Did you ever see Matilda? What about Mrs. Doubtfire? How about Miracle on 34th Street? Mara Wilson starred in all of those movies as a young child in the early to mid 1990’s. Well, to no surprise she has since grown up (I hear humans do this sometimes). She hasn’t gone “crazy” or behaved in any way that would be deemed outrageously bad by the public like a lot of child stars seem to, although she did write 7 Reasons Child Stars Go Crazy (An Insider’s Perspective) – it’s pretty interesting, if you want to start there. She’s just living her life as a storyteller, writer and that sort of thing in New York City. She also seems very outspoken about her experiences living with OCD, anxiety and depression, and that’s great because mental health stigma sucks and one of the better ways to combat stigma is to talk about it positively.
But I’m not here to get into mental health stigma (much as I’d love to) because I could talk about that for a long time. I’ll just attach her Project UROK video at the bottom of this post.
Mara Wilson wrote a book; Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame. So, in case you didn’t know that you were reading a book review yet, that’s in fact what this blog post is supposed to be, so now you know. The book was published this past Tuesday (September 13, 2016) and I snapped it up really quickly and got to reading it. It is Mara’s autobiography about being a child star, her struggles with OCD, the loss of her mother and other things like going to school and dealing/interacting with other kids.
I really enjoyed reading Where Am I Now? for several reasons. The first being that I liked learning more about Mara’s life. I loved Mrs. Doubtfire and Miracle on 34th Street is my favourite Christmas movie, but those are characters and not the real person. Plus, the real person is an adult now and has much to say. For another reason, which ties in with the first, I think it is a powerful thing to be able to have a voice like Mara does and to have the courage and willingness to use it. She could have easily and very understandably decided that the impact of her mothers death, what it was like to be a child star, and what it’s like living with OCD was literally no one else’s business. No reasonable person could judge her for wishing to have privacy in those matters. But she chose to use her voice and I could see that having a positive impact on many people who also have their “things” and have role models telling them that it’s ok. Lastly, I just like learning about interesting people because humans can be a fascinating bunch.
It’s definitely a good read, that’s all I really have for a conclusion.
Title: Where Am I Now?
Author: Mara Wilson
Published: September 13, 2016
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Page count: 272
Genre: Autobiography, Memoir