“My mother found strength in her anger. All her life she had to be strong. Her parents had been in and out of the hospital most of their lives- my grandfather for diabetes and bipolar disorder and my grandmother for chronic malingering- and she had been expected to care for her three younger siblings. The times she wasn’t babysitting, she was studying, managing to secure a scholarship at Northwestern University. She valued nothing more than being tough and smart, and she was determined her children would be, too. When I was three she wrote “Mara: Tiny But Tough!” in fabric paint on a sweatshirt for me. I have been trying to live up to it for my entire life.”
As you can imagine, being a child actor can be tough. Mara Wilson takes us behind the scenes in her book Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame but she does it with humor. She explores what it was like to be an actress while dealing with her mother's death, her OCD and anxiety disorder- all while going through puberty in front of the whole entire world.
The book is a compilation of the most memorable moments in Wilson’s life, and she writes it well. She talks about the first time she learned about sex, her first experiences with death, her relationship with her younger sister, her experiences with OCD, the time she joined choir and had to deal with mean girls and how she chose her eventual career path. The storytelling is really vivid and entertaining. I found myself smiling while reading many of the stories, even though many of the topics she covered were heavy. Her stories are hopeful and charming.
As I mentioned, the book chronicles her mental health journey from the time she was young to the time she eventually got treatment and support. She was really candid with her experiences, which might be helpful for anyone struggling with their mental health or trying to support someone who is struggling.
Wilson also talks about her decision to quit acting. I thought this was a really great subject because sometimes we continue on with something that isn’t good for us just out of obligation. She really explores how she came to this decision and how she felt after the fact. It might be the push you need to change things up.
Overall I think this is a great book, it’s entertaining and there is a lesson in it for everyone. Check it out!