Book Review: In Pieces by Sally Field

Genre: Memoir, Nonfiction

Published: September 2018

Pages: 416


In Pieces is the perfect title for this haunting memoir. It left me in tiny, weeping pieces.

Sally Field – the bubbly surfer and ingenue, activist and runaway, Shelby’s and Forrest’s mom….she has worked in the movie industry for most of her life. She has worked with the most talented and important people. Physically she is small in stature, but she is not diminutive in any other way.

Listening to her speak recently was such an honor. She spoke of the amazing Lee Strasberg and Burt Reynolds and many other subjects during her hour long appearance. Some of the same stories are in the book. I imagine she wrote this book to help figure out her life and how the pieces all fit together. IMO, the stories aren’t intended to place blame or spill the tea but only to help her as she analyses her life’s journey.

The book is tremendously self reflective and vulnerable and beyond sad. Her relationships with her Mom (or Baa as she called her), her children and others were at times joyous and at times dysfunctional. I related to many parts of her story. She kept journals throughout her life and relatives saved every single newspaper article she was mentioned in and she had kept many old mementos which all served to help her remember and share her amazing life.

It was a hard book to get through but I’m glad I did.

Note to readers: Potentially upsetting chapters detailing the sexual abuse she suffered.

11 responses to “Book Review: In Pieces by Sally Field”

  1. Wow awesome review Jaymi! I have this one too and can’t wait to get to it!😊🎃💕

  2. I didn’t realize she wrote this until recently, but I’m so curious. That’s wonderful you got to see her speak live!


  3. I’ve never felt motivated to read a memoire before, Jaymi, but i think if i had watched and heard her speak live, i’d want to know more about her story too. I always think it’d be hard for someone to write a memoire and actually remember enough of the facts to write them down, but journals and mementos, i think, do really fill in all the gaps.
    Great review.

    1. Oh Jina it was really very heartbreaking. Memoir writing must be so vulnerable and soul-baring. I’m fascinated with memoirs. I remember reading a biography of Helen Keller as a child and doing a report on Dr. Seuss (aka Theodore Geisel) in school. It’s so interesting to me to get a peek inside peoples heads. Maybe because I want to understand things. 🤷🏻‍♀️

      1. I think i’d like to read a memoire by Helen Keller – I became blind in my early twenty’s and i think that’s a book that would interest me.

        1. Do you listen to audiobooks mostly or read Braille? I once took a Braille class. Those 6 dots (if I’m remembering correctly) are very hardworking! And one of my life goals is to become proficient in sign language. See, I told you her biography made a big impact on me!

          1. I never learned braille, at the time i became blind, it hadn’t occurred to me to seek help. i taught myself to do things – house chores, take care of my son (he’s eleven now), cook, and so on – but about eight, nine years ago i learned about screen readers and i took some classes, since i used to be ‘knowledgable with computers, it was easy to integrate key combinations as functions and so on. And then i learned about e-books and i picked up reading again. I dont listen to audio books, no, i’m comfortable with the reader.
            Sign language is cool. I used to have a poster with the language and alphabets once. …. i wonder where it is.

            1. Wow Jina. Thanks for sharing this. You’ve found what works for you!

              1. Hmmm, i think i made it sound easy… lol. thanks for listening.

  4. Jaymi, I agree completely with your review! I’ve been a huge Sally Field fan since I was a little girl in the 1960s (yep, admitting my age). When she was in Gidget and Flying Nun, she seemed like a cool older sister. Not until I read this memoir did I know of the pain and trauma behind her perky smile. Actually, I believe this is the first time she has acknowledged her abuse publicly. It must have been difficult to relive those experiences during the writing process, but her transparency and vulnerability made for a compelling book, and hopefully will help other abuse victims. I understand she wrote it herself, too, which shows she’s not only a stellar actress, but is also a gifted writer.

    1. Well said and I completely agree!