Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and
Me" by Brooke Shields; Dutton (416 pages, $26.95)
child stars, Brooke Shields has a survivor status that
could rival hip-hop’s 50 Cent: a possessive, alcoholic
mother, postpartum depression, a struggle for serious
recognition, and a failed marriage to Andre Agassi.
chronicles it all in her new memoir, "There Once
was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and
Me." As the title suggests, she did it with the
help of "momanager" Teri Shields.
from humble beginnings in Newark, N.J., Theresa Schmon
becomes a New York bon vivant, landing Brooke’s
well-to-do father, Frank Shields. Brooke Shields’
first modeling job as an Ivory Snow baby leads her into
film, most notably the controversial "Pretty
Baby," in which she played a 12-year-old
prostitute, and "The Blue Lagoon," about the
sexual coming of age of a boy and girl shipwrecked on a
tropical island. Shields says her mother’s famous
quote "Fortunately, Brooke was at an age where she
couldn’t talk back" was typical of Teri Shields’
dark humor, but through the book you wonder whether
there was more than a little truth to it.
tells the story of a relationship that had elements of
devotion and dysfunction, of Sundays at church and
knowing which bars to find her mother in. At 13, Shields
stages an intervention, with her mother saying, "I’m
only doing this for you, Brooke." Shields would be
well into her 20s before she broke free.
Brooke seeks new management after her Princeton
graduation, Teri accuses her of "divorcing"
Teri never finds permanent sobriety and the two never
have true closure before Teri drifts into dementia and
dies in 2012.
416 pages, the book can be tedious with its theme of
alcohol and co-dependency, but if you are a fan or have
struggled to love a parent with a dark side, you might
find something to relate to.