Brooke Shields - Dutton / Penguin Audio - 2014
There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me is a somewhat gritty story of Brooke Shield's complicated relationship with her mother Teri. Teri who passed away in 2012 at the age of 79. One obituary notice about Brooke's mother was so filled with misinformation, that she felt it was important to set the record straight by writing this book.
Brooke describes her mother as an insecure, complicated woman who drank way too much. Teri was married only briefly to Brooke's father, who unlike Teri, came from a family who had money. Even after Brooke's parents were divorced, her father did take an active interest in his daughter's life.
Teri always envisioned a big, fabulous life in New York City and moved there in her early 20s from Newark, taking most any job that would allow her to meet interesting and powerful people, which included Brooke's father. As a child Brooke claims she was often left alone, and Teri drank a lot, she never talked about her feelings and kept her inner pain hidden. Teri loved being in the limelight whenever possible, and when people commented on what a beautiful baby Brooke was, she ran with the chance to get her baby involved in modeling and then acting. Brooke was just 11 months old when she began to model and later her mother encouraged her, at the age of 12, to play a child prostitute in the film Pretty Baby. Brooke more or less defended her mother's push for her with this film saying it was "mild" in comparison to movies filmed today.
Brooke also write about her second marriage to Chris Henchy, and the birth and mothering experience of their two daughters. I thought she sometimes came across as self-centered and in need of some soul searching. She mentions being jealous of one of her daughters, and tended to drone on about her mother being and alcoholic, and talking a bit about difficulties she has had with personal relationships.
The audio book was read by Brooke Shields, and I felt it was just okay. This story seemed way too long and it left me feeling sort of cold toward Brooke, whereas her earlier memoir, Down Came the Rain (2005), about her postpartum depression, really evoked some emotion. Overall -- this one was just okay.