A year or so ago I won a copy of In Pieces during Cannonball Bingo. I was mildly pleased, as I like Sally Field and I like memoirs. I wasn’t excited enough to start reading it immediately, and in fact it took me a long time to read this, as I read it in fits and starts–mostly early in the morning on lazy weekends. Luckily, it’s an easy book to pick up again without forgetting what was happening when you left off.
If you read In Pieces looking for juicy gossip from decades in Hollywood, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Other than her love affair with Burt Reynolds, there’s almost nothing in here that would constitute gossip. The book mostly covers her life from birth up until the release of Norma Rae in 1979, and is incredibly, intensely personal. I don’t give a lot of books 5 stars, but In Pieces is a wonderful book. It hits a lot of beats that may be expected in celebrity memoirs–a difficult, traumatic childhood, struggles to break through into the big time, setbacks, and eventual success–but it does so in a way that is incredibly moving. By the time I finished reading it I was in tears. Field’s writing is so vulnerable, and I found myself empathizing with her more than I thought I would (of course, it’s Sally Field, she’s not hard to root for). She’s also honest about her own shortcomings, something I found refreshing in a memoir. This book must have been incredibly difficult to write–the chapters about her childhood are difficult to read, but I really did enjoy it quite a bit, and I’m glad I read it.