Synopses & Reviews
In an exquisitely written memoir, Mia Farrow introduces us to the landscapes of her extraordinary life. Moving from her earliest memories of the walled gardens and rocky shores of western Ireland and her Hollywood childhood to her career as an actress, she writes of these experiences and her struggle to protect her children in a painful custody battle with Woody Allen. It was this crisis that led her to reflect upon the incidents that had brought her to a place so incomprehensible. Now, in What Falls Away, a memoir resonant not only in its honesty but also in its beautifully crafted prose, Mia Farrow speaks for the first time.
She was born the third of seven children to the beautiful actress Maureen O'Sullivan and successful writer/director John Farrow, but the isolation of a polio ward brought her childhood to an abrupt end at the age of nine. Several years later, two deaths shattered the security of the family forever, and Mia Farrow embarked upon a journey that would lead her away from the convent education that was to sustain her spiritual courage, to starring roles in Peyton Place and Rosemary's Baby, a marriage to Frank Sinatra, divorce, a defining trip to India, work on the London stage and in film, and marriage to André Previn. Their life together in England brought them three sons and three daughters before that marriage, too, dissolved and she returned to the United States.
The year 1979 saw the beginning of a new career with brilliant performances in thirteen of Woody Allen's most distinguished films.
Told with grace and deep understanding, as well as humor, What Falls Away goes beneath the surface of this amazing life, with all its drama, success, and pain, and exposes the inner workings of a mind and spirit for whom truth, compassion, and faith are essential.
Mia Farrow's story is ultimately one of hope and courage in the face of difficulty; of commitment to others--most important of whom are her children; and of spiritual strength. Readers will not easily forget this remarkable book, even long after the last page has been turned.
Written in spare, beautifully crafted prose, "What Falls Away" is the story of an extraordinary life. It was in 1992 that Mia Farrow wrote to literary agent Lynn Nesbit:
"As you well know, it was never my intention to write about myself. I was busy in the living process and would have been grateful to go on relatively unobserved for the remainder of my days. But recently, a terrible spotlight was thrown on me, with shouting distortions and loud lies and real life pain: and for the first time I felt moved to write, not just about those traumatic events, but all my life and the visions and passions that have governed it from my beginnings in the presumed safety of a star-crossed Beverly Hills family, through a round with polio at the age of nine, a terrifying but invaluable learning experience which marked the end of my childhood but left me with embryonic survival skills, a broader perspective and a burning desire to alleviate suffering.This was the springboard that has led to a work that owes more to literary tradition than celebrity autobiography. Covering the years of Peyton Place, Frank Sinatra, Rosemary's Baby, her seven-year marriage to Andre Previn and their 5 children, her 12-year relationship with Woody Allen and herlife today. During the time of headlines of the court case involving Woody Allen, Ms. Farrow never spoke to the public. Now, for the first time she does, clearly and irrevocably.