Jada Yuan of New York Magazine and Vulture.com reports on newly released book titles and the world of publishing in "The Book Reader."
We know Brooke Shields as the 14-year-old model who caused controversy by saying she’d let nothing get between her and her Calvin Klein jeans.
Or perhaps you know her as the teenage star of The Blue Lagoon in 1980. Or as the ex-wife of tennis star Andre Agassi. Or as the mother who spoke out about the medication she’d taken to combat postpartum depression and suffered the wrath of Scientologist Tom Cruise.
The identity Shields herself, now 49, seems to embrace the most, though, is that of a devoted daughter. Her complex and fascinating relationship with her alcoholic mother, Teri, who started Brooke’s modeling career at 11 months old in an Ivory Soap ad, is the lens of her new memoir, “There Was A Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me.”
Shields writes about being naked on the set of Louis Malle’s Pretty Baby, in which she played a child prostitute at age 12, with her mom drifting between staunch protectiveness and slipping off to get a drink. Brooke staged an intervention for Teri when she was in high school, but was too naïve to understand the double entendre of her Calvin Klein tag line. As Shields grows up and tries to break free, the stories get even juicier, and her attachment to her mother even more painful to witness.
I can’t speak to other celebrity memoirs, since I don’t often read them. Nor can I tell you how this compares to the 2006 memoir Shields wrote about her postpartum depression. But Shields is a raw, honest, and often beautiful writer here.
“There Was A Little Girl” is something far beyond a juicy Hollywood tell-all—though there is plenty of that. It taps into something universal about children forced to parent their parents, and Shields’s unwavering love and bottomless forgiveness for her mother is both inspiring and heartbreaking.