IN PIECES by Sally Field

IN PIECES

BUY NOW FROM
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A beloved actor attempts to assemble her fragmented past.

In her debut memoir, Field (b. 1946) takes to the page to explore her early life and storied acting career; she also pens an extended love letter to her mother, who died in 2011, on the author’s 65th birthday. Described by the author as “drop-your-jaw beautiful,” Margaret Morlan was discovered by a Paramount talent scout while sitting in a Pasadena Playhouse audience and instantly got a career at age 23. Affectionately called “Baa” by Field, Morlan never achieved anywhere near her eldest daughter’s screen credits, but she played a central role throughout Field’s life as both a peerless champion of and “backup generator” to her daughter’s burgeoning talents. Baa was also a complicated source of great psychological trauma, as she failed to protect her daughter from the sexual advances of her stepfather, stuntman Jock Mahoney. While the memoir details the rapid progression of Field’s childhood interest in acting to on-screen success in TV (from Gidget and The Flying Nun to winning the Emmy for Sybil in 1977) and film (for Norma Rae, she won “every award for best actress that existed in the United States”), Field’s narrative of her professional and personal achievements may be best viewed through the lens of her fraught relationship with Baa. “My cherished mother had known…something,” she writes. “What exactly that was, I didn’t want to hear, because even at that time, when I was middle-aged, I couldn’t bear the idea that she hadn’t run to my side….I had accepted the idea that I was broken in an effort to keep my mother whole.” Through acting, Field found a way to constitute herself: “By standing in Norma’s shoes, I felt my own feet. If I could play her, I could be me.”

Brimming with open introspection, engaging anecdotes, and gorgeous photographs, Field’s moving account sheds light on how playing larger-than-life figures has enabled her to keep her feet on the ground.

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5387-6302-5
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Review Posted Online:




10 READS EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT :

NonfictionTHE LIBRARY BOOK by Susan Orlean
by Susan Orlean
NonfictionHEAVY by Kiese Laymon
by Kiese Laymon
FictionAN ABSOLUTELY REMARKABLE THING by Hank Green
by Hank Green
NonfictionGOOD AND MAD by Rebecca Traister
by Rebecca Traister

OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for I AM HUMAN
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for THE NEXT PERSON YOU MEET IN HEAVEN
VERDICT:
SKIP IT
Cover art for MUSE OF NIGHTMARES
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for TO SHAKE THE SLEEPING SELF
VERDICT:
SKIP IT

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionHER AGAIN by Michael Schulman
by Michael Schulman
NonfictionMY SQUIRREL DAYS by Ellie Kemper
by Ellie Kemper
NonfictionIN SUCH GOOD COMPANY by Carol Burnett
by Carol Burnett