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
"Should leave most readers standing on their heads with admiration." Kirkus Reviews
Kirkus Reviews Should leave most readers standing on their heads with admiration.
andlt;Iandgt;Kirkus Reviewsandlt;/Iandgt; Should leave most readers standing on their heads with admiration.
Stardom, thanks to Woody Allen and his film andlt;Iandgt;Manhattanandlt;/Iandgt;, came at an early age...but so did the problems of a broken and dysfunctional family. Yet in a life so out of kilter, Mariel Hemingway summoned the strength and inner resolve that enabled her to find -- and to keep -- her balance. andlt;BRandgt; In andlt;Iandgt;Finding My Balance,andlt;/Iandgt; actress Mariel Hemingway uses the lessons and practices of yoga as a starting point for her own personal reflections and larger-than-life family story. The result is a searingly honest memoir that is as deeply moving as it is helpfully prescriptive. andlt;BRandgt; Mariel turned to yoga and its meditative practice in an effort to maintain her center when her life threatened to spin out of control. Having experienced family tragedy, sudden stardom, and the continuing challenges of a full and demanding life, Mariel learned through practice how to find her balance in emotionally disorienting situations. 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 of her tumultuous life. andlt;BRandgt; As each chapter begins with instruction, so does the book end with exercises organized in a sequence that can be followed by anyone who wants to practice them. As a special bonus for this edition, Mariel has added a section that describes the basics of her own "In Balance Philosophy," calming words of advice for people in search of their own emotional center.
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.