Book Review: Sachi Parker’s Lucky Me: My Life with – and Without – My Mother, Shirley MacLaine

 

You may want to duct tape your mouth shut before sitting down to read Lucky Me by Sachi Parker. You’ll still be able to laugh when you need to but you’ll be able to avoid any insects or raptors flying into your mouth when your jaw drops. And it will. A few times.

A brief disclaimer – I know Sachi. We are in the same theatre workshop and she read one of the roles in one of my plays. At the time I had no idea who her mother is. I pride myself on my ignorance of these things. Anyhoo…

Let’s see…how can I describe this book? A page turner – can’t put it down. I could have read it in one sitting if I didn’t have to walk the dog. Well, maybe that’s not true. At times I needed a break from the intensity that is Sachi’s life. I found myself remembering painful things from my own childhood and questioning my own identity and purpose, which seems silly at first – I’m no celebrity’s daughter. But as I kept reading I saw reflections of my own life – limited reflections, like through a very small, dirty and discolored mirror – but the reflections were there. The biggest one being the “You’re 18 now. You’re on your own!” Ha! You couldn’t have warned me this was going to happen? Like, not even on day 364 of my 17th year?

We all do it. We all think the children of celebrities have it easier or better. They have money and fame, what else could they possibly need?

Oh, yeah. All that other shit like love and affection and guidance…you know, all that shit.

Don’t misunderstand me; this book is not a bitch session. It’s almost a coming-of-age story. Closer to a journey of self-discovery or a way to “make peace” with the way things are. Lucky Me is well crafted and chock full of stories about men, sex and crappy parenting – kind of like V.C. Andrews but better and true.

Towards the end of the book I did get a little choked up. But these were tears of understanding. We all wonder about our purpose in life, this is universal. And no matter who your parents are you never get enough from them. As a child you may not understand. As you get older each and every one of your parents’ shortcomings come into focus, highlighted by your current circumstance. If only my parents had____ I wouldn’t have _____.

At some point you have to let go.

Sachi’s story is haunting. Reading it will leave a mark. Do it anyway.

2 Comments

  1. Linda

    Although I wanted to sympathize with Sachi, I was left feeling sorry for her parents.  I have no idea how much of her narrative is true, but it seems like everyone screwed her, some literally, including her Dad, and some figuratively.  A,though I think Shirley MacLaine is a highly talented, likely narcissistic kook, no doubt not an ideal parent, our parents are people, too.  I tend to believe the parents:  pathological liar and thief.  

    Get the help you need, Sachi, and finish growing up.  Your Dad is dead, and you are blatantly trading on your mother’s name and fame.  I do wish you peace, which we all must find on our own.

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