Sally Field Stands Tall For Women

Her New Memoir Puts It All Out There

Sally Field cares what people think about her. That whole “You like me” bit at the Oscars 35 years ago? It’s legit. All she’s ever wanted is approval, especially from men. I know this because I just spent 400 pages unpacking her mommy and daddy issues in her memoir In Pieces. The book, which plays out like an extended cut of a Barbara Walters special, cuts right to the chase about her dysfunctional upbringing. Her mom never gave her the love she needed, routinely choosing vodka over her children. Her dad was kind of a sad guy, too. But it was her stepfather Jock Mahoney who caused the worst damage. God, what a piece of garbage. And given our girl’s tendency to please, this set forth a toxic pattern of acquiescing to controlling men that would continue for decades to come.

Though she doesn’t spill too much tea about the famous men in her life, she does offer up a few nuggets here and there. The Monkees were complete douches. Toward the end of his life, Burt Reynolds really regretted blowing it with Fields. But this book reveals him as the dick-swinging narcissist we all expected him to be. Fields should consider herself lucky to have escaped The Bandit’s orbit. On the other hand, The Dude himself, Jeff Bridges, was charming and “wonderfully alive.”

Also notable is the amount of #metoo shenanigans she put up with over her career. She goes there—albeit fairly safely. The men she calls out are either dead or too old to put up much of a fight. But better late than never, and you have to hand it to her for putting it on the table. Not many women in her generation have gone there. But I like it. Really like it.

In Pieces, by Sally Field

(Hatchette, 2018)

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Melissa Bertolino

Melissa Bertolino has worked as an advertising copywriter for nearly two decades and knows more about insurance and real estate than any person should. Her work has appeared in Scary Mommy, The What, The Fort Worth Star Telegram, The Arizona Republic, and various literary and industry publications.

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