13. A Paper Life by Tatum O’Neal (2004)
Length: 285 pages
Started: 19 July 2009
Finished: 22 July 2009
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 June 2009
Why do I have it? I like non-fiction and Tatum O’Neal is a new author for me.
Tatum Beatrice O’Neal is the oldest of Ryan O’Neal’s four children. As the child of Ryan and his first wife – the actress Joanna Moore – she and her brother Griffin, and their half-brothers Patrick and Redmond have grown up in the limelight. Her acting career started early as she often co-starred opposite her father in some of the best-known films of the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Yet behind the glittering facade of Tatum’s very public life lay her very private pain. A life full of heartbreak: abandonment, abuse and neglect. Her mother – the actress Joanna Moore – was a struggling alcoholic and drug addict, and drifted in and out of her daughter’s life. Her father – raising both Tatum and her brother Griffin – grew increasingly punitive and distant from his children as time passed. By her late teens, Tatum – despite being a working actress with ten movies to her credit – had nevertheless begun a perilous slide into self-destruction.
Then, just before she turned twenty-one, Tatum met the man who would become her husband: the legendary tennis player, John McEnroe. The couple had three children together – but their eight-year marriage was a turbulent one – and led to one of the messiest high-profile divorces on record. With the subsequent demise of her marriage, Tatum very nearly succumbed to the demons of her past. She has since emerged from the darkness – living a clean and sober lifestyle – rediscovering herself as an actress, a mother, and a wonderfully vibrant woman in what she considers the prime of her life.
A Paper Life is a story of indomitable strength and courage: telling the life story of Tatum O’Neal – one of Hollywood’s brightest, yet troubled young stars. Her story is deeply personal yet unflinchingly honest, poignantly funny, and unfailingly uplifting. This is a triumphant tale steeped in Hollywood lore – and is an inspiring testament to the healing power of love.
I must say that I have always enjoyed reading autobiographies about movie stars, and Tatum O’Neal’s autobiography was no exception. I really enjoyed reading this book, and was happy to learn that she was continuing to stay strong in her sobriety. This was truly an inspirational story, although I would certainly agree that Tatum holds nothing back about her various relationships. I give this book an A+!
That being said, I was saddened to learn that in June of 2008 she was in trouble with the law again. I wish her all the best for the future, and hope that she can strengthen her relationship with her father.