Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame by Mara Wilson
Star rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars
Summary: Now an adult, Mara Wilson (of Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire fame) reflects on her life as a child star.
Reasons for picking this book: I wanted to read a book actually categorized as an autobiography rather than a memoir which I mean the lines between the two are kinda fuzzy but.. I had attempted to read Theodore Roosevelt’s autobiography and gave up 40 pages in. I eventually want to read it but I did not have the patience for it right now. I remembered I won this book from a Goodreads giveaway so I picked it up to start reading and immediately got engrossed in it.
Review: I received an advance uncorrected proof of this book from a Goodreads giveaway.
Mara Wilson has definitely proven herself to be an excellent storyteller and writer. I was completely captivated from the moment I picked the book up. I marked up the book with so many great passages. Wilson drops so many truth bombs in her book and provides many great stories of her life.
Where Am I Now? is a smart, raw and honest look into Mara Wilson’s life. I admit I didn’t know much of anything about her before reading this book. I feel I learned a lot about her from this book, and while I wasn’t a child star there was a lot of this book that I could relate to.
Wilson talks a lot about being an awkward person that is just trying to fit in/find their place in the world. I’m sure there a lot of people to who that strikes a chord and it did for me. Like when she writes about wanting to fit in with a crowd of girls that were mean and cliquey. I read that chapter about trying to impress the cool, older girl who turned around and hurt her the same way she was mean to the other more popular girls. I had similar experience in my teens so every moment of that chapter was like deja vu for me. I was glad that Wilson pointed out that the girls who scare her are the ones who see every other girl as competition and try to other themselves from “other girls”. Which is so true, I’ve found that the girls who claim they’re “different from other girls” and that they can’t have girl friends because “girls are too much drama” are the ones who are the catalyst of all the drama.
I also really related to Wilson’s struggle with mental health. I really appreciate that celebrities seem to be much more open now about their mental health, normalizing it and raising awareness. I felt a connection to her as she wrote about trying to get her parents to understand she actually had an issue. I was glad she wrote about intrusive thoughts, it wasn’t until a year or two ago that I actually had a name to put to these random thoughts that invade my brain.
Wilson’s letter to Matilda that she wrote was very moving. I wasn’t a very big fan of the movie Matilda, I think I watched it once as a child but I still liked this part of the book a lot. She’s most known for this role and it has followed her for her entire life, it’s defined her. I was glad to read in this section that Danny DeVito seems to be a pretty great guy, makes me feel good about all the Danny DeVito memes I reblog.
The lose of her mother was tough to read about, I can’t even imagine losing your mother that young. Plus being in the spotlight during her death couldn’t have made any of it easy. Reading the book you could tell that her mother’s death made a definite impact on her whole life.
This was an excellent book and I had an easy time being able to connect with this book. Mara Wilson is an amazing writer and I look forward to reading any future books she may write.
Recommendation: This book is great, Mara Wilson writes wonderfully and draws the reader into her memoir. I don’t enjoy non-fiction often so I think whether you’re a fan of the genre or not you will enjoy this book.
Up next: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – a political memoir