One of my favorite movies as a child was “Matilda.” I remember my mom bringing home a copy of it on a VHS so that we don’t have to rent it from the stores. I watched it a lot to the point I memorized the dialogues. But despite all that, I still suck as a fan because I didn’t know it was a book – a children’s book – by Roald Dahl until a couple of years back. I suck as a fan.
Last year, Mara Wilson (better known as Matilda to us who grew up with that movie) released a book. An autobiography. Upon the announcement, I knew I had to have her book. I remember going to bookstores in Stratford when I was in London looking for it. I was so excited because the UK release coincided with my stay there. However, it seems that book releases don’t work that easily even in the UK, so I came home empty handed. Good thing, my colleague offered to buy it for me online and I got it.
“Where Am I Now?” is the first book I read this year. I am still in a state of utter speechlessness. I didn’t even wrote a review on my Goodreads because I don’t know how to put all the feels I got from the book on coherent writing.
All I know is that I loved reading the book. Mara’s a really good writer. She’s engaging and funny. I felt everything she put down on paper. Which was why, reading the book was also hard for me.
I knew it was about her life since it was an autobiography. So, I knew I’d finally learn where she had been after leaving Hollywood. However, It wasn’t just your typical narration and I was caught off guard. I was shocked, confused, heartbroken, relieved, etc.
She didn’t just talk about her career and life after Hollywood, she talked about sex (how she learned about it and how she struggled with her thoughts about it), death and religion (which really got my brain working), mental health (this got me on my feet), relationships, breaking up with Hollywood, being in a choir, losing her mother, NYU, Robin Williams, and her present.
I wasn’t ready for the book. I knew it upon reading the first few pages.
It left me bothered, especially on the part when she let go of her belief in God. That really got me thinking. It’s not because I’m against atheism. I’m a very open-minded person and I respect each and everyone’s beliefs. I just couldn’t figure out how she just let it go so easily. Well, she struggled at first, but I guess I was looking for a specific huge life-changing event (like something tragic) that could’ve altered her perception about God. Anyway, my friend told me we have our own unique journeys when it comes to God.
I was also left worried when she discussed her OCD. Because of what I’ve been through last year, I wondered if I have some mental health issues of my own. I have put the thoughts aside towards the end of the year but this book brought them back and it brought them really strong. Thank goodness I have a friend who knows how to calm me down when I worry too much. Now, I’m all good once again.
Nothing could’ve prepared me for this book. I didn’t read any detailed reviews. I just knew it was a good book. Mara Wilson is that good. So aside from the confusion, I was left inspired. I learned a lot and I hope she’ll release another book soon. This time I know what I am up against.