I picked this up from the library just because I was there the day it came out, and I figured if I wanted to read it, I should get it while I could.
I'm feeling very mixed about reviewing it and I just will not give stars to this book. Not 5 not zero - I cannot rate someone's early healing journey in book form or otherwise.
This is a classic example of someone in an early stage of healing who puts all her shit out there. There's a point in every trauma survivor's healing when screaming into the void seems like the only way. It's just that it usually doesn't last forever, and I worry about what having a book -- which will be and has been reviewed -- will do to her, the person. It may not be a problem for years, but after reading this, I think there will come a point in Rose McGowan's life when her anger at seemingly every single person she's dealt with will settle a bit.
She seems just as angry at some fans and paparazzi as she is at the men who sexually abused her. I get that. I've been there. It's easy to spew vitriol all over everything (whether everything deserves it or not.) At points in the healing process it's downright helpful. But it seems like maybe writing it down for all posterity is tempting the fate of her mental health. Where was the calm therapist who encouraged her to write it all down/get it all out, then put it away for a few years before going to a publisher? Was this published quickly because it "hit" at the right time with the #metoo movement? Does she not see that?
The book is written well in early chapters -- in the places she's had more time and space to heal: her family and the horrible cult they were involved in. Then we move to Hollywood with her and everything devolves into an endless diatribe against almost anything that has to do with gender, power, television, hollywood, movies, people.... It really goes off the rails and I don't know that it's actually helpful to anyone beyond her, which is why this read like someone's journal entries in large part.
I may have also had a rough time fully appreciating because apart from some Charmed reruns, I don't remember ever seeing her in anything. So I'm not "a fan." I read it for the non-TV parts. While I think she makes important points in her own introduction about the societal pressures on women and girls to be beautiful and obedient, and while I agree that the culture makes this insidious whether I turn on my TV or not, she doesn't carry that helpful line through. She becomes her own worst enemy at times by overreacting to some things and putting everything on the same level. Being raped is far different from being told to wear a dress by a stylist you've hired, whether you were told to hire said stylist or not.
I also don't feel sorry for an actress working long (14-16 hour) days. Every woman I know works very long days and comes home to household duties or a second job or bills that can't be paid or elderly parents they care for or small children AND elderly parents, etc etc etc. Everyone I know gets paid far less than someone with a hit TV show, or even a TV show in reruns, so that part fell on deaf ears with me. I have to think that landing in Hollywood seems to almost require its own DSM category.
I'm not upset with Rose McGowan for wanting to write this book. I'm not upset with her for screaming her pain from the rooftops. I am wondering whether the publisher and publicist for this memoir will someday be added to the list of people who pimped her out because she could sell something, and this time it's a very precious personal story that should be hers and hers alone.