Sally Field took her time delivering her tell-most (quite a number of years and productions are not referenced) tale of her massive television and cinematic career. It was a seven year journey to deliver In Pieces, during which time she took a long and difficult look at herself, putting the pieces together, both for herself and the reader.
Starting with a detailed background of the core women of her formative years: her Great-Grandmother, Grandmother, aunts, and her mother who was a cinematic actress as well, Field relates the detail of these women’s lives and strives to find meaning in her own life under their influence.
From the darkest days of her childhood, in a home (several, in fact) that was influenced by Hollywood desire and the actions of her father and step-father, we pick up the pieces that she pulls together, upon reflection, and follow her path to the career that would define her for the next five decades.
From Gidget to The Flying Nun, Sybil to Smokey and the Bandit, through to her personal struggle to convince Steven Spielberg that she was Mary Todd in Lincoln, Field guides us through the career highlights that made her a household name and an Academy Award winning actress.
Within all of the Hollywood talk is the more personal shame that she still carries to this day of the broken marriages, the children left at home while she worked, and her continuing see-saw relationship with her mother.
Her most prominent and, some have said, pertinent relationship was that with the now late Burt Reynolds. While this was a defining moment for Field, personally lifting her out of the emotional quagmire she’d allowed herself to sink in, it is not the core of the book’s drive. If that is what you seek, you will be somewhat satisfied, but ultimately left wanting.
In Pieces is Sally Field’s way of addressing to herself the truth of her being – emotionally and professionally – and the reader can easily see why it took seven years to put the pieces together.
Reviewed by Glen Christie
Distributed by: Simon & Schuster Australia
Released: October 2018
Rating out of 10: 8