Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame by Mara Wilson | Book Review |

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Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame by Mara Wilson

For readers of Lena Dunham, Allie Brosh and Roxane Gay, this funny, poignant, daringly honest collection of personal essays introduces Mara Wilson—the former child actress best known for her starring roles in Matilda and Mrs Doubtfire—as a brilliant new chronicler of the experience that is growing up young and female.
 
Mara Wilson has always felt a little young and a little out of place: as the only child on a film set full of adults, the first daughter in a house full of boys, the sole clinically depressed member of the cheerleading squad, a valley girl in New York and a neurotic in California, and one of the few former child actors who has never been in jail or rehab. Tackling everything from how she first learned about sex on the set of Melrose Place, to losing her mother at a young age, to getting her first kiss (or was it kisses?) on a celebrity canoe trip, to not being “cute” enough to make it in Hollywood, these essays tell the story of one young woman’s journey from accidental fame to relative (but happy) obscurity. But they also illuminate a universal struggle: learning to accept yourself, and figuring out who you are and where you belong. Exquisitely crafted, revelatory, and full of the crack comic timing that has made Mara Wilson a sought-after live storyteller and Twitter star, Where Am I Now? introduces a witty, perceptive, and refreshingly candid new literary voice.


Published: September 2016
Publishers: Penguin Books

Pages: 259

Goodreads Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Review

I actually got this book an Audible because I didn't think that I would enjoy reading the physical book. I am not a huge fan of Audiobooks but I do recommend listening to Non-fiction books because it's a lot more enjoyable.

Mara Wilson was my childhood child actor, next to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson. I loved Matilda and Mrs Doubtfire, and it was always a curiosity as to where she went. This book basically answers that. I am not a child actor but visioning being a child actor was completely different than I thought it would be. 

Mara Wilson had done a lot of enjoyable things, working alongside Robin Williams and Danny Devitto but it was when she left the Hollywood, it seemed that her life was a lot harder. There is a chapter in the book where she was part of a show choir, she wanted to do it because her friends did, but as the years went by it really wasn't for her. This chapter surprised me, she had a friend at show choir who Mara thought she was her friend but became one of the meanest person throughout her final years at show choir.

There are two chapters that I loved the most. One was a letter to Matilda, Matilda was one of Mara's favourite characters to play and the chapter was about how much the character meant to her, how much it meant for her mother and how much the character meant to play her. Mara struggled to aways be remembered as 'the girl from Matilda' she would often get recognised on the street and wished that she wasn't. She talked about how much she loved being on set of Matilda and that Danny Devito and his wife were pretty much like family.   

Another chapter I really loved was her essay about Robin Williams (Link to the blog post here), in the chapter before it was her receiving the news about Robin and how he died made her feel really sad and not understanding why he took his life. The essay is about what she remembered about him and how she didn't know how shy he was to people, she recounts a story of how she saw him again when she was at NYU and how different he seemed than what she remembered. The chapter itself made me want to grab the tissues.  

Mara is a fantastic writer, her memory of her time making films, felt as if you were part of the journey. I am looking forward to reading more works by Mara because I would love to know what she is doing next.

Hope you are having a lovely day 

XX

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