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by Adrienne Petterson 2005

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A Paper Life
by Tatum O'Neal
Harper Entertainment
ISBN 0-06-054097-4
Published October 2004 - Hardcover - 285 pages - $24.95

The story of Tatum O'Neal's life has been thrashed out in most magazines and tabloid newspapers for years.  From her being the youngest actress to win an Oscar, to her father's romance with Farrah Fawcett (and many others), to her own marriage to John McEnroe.  We all loved the little girl she played in Paper Moon and thought she was the picture of innocence.  Hardly.  Little Tatum's life got off to a rocky start as her mother, Joanna Moore, got herself deeper and deeper into drugs and alcohol, leaving Tatum and brother Griffin on their own.  At times they literally had to fend for themselves at the tender ages of six and five respectively.  After not getting love and care from her mother, she went to live with her father, Ryan O'Neal, in Malibu while Griffin went to boarding school.  The time she spent with her dad was a happy time and although her father had remarried and divorced and had many girlfriends, little Tatum felt loved, until her father turned nasty.  Her life was not easy and she had experienced abandonment, neglect, being punched by her father, drugs, and an ugly personal divorce.  Finally, we get to hear her story in her own words, with all the drama, firsthand.  It's rather shocking and candid and hard to believe, but then most of what goes on in Hollywood is hard to believe.  I can't imagine her father being too pleased at having his dirty laundry aired in public - I guess he's penning his own book right now.
Conclusion - Extremely moving and an eye-opener.

Review copy not supplied by publisher - library copy reviewed.
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