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Comment: This item is in good condition. All pages and covers are readable. There are no stains or tears. Dust jacket is present if applicable. May contain small amounts of writing and/or highlighting. Spine and cover may show signs of wear. May not contain supplementary items. We ship within 1 business day. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
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What Falls Away Paperback – December 1, 1997

4.3 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

There aren't many lives more steeped in celebrity than Mia Farrow's. The daughter of actress Maureen O'Sullivan and writer-director John Farrow, she grew up in Beverly Hills as a member of "the first generation of movie stars' children." Starting at the tender age of 19 she was involved with a succession of famous men--Frank Sinatra, André Previn, and Woody Allen--and has spent many years as a major film star in her own right. The book is casually populated with dozens of high-profile friends ranging from Yul Brynner and Salvador Dali to Michael Caine and Vladimir Horowitz. Yet Farrow's memoir has an unexpectedly honest, soul-searching quality, detailing her troubled inner life, her spiritual longings and pursuits (including a famous stay at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's ashram, where her fellow inmates included the Beatles), and her passionate attachment to children. The book unflinchingly recounts her version of the ugly, very public breakup with Allen, including--rather bizarrely--the state supreme court's custody ruling in her favor in its 27-page entirety. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

From Rosemary's Baby to all her babies: Mia in her own words.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (December 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553763342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553763348
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #616,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Rizzo on August 19, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read a whole lot. I like biographies especially, but I shied away from this one for a long time, not interested in the over-feted ex Mrs. Previn/ ex Mrs. Sinatra whose boyfriend seduced her own adult daughter and was suspected of molesting their own child. However, as a strong adoption proponent, a TV show on Mia and her many children finally convinced me to give this book a chance.
I really enjoyed it.
The talented Miss Farrow is an effective narrator, recounting her life without fanfare or hyperbole. She admits to her own weaknesses (you should read Eddie Fisher's autobiography for a non-example of THAT!), and she confesses that her movie-baby upbringing skewed her perspective of normalcy that most of us take for granted. She didn't even realize Frank Sinatra was a legend at the time of their marriage, for example.
She bubbles over trials (polio as a youngster, the death of her father, her divorces) with the attitude that negativity deserves no chance to crush the present. However, she spends more time on Allen; her account rings with absolute sincerity as she describes the ongoing perversions of his behavior with their daughter Dylan (and readily confesses her own "wrongness" for not stopping the inappropriateness long before she actually did, earning my respect). She even included, in an appendix, the court decision refusing Allen custody of the three children they shared and the reasons why.
Her anger does appear in defense of Dylan and especially upon discovery of Allen's affair with Soon-Yi, her daughter with Andre Previn. She describes without an iota of rancor or hatred scenes of him attempting to justify himself, but I could not help but want to smack him hard for the damage he foisted on innocent children.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ms. Farrow has had--and, I'm sure, continues to have--an amazing life, and she chronicles it fairly completely in this memoir. She writes very well, though at times a bit sententiously and over-dramatically. If what she writes about him is true (and the judge who presided over their custody battle apparently thought it was), then Woody Allen--a genius at making movies--is a true monster in other more important ways. She spells this out clearly and convincingly. However, to balance things out, she also has one significant flaw. Woody Allen--the active pedophile, possibly saved from conviction by Mia's desire to not drag her 7-year old daughter through another ugly court battle--is a failed human being. But what to make of Ms Farrow, who clearly spells out his ongoing cruelty to her children, but never seems to be able to say more to him than "Please don't"? She seems so terribly NEEDY, so helpless, so syrupy that at times in the book I wanted to shake her and shout "Grow up! You're an adult! Stop pleading! Fight back! There IS a life without Frank, or Andre, or Woody!" Each of her major relationships with the men in her life infatuation which moved quickly to marriage (or--with Allen--virtual marriage), a very dependent relationship, and fairly rapid loss of her partner's interest in her as a full human being. Her liaison with Allen was simply this pattern writ large, and her children paid what may be a terrible price for her helplessness and blindness, as she herself admits.Read more ›
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I was in Mia's corner until Woody Allen. The book itself is wonderfully written. I could not put it down, but when she got to her relationship with Woody Allen and the litany of red flags that came up, I could not help but scream out loud, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!! What Woody Allen did was unspeakable and the fact that people continue to work with him and that he is not in jail is disturbing and baffling.

However, Mia bares much of the responsibility for how the whole thing played out. As a mother, your #1 priority is to protect your children. Time after time she was blatantly shown that Woody was deceitful and not to be trusted. By staying with that selfish, abusive, manipulative monster of a person, she continued to expose her children to irreparable harm. I am sure that this is something that she will never forgive herself for. I still cannot figure out why she allowed this sick dysfunction of a life to go on. It wasn't like she was dependent on him financially and he cared nothing about any of the children though she hoped he would one day (one of the first things he told her when they got together was that he did not like children...HELLO IS ANYONE HOME!!!). He did not even care for his own biological son. All he cared about was his sick obsession with Dylan. It was easy for him to molest Dylan and then have sex with Soon Yi because in his own words, they were not his biological children. Anyone that could defend such acts is a menace to society.

In a way it was brave of her to write this book as she was unafraid to show herself as well as others in a negative light. It will also help her children to understand her as well as their own lives better instead of hearing rumors and false stories from other people. The book in and of itself does no harm to the children in my opinion. The truth of what actually happened and how they experienced it is where the real damage is done.
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