My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Published by Penguin, 2016
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.
I am a huge fan of celebrity memoirs; I know this is not a particularly cool thing to admit, but I enjoy them a whole lot, especially on audiobook read by the author. This memoir by Mara Wilson was no exception: it is wonderfully honest, lovely, and was just an altogether nice reading experience. I personally did not grow up watching Matilda, as such I do not have a personal connection to Mara Wilson. But I follow her on Twitter and find her online presence really lovely, which was enough for me when I was looking for a new audiobook to listen to.
In her memoir, Mara Wilson writes both about her career as a child star and about her struggles with OCD – the latter of which I appreciated a whole lot. Her honesty was really great and I think is important to change the way we think and talk about mental illness. She also writes about her grief for her mother, who died really young and whose influence can be felt throughout this book – her mother seems to have been a wonderful person and Mara’s loss can be felt greatly.
One of my favourite essays in this book was her essay on Robin Williams, written shortly after his death. Here her empathy shines really bright and it brought me to tears.
Altogether I really appreciated this book and if you are looking for a lovely audiobook, this one might just be for you.