Prather’s Pick: ‘In Pieces’ new memoir from Sally Field
When I read comments about voting for a mill levy to fund the Moffat County Libraries, I can’t help but think of the many county residents of all ages I meet up with at the Craig Library — and I use it a lot. We need the library!
When I browse the new book displays at the library looking for books to review, there are always other patrons there, too. People enjoy reading, and probably most of us cannot afford to buy all the books we read. This week’s column features a new memoir that might catch a library visitor’s eye.
“In Pieces” is a 2018 book by actor Sally Field. As the autobiography begins, Field is longing for her mother, who has passed away. Baa, the name given her mother by Field, promised her daughter she would haunt her after death. Now, she longs for her mother, because she wants “all the pieces to be put into place,” a wish she has had since childhood.
Field describes her childhood as lonely. She was always needing her mother, who she writes
was “maybe too consumed with her own evolving life” to recognize what her daughter needed. Whatever the case, Field was anxious — “a little stress case” with constant stomachaches no one could explain. She had problems making friends at school.
Margaret Morlan was a beautiful woman who was married to a soldier. She lived with her parents when her husband was away serving his country. During that time, Field’s brother, Ricky, was born. Then, in 1949, after her husband had returned and Sally had been born, Margaret (Baa) decided to divorce her husband.
Field’s mother signed a contract overnight with Paramount Studios and became an actress. She even studied with Charles Laughton and became a member of his acting company.
When Field was a little older than 4, Jocko came into their lives. Among other endeavors, he was a stunt man turned actor, and he became Sally’s stepfather. Baa and Jocko had a little girl they named Princess. However, life with Jocko wasn’t as wonderful as family photos in fan magazines suggested. Throughout her childhood and into her teens, Field was sexually abused by Jocko. It was a life of emotional turmoil, of “pieces.”
And yet, Field persevered. Beginning with “Gidget,”she portrayed the roles of women on both small and large screens, for which she received two Academy Awards and three Emmy Awards. She received other honors, too.
And yet — Field always needed her mother. This is a poignant memoir that is painful to read due to the raw emotion woven into it.
“In Pieces” is published by Grand Central Publishing and costs $29 in hardcover. You can also find it at the Craig branch of Moffat County Libraries.