Actress and author of the New York Times best seller Down Came the Rain, Brooke Shields, explores her relationship with her unforgettable mother, Teri, in her new memoir.
Brooke Shields never had what anyone would consider an ordinary life. She was raised by her Newark-tough single mom, Teri, a woman who loved the world of show business and was often a media sensation all by herself. Brooke's iconic modeling career began by chance when she was only 11 months old, and Teri's skills as both Brooke's mother and manager were formidable. But in private she was troubled and drinking heavily.
As Brooke became an adult the pair made choices and sacrifices that would affect their relationship forever. And when Brooke's own daughters were born she found that her experience as a mother was shaped in every way by the woman who raised her. But despite the many ups and downs, Brooke was by Teri's side when she died in 2012, a loving daughter until the end.
Only Brooke knows the truth of the remarkable, difficult, complicated woman who was her mother. And now, in an honest, open memoir about her life growing up, Brooke will reveal stories and feelings that are relatable to anyone who has been a mother or daughter.
©2014 Brooke Shields (P)2014 Penguin
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"Wow - a heart touching listen!"
I definitely appreciate hearing Brooke's voice read this. I know I heard her voice crack with emotion during the intro, at a part where I teared up myself instantly as she shared a raw emotion I could relate to.
Regardless of Brooke's celebrity or fame, I felt like a friend was sharing her experience of losing her mom with me, like you would over coffee. You can tell some of her family stories are very "practiced" and have a life of their own, but that in itself is one of the key points she brings up in order to bring her her mom to life in words.
I recently lost my mom about 2 years ago, and also have experienced addiction/alcohol issues in the setting of a white collar "looking good/feeling bad" family. I could totally relate and listen to Brooke's progression back to sanity as she was immersed in the craziness. If you don't have a sense of identity or compassion in living with alcoholism, this book might not ring any bells for you. But if you know that ride, then her story reminds us again that no one is exempt from alcohol's effects and we are each on our own journey to keep our heads up above the waves, famous or not. There were quite a few comments Brooke shared that made me draw my breath in quickly, as she captured things I had felt and thought privately myself. The backstory of her filming experiences and life make for some lively distractions from the obvious elephant of the complex mother-daughter relationship. I thank her for this brave, honest listen!
"Interesting, but sounds a little entitled at times"
I had heard years ago that Brooke Sheilds had fired her mother as her manager and that her mom was the typical show biz mother... It was interesting to read Brooke's side of it and how she saw her mother.. They had a loving, yet very difficult relationship, mostly because of her mom's drinking.. I can relate to many of the conflicts she faced, as my mom is also very difficult.. Brooke's mother eventually developed dementia.. I can also relate to that, as both of my parents have different forms of the disease.. My heart broke for her in many parts of the book. It's well written and very well performed.. She sounds like your typical bossy only/oldest child at times, and I'm sure her mom probably very much resented a child telling her what to do.. and there's a little air of entitlement here and there that kind of turned me off... For that I took off one star, but overall, interesting story.
"Poignant story of a very complex relationship"
Yes! This relationship was so different than that portrayed by the media. Funny at times, quite sad at others, really worth a read if you are interested in mother-daughter relationships, Brooke Shields, or the impact of alcoholism.
I enjoyed listening to her tell her own story.
I am sad that this couldn't be a better review. I'll start out with the good: it is a really good story about Teri Shields; she was a character! She wasn't the stage mom she was made out to be and other than her issues with alcohol, it sounds like she really did her best for Brooke. Unfortunately, the adult Brooke comes across as very self-centered and constantly put out by her ailing mother.
The bad: Brooke's writing is unnecessarily verbose. The first few chapters are really good, but by the time she gets to the Pretty Baby era, the writing becomes overloaded in minutiae that is irrelevant. The book should have been heavily edited to delete all the unnecessary information.
The worst was the narration. Brooke's voice goes up and down with odd inflection and her pauses are put in random parts of sentences. It's a case where someone else should have narrated this book.
"Surprisingly open and down to earth"
I always thought of Brooke as this model and movie star who was above the population. If people read this, they would be amazed how normal and real she is. I was floored she was on all these magazines, yet her mother made her shop at thrift stores for all their clothing. The relationship between them is the real story, which is very complex. Brook does a very good job of balancing her feelings without making her mother a complete villain.
"Did Brooke meet her objective? I am not so sure..."
Brooke started off the book saying that she wanted the present a better portrait of her mother to counter the object of ridicule that was often presented in the press. The first part of the book was sweet - a daughter presenting a likeable mother she admires. I have never dealt close up with an alcoholic and I can only imagine the struggle and disappointment it was for Brooke growing up and I admire her efforts to help her mother earlier on. Later on in her adulthood, even after she must have realized that alcoholism is a disease, she did not treat her mother well. Granted she may have been frustrated that her mother did not see her drinking as a problem but that is a part of the pathology. Long story short, I feel that Terri Shields end up coming off as much more likeable and sympathetic than Brooke. Brooke's poor treatment of Terri and her sometimes selfishness and slight narcissism bled through, unintentionally I imagine. Nevertheless, this is a good enough book since whether or not you like the characters is not the measure of a good book.
"A Love Story with a Bitter Twist"
I have listened to Brooke Shield's book about postpartum depression and it was informative and interesting. This book "There Was a Little Girl" is an equally interesting account of the complex relationship of Brooke and her mother, Teri, a chronic alcoholic. Brooke does a great job recounting her mother's early years in New York, the circumstances surrounding her parents brief marriage and the events which led to Brooke's early years in the entertainment industry.
As the book progresses, Brooke spends too much time focused on herself. She comes off as selfish, spoiled, slightly delusional and self entitled. The story glosses over Brooke's marriage to and divorce from Andre Agassi, the finer points of Brooke's split from her mother and the years of Teri's mental decline.Some of Brooke's self absorbed reflections are cringe worthy. Did she actually mean to show herself as cruel to her mother? I doubt it but that is definitely what comes across. It seemed like once Brooke no longer needed her mother, Teri was shoved to the embarrassment corner and left to fend for herself.Something is broken in the adult Brooke.
The book is about 20% too long and the story needed a good editor to remove repetition but overall an interesting light weight listen for aficionados of celebrity biographical literature.
"Wonderfully told life stories"
Brooke was the perfect choice for telling the story..she's the only one who lived it and can express the real and raw emotions throughout her long, successfull career and sometimes crazy life! Loved it!
"Mother Dearest (No Sarcasm)"
Within top ten. I found it interesting and thoughtful.
Motherhood is hard. Teri was dealing with alcoholism and being a single mom. I think she did the best she could. I am glad that Brook shows love for her mother despite the negative things.
She was as honest as she could be about her mom....then she followed through and spoke of her daughters and her relationship with them. I connected on a certain level and hope that my daughter can see me in the same light as Brook sees her mom. She deals with her mom's imperfections but loves her all the same. Even standing ready to defend her.
Yes. Toward the end especially...seeing what Brook took from her relationship with her mom and applied it to her relationship with her girls. I was deeply touched.
Thank you Brook for the peek into your world. I happily read your version of your life with your mother. I feel it helps me look at my relationship with my daughter in a new light. Thank you.
A beautifully sad story. I have now read 2 of Brooke's books and I feel she could be my friend who was telling me events that happened to her. So perfect... If only...
God be with you Brooke and I pray you allow Him to help you though this time and the rest of you and your family's life.
I hope to be able to write about my beautiful mom and her ugly disease.
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