BREAKING THE SILENCE by Mariette with Anne Commire Hartley
Kirkus Star

BREAKING THE SILENCE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Like Suzanne Somers' Keeping Secrets (1987), this celebrity memoir of growing up in a family severely disturbed by alcoholism is moving and strong, although, unlike Somers, Emmy-winning actress Hartley has credited cowriting assistance (from Commire, a Connecticut playwright) Hartley grew up in an arty, affluent Connecticut town, granddaughter of John B. Watson, the quirky psychology professor who founded behaviorism and believed that excessive touching and attachment between parent and child was destructive to the child's character. Consequently, Mariette's mother was unable to give her own daughter much warmth or support. Hartley's father was an ad executive whose alcoholism left him a vague and melancholy dreamer and finally a near-catatonic. Meanwhile, Mariette's involvement in acting distracted her from her family misery for a time--while still in high school, she became a protÉgÉ of Eva LeGallienne, and then went on to Hollywood, where she launched a promising career. But her personal life was in desperate shape. She married a shady, paranoid man who beat her, and began drinking to numb herself to his abuse. Then her father's suicide shocked her into entering therapy and embarking on a hard road of self. discovery that finally led to the happy marriage and sustaining family life she now enjoys in addition to her professional success. Tart humor, a magnanimous heart, and a winning sense of the ridiculous distinguish this addition to the swelling canon on addiction, codependency, and family dysfunction.

Pub Date: Oct. 3rd, 1990
ISBN: 0615316948
Publisher: Putnam