captivated the nation for more than five decades, beginning with her first TV role at the age of seventeen. From Gidget’s sweet-faced “girl next door” to the dazzling complexity of Sybil to the Academy Award-worthy ferocity and depth of Norma Rae and Mary Todd Lincoln, Field has stunned audiences time and time again with her artistic range and emotional acuity. Yet there is one character who always remained hidden: the shy and anxious little girl within.

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Haunting, beautiful and tragic.

I picked up this book because I’ve loved Sally Field since I saw her in Smokey and the Bandit. She’s been great in many films and my favorite role of hers has to be her portrayal of Mary Todd in Lincoln. Picking up this book and giving it a read made her seem more real. There’s a lot more to Sally Field than the simplistic image gleaned from her roles in family shows and movies.

She puts her heart and soul into this story—and she should. It’s hers. I couldn’t put the book down and being over four-hundred pages…that’s something. Her writing is like talking to a friend and telling stories. She is engaging.

My quibbles though have to do with how she handled things. I can completely understand her separation anxiety with her children. Many moms, me included, didn’t want to leave their kids with someone while they work. I get it. But she alternates between feeling guilty and demanding to have time to work. It’s relatable, even if a tiny bit irritating sometimes. The other quibble concerned how much she packed away. By that I mean, she went through some tough stuff. Things done to her, the way people acted…and she compartmentalized. It was almost like she didn’t want to deal so she left without leaving. Again, it irritated me and might be a trigger for some—she talks about abuse and sexual abuse—but it’s relatable. We’ve all been through some cruddy stuff.

When she talks about dealing with the death of her mother, then playing Mary Todd losing the president…it made me respect her more as a person and actress.

If you want a book that will make you think, laugh, cry and want to hug someone, then this is the book for you.

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