Solidly literate but gushy memoir from the actress known for her roles on Star Trek: Voyager and Orange Is the New Black.
Mulgrew recounts her rise from a bucolic Iowa upbringing to much-in-demand thespian on the New York stage to iconic TV roles on Ryan’s Hope and Voyager. The memoir immediately sets itself apart from most other actors’ life stories, as the author’s prose can occasionally be self-consciously lapidary, the overall effect of which can alternate between stuffiness and evocative elegance. Unlike the Sisyphean plight of 99 percent of aspiring actors and actresses, Mulgrew’s rise to prominence in the acting field in the 1970s seems comparatively less fraught. She studied with Stella Adler (who told her that it would “be so easy for you to take your eye off the prize and skate into Hollywood”) in New York ;for a short time and performed in a few amateur productions. She then strode confidently into the office of a talent agent, and the rest was history. By her early 20s, Mulgrew had assumed the high-profile role of Mary Ryan on the much-beloved TV soap Ryan’s Hope. But it was also around this time that she became pregnant with her first child; being young and wary of her burgeoning career, she gave her daughter up for adoption. It would prove to be a decision that would haunt her for years, even though she would go on to have other children. The author also plows methodically and somewhat coldly through the many romances and marriages that did not survive her busy career and mercurial lifestyle as a stage and TV actress. But while her career is reaching its peak with her portrayal of Capt. Kathryn Janeway on Voyager, she also closed an important and long chapter in her life when she was unexpectedly reunited with her adopted daughter.
Compellingly introspective and revealing, despite the tendency toward overwriting.