Synopses & Reviews
Actress Mariel Hemingway uses the lessons and practices of yoga as a starting point for her own personal reflections and a larger-than-life family story. The result is a searingly honest memoir that is firmly practical, as well as a moving narrative of the author's struggle to deal with a complex and often stressful life.
Mariel was the third daughter born to Jack Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway's son, and Byra Whittlesey. Her older sister, Muffet, suffered for years from instability, while middle sister Margaux, a celebrated actress and model who was caught up in the fast lane, eventually died of the effects of her driven lifestyle. Their mother, Byra, was darkly moody and emotionally quixotic, and made no secret of her disdain for her husband, while Jack, himself insecure in no small part because of his celebrated father, a man he never really felt he knew, was an indifferent parent at best. Even before she was a teenager, Mariel was forced to assume the role of stable center of her family. In just about every way, she never really had a childhood of her own, a situation that was exacerbated by her sudden thrust into celebrity when she was first cast in sister Margaux's film "Lipstick, " then in Woody Allen's "Manhattan." Suddenly, Mariel was a movie star.
Always an athletic person, Mariel turned to yoga and its meditative practice in an effort to maintain her center while much of her life threatened to spin out of control. As the title of this remarkable memoir suggests, much of her adult life has been directed toward finding and maintaining her balance in situations that have been heartbreakingly unsettling and emotionally disorienting. Throughout the book, Mariel uses her yoga training as a starting point for each chapter, carefully describing a particular position, then letting her mind wander into thoughts of the past and her rocky life. As each chapter begins with instruction, so does the book end in the same way, the exercises this time organized in a sequence that can be followed by anyone who wants to practice them. Included are photos of Mariel as she performs the various moves.
Living the life now of wife and mother to two teenaged daughters while still pursuing a career in film, Mariel Hemingway has weathered some of the worst storms that life can bring. Certainly she has found her balance. And in this deeply inspiring, thoroughly fascinating memoir, she shares for the first time the story of that journey.
"What makes her book so endearing is her ability to evaluate the actions she's taken over the course of her life-including her decision to have breast implants, her bizarre eating habits and her obsessive need to be in complete control of her life and still find stability and peacefulness. Her simple writing lets the funny, honest woman shine through." Publishers Weekly
Using yoga as a starting point with each chapter, Mariel Hemingway carefully describes a particular position, then lets her mind wander into thoughts of her past and her rocky life. This fascinating, inspiring, and deeply moving memoir is by the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway as she "finds her balance" in life. 40 photos. Illustrations throughout.
Mariel was the third daughter born to Jack Hemingway, Ernest's son, and Byra Whittlesey. Her oldest sister Muffet suffered for years from instability. Her middle sister Margaux was a celebrated model and actress, but caught up in the fast lane, she eventually died from epilepsy complications brought on by her past wild life. Her parents were not much more stable her mother was moody, distant, ill, and made no secret of her lack of affection for her husband, and Mariel's father was, at best, an indifferent parent. Even before she was a teenager, Mariel found herself the stable center of the family, a daunting job made even more difficult when she was cast as Margaux's sister in the film Lipstick
, and then in a starring role in Woody Allen's Manhattan
. Suddenly, Mariel was a movie star.
Always an athletic person, Mariel turned to Yoga in an effort to maintain her center while around her much of her life threatened to spin out of control. In Finding My Balance, Mariel uses her Yoga training as a starting point with each chapter, carefully describing a particular position, then letting her mind wander into thoughts of her past and her rocky life.
Living the life now of wife and mother while still pursuing her film and directing career, Mariel Hemingway seems to have weathered the worst storms life can bring. Much of her childhood and adult life has been directed toward finding and maintaining her balance in situations that have been heartbreakingly unsettling and emotionally disorienting. Finding My Balance is a deeply moving memoir in which for the first time, Mariel shares the story of that journey.
About the Author
Mariel Hemingway lives in Southern California and Idaho, where she owns and runs a yoga studio, occasionally instructing classes herself. She appears frequently in films and on television, and works as well as a film director. She is currently in the process of putting together a film based on her grandfather's book A Moveable Feast.