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Finding My Balance: A Memoir [Kindle Edition]

Mariel Hemingway
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.95
Kindle Price: $15.99
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Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
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Book Description

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.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Her grandfather and sister both committed suicide; at times, her parents "seemed not to care enough to parent" her; she was struck with movie star fame at an early age; and she's wrestled with eating disorders and control issues throughout her life. Now 40, Mariel Hemingway says these struggles have shaped who she is today, and presents this memoir as a testament to her own triumph over what some people see as "the curse of the Hemingway family." Hemingway now owns a yoga studio in Sun Valley, Idaho; each chapter of her memoir opens with a description of a yoga pose, segueing into a metaphor for how that pose represents some aspect of her life. So, for example, in the chapter entitled "Mountain Pose," Hemingway writes, "As I reflect on Mountain pose and understand the implications of its name, I can begin to understand my great need for stability and groundness." The youngest of three girls, Hemingway was a tomboy, spending much time alone outdoors. She got her acting start in Lipstick (1976), at age 13, and went on to star in Woody Allen's Manhattan (which featured the "traumatic" scene in which she and Woody made out) and a handful of other films. 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. Photos.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Actor Hemingway recounts her turbulent life and reflects on her experiences with yoga, beginning each chapter with a yoga pose and a discussion of how it relates to, and enriches, her life. Growing up under the shadow of her grandfather's suicide, Hemingway had anything but balance as a young woman. She achieved early success as an actress but along with that came alienation from her body. Attempting to meet Hollywood's standards, she had breast implants inserted while still in her teens and developed severe eating disorders. Yoga and motherhood helped Hemingway reconnect with herself and become centered. Hemingway's writing about yoga is surprisingly good as she describes the essence of each pose. Her reflections on her childhood and family relationships, however, are less interesting. Now in her forties, Hemingway still doesn't seem to realize that most people have imperfect parents and siblings, and that death and illness are inevitable parts of the journey. But perhaps yoga will help her, as it does so many others, attain a wider perspective. Jane Tuma
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 910 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (January 30, 2003)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC0OHC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #458,625 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading March 13, 2003
By SharonF
Format:Hardcover
Heartwarming insight into the experiences of one cool lady. I admit to following Mariel's (and Margaux') career since before "Lipstick" and I read the book in one session. Very touching, and Mariel really lays a lot of personal pain and joy bare for us to see. A great book for anyone juggling family problems, a difficult adolescence, food demons, and facing adversity. I sure hope the future is kind to Mariel and her family.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hemingway shares both her passion and her soul January 9, 2003
By Sam F.
Format:Hardcover
Being a fan of Ms. Hemingway's film work for several years I was pleased to learn that she had written her memoir. Ms. Hemingway's story of survival and discovery was both a thought provoking and moving read. She openly shares the blessing and the curse of her famous family ties and the lessons gained by years of living in emotional upheaval. The yoga metaphor used throughout the book works well and ties each chapter neatly together. All in all an inspiring autobiography by a very talented and strong woman.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring & candid memoir of a fine yogini. February 7, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Mariel Hemingway has done much good with her
yoga work and writing.
I love this type of candid writing from such a
clear and peaceful soul.
It may not be a profound or complex work.
But memoirs are not meant to be. She is
sharing intimate experiences of her own
and her families lives.
This is profound enough.
She does know how to share her true life
adventures with us with feeling,
ideas that are a light on our own paths of life.
She keeps on track and there is no fluff in this book.
Also recommended; Autobiography of a Yogi,
by Paramahansa Yogananda.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! February 10, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I loved this book! Mariel opens her heart to her readers and lays it all on the line. I identified with her and was able to learn some new methods for handling some areas of my life that parallel hers. This is a wonderful and sincere book!
I hope that in the future she writes a book on yoga and that she writes another book where this one left off.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yoga in real life May 12, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am not sure what I expected, but I was pleasantly pleased by A Memoir with Yoga. It was interesting to read about her life - but even more interesting was how well she described the asanas. I have a new approach to some of them (remembering her giggles at the cat and dog poses - and that some yoga is FUN), and will concentrate on moving into a pose with her words in my mind. I learned more about yoga from the book than expected, and it was a joy to read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mariel opens her heart February 23, 2003
Format:Hardcover
In this touching, informative, truthful story about Mariel's own life is a compelling story I couldn't put down. For any fans of hers, you are going to love this book and won't be ab le to put it down.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most personal and honest book around! January 15, 2003
Format:Hardcover
A touching, honest and personal story of one of the most respectable person in Hollywood.A heartwarming and, at times, painful journey and self discovery of Mariel Hemingway. A true gem for readers of all ages and backgrounds. A very intelligent and thought provoking book. A must have. BUY IT !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and engaging memoir January 22, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book because I was looking for more information about how Mariel Hemingway used diet and exercise to combat the same family health issue that I am dealing with. It provided me with the information I was looking for, and beyond that, the book was a very good read. I found it unique in the way that it was conceived and organized, and authentic in its message. Mariel delved into the past, often revealing painful and difficult memories in order to better understand what she would later combat. Childhood and young adult memories were quite sad, and her family members complex, but as she notes, childhood struggles sometimes give us the power to be stronger adults, as would be true in her case. This is a positive message, and the book is meant to be helpful. While one may read a yoga book and understand the physical and spiritual components of asanas, this book provides added insight into how the various poses can help a person heal psychologically, as well as spiritually. This is an engaging, honest, and intelligently written memoir.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
loved the book and thought she did a great job in describing her emotions that went with each pose.
Published 5 months ago by Jodie Bass
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved reading this book !!
Published 6 months ago by Lovely lady
5.0 out of 5 stars Papa's Granddaughter
I live in Key west so this was of great interest too me.
Published 7 months ago by Cynthia Martz
5.0 out of 5 stars like her grand-father
I read this book a long time ago and gave it as a gift this time. Mariel pulled herself up by her own boot straps and saved herself and, consequently, her family. Read more
Published 8 months ago by ronee
5.0 out of 5 stars A great example of overcoming monumental challenges
I saw the documentary "Running from Crazy" and was moved to read how Mariel got out of that family alive with her sanity in tact.
Published 12 months ago by Suzanne Berry
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding Balance with Mariel Hemmingway
A beautifully written, honest book with a look at how through the troubled past as a Hemmingway, Mariel turned to yoga to help her through it successfully. Read more
Published 12 months ago by C. A. Dzubak
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Journey Toward Inner Peace
I related on so many levels, loved the way the author drew the parallels between her practice and reactions to life. I loved her honesty and excellent writing ability. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Erika Webb
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
Love the combination of yoga related to specific life experiences. Has helped me tremendously in the search for my own life balance.
Published 17 months ago by Peggy G
4.0 out of 5 stars A honest, strong and beautiful woman Mariel is victorious!
I so enjoyed reading about Mariel's own biography growing up in this very talented yet dysfunctional family! It made me sad to find she was bullied in school by mean children. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Cheri
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
Very honest and open snapshot of Muriel's life. It makes you laugh and cry. I didn't want the book to end. Awesome!
Published on April 11, 2013 by Teency's thoughts
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