I’m going to get right to it. I loved this book. I loved it so, so, so much, I wish I could just carry around a stack of 10 or so and just hand them to people and say “read this, it’s amazing.” I have more coherent thoughts on this, if you’d like to read them, so click below for that.
For the uninitiated, Mara Wilson is a former child star who starred in Miracle on 34th Street, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Matilda. She has since grown up, but remains within the minds of the world as a young, precocious little girl. Her memoir details her childhood, growing into her identity, reflections on acting, and where she is now.
I’ve been following Wilson for a while online, through her blog Mara Wilson Writes Stuff, her play, Sheeple, and her twitter. Matilda left a massive impact on me as a kid (it’s still one of my favorite films) so even if I didn’t follow Wilson’s adult career, I still would have wanted to read this.
Mara outlines her early years, losing her mother, her relationship with her sister, the fall of her stardom and muses on her adult life up until this point. The memoir is broken up into essays that aren’t linear, which honestly, is how I remember my childhood, and I am infinitely grateful that she told her story this way.
What hit home for me, personally, was Mara’s reflections on her mental illness. Her reflection on reading a book written by a co-stars mother and realizing through that experience that she was experiencing OCD was profound, and I am so grateful that she shared this part of her life with the world.
Memoir is hard to write when you are young. Wilson is 29, and has lived through quite a bit in that amount of time. Her reflections on her childhood come as she is still figuring out who she is, the life she wants to lead, and the person she wants to be. But aren’t we all figuring that out, and continuing to figure that out, every day for the rest of our lives?
I loved reading this memoir. I’m grateful that I own it to read over and over again until the spine is torn and the cover is dirty. I love that I can open this up to one of the essays and see myself on the page. I really appreciate this book for all that it is. I strongly suggest you go read it, I think it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year.