Lucky Me: My Life With - And Without - My Mom, Shirley MacLaine by Sachi Parker with Frederick Stroppel
|Lucky Me: My Life With - And Without - My Mom, Shirley MacLaine by Sachi Parker with Frederick Stroppel|
|Reviewer: Ceri Padley|
|Summary: The daughter of Shirley MacLaine gives a fascinating account of what life was really like as the only child of a Hollywood legend. Truly eye-opening and a definite must-read.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 368||Date: June 2013|
|Publisher: Gotham Books|
Born in Los Angeles, raised in Tokyo, and schooled across Europe, Sachi Parker had already lead an eventful life before she turned 18. Add to the mix a secretive father with an explosive temper and a Hollywood icon for a mother and you have enough stories to fill a book.
And that's exactly what she's done.
Lucky Me chronicles Sachi's adventurous and often unhinged life, beginning at the age of 2 when her mother, screen legend Shirley MacLaine, put her on a plane to Japan to go and live with her father. Attending schools in Tokyo and being raised mostly by her Japanese governess while her father enjoyed the perks of having a long-distance open marriage, her summers were spent on star-studded film sets with her mother in sunny L.A.
You could almost begin to feel envious at the incredible and diverse start to Parker's life, getting the opportunity to experience different cultures at such a young age. However, Sachi's quick to point out how lonely and confusing the majority of it was as she fought for her father's attention on a daily basis in spite of his continuous battles with a drinking problem and the seemingly relentless emotional and sexual abuse he threw her way.
The same occurs as Parker gets older. Entering into adolescence, she's sent to boarding schools all across Europe and takes us through tales that could rival the likes of Dickens and Bronte. When home for the holidays, Sachi's often either entirely forgotten about or caught in the webs of psychological torment that her parents continue to spin.
As she's left to 'make it on her own' when she reaches adulthood, Parker drifts from country to country, experiencing a wide range of interesting jobs and fascinating stories. Along the way, she even gathers together a kind of surrogate family made up of the various characters she meets and shares her life with.
However, it's not long before the looming shadow of her parents and their very public lives begins to catch up with her, as new revelations about their relationship - involving aliens, spies, and the US government – surface. Thrown back into a black hole of personal battles and lies, Sachi struggles to find her identity while battling the tumultuous and often confusing family life that she's been given.
As with all memoirs and autobiographies, you have to take this with a grain of salt. As you might expect from someone coming from a famous family, Sachi Parker has led an extraordinarily exciting life full of stories and tales you'd be thrilled to hear about. And while Shirley MacLaine has never made a secret of her personal life and become quite famous for sharing her new age beliefs in her own books, it's always interesting to see a new side of a such a public figure.
Lucky Me is a fascinating read from start to finish. Parker's stories, when away from her family, are truly gripping, especially for those who enjoy reading about different parts of the world.
Her focus on her family – namely her famous mother and her overbearing father – however, is a rollercoaster ride in itself. While it's no secret that children of Hollywood legends live a different life to most and are exposed to the crazy world of showbusiness from an early age, Parker paints her parents in a light that, at times, could be described as incredible.
Her descriptions of being neglected and left alone in different countries around the world, being locked up in hotel rooms and forced to go hungry, being banned from reading and then called an idiot, all at the hands of her parents, could rival Christina Crawford's Mommie Dearest.
Even when Parker reaches adulthood and moves to California to be closer to her mother, the mother-daughter relationship is strained at best.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that this is just a book about how MacLaine chose to focus on her career over her family. However, stories that follow of sabotage and jealousy leave little to the imagination and it is clear that while Parker never comes right out and attacks her mother, she doesn't leave room for the reader to form an unbiased opinion.
While I'm always a sceptical and cautious reader when it comes to memoirs – particularly those written about famous people by friends or family – Lucky Me is in fact a good read. Each paragraph will leave your jaw dropping as each twist and turn of the author's life becomes more and more captivating. Whether you choose to believe some of Parker's stories or not, every one of them is truly a page turner. Definitely worth a buy!
Similar autobiographical books you might enjoy are Lady Blue Eyes: My Life With Frank Sinatra by Barbara Sinatra and You Are Not Alone: Michael Through A Brother's Eyes by Jermaine Jackson.
You can read more book reviews or buy Lucky Me: My Life With - And Without - My Mom, Shirley MacLaine by Sachi Parker with Frederick Stroppel at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Lucky Me: My Life With - And Without - My Mom, Shirley MacLaine by Sachi Parker with Frederick Stroppel at Amazon.com.
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