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What Falls Away

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  1,114 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
In an exquisitely written memoir, Mia Farrow introduces us to the landscapes of her extraordinary life. Moving from her earliest memories of the walled gardens and rocky shores of Western Ireland and her Hollywood childhood to her career as an actress, she writes of these experiences and her struggle to protect her children in a painful custody battle with Woody Allen. It ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published February 3rd 1997 by Nan A. Talese (first published January 1st 1997)
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Deirdre Kelly
Feb 17, 2011 Deirdre Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you still pay money to watch Woody Allen films after reading this book, then shame on you. This 1960s icon dishes the dirt on American's most famous neurotic, leaving the reader with a bad taste in the mouth about Allen, an obvious creep. The celebrated director's paedophile tendencies, as exhibited in the New York home he ocassionally shared with Farrow and her children (he was so afraid of their germs he tended to stay in his own pad, on the other side of Central Park) are positively shocki ...more
Jamie Bryson
Dec 30, 2010 Jamie Bryson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ms. Mia Farrow is an eternal optimist. Her book was profoundly complimentary to those in her life with the exception of one Mr. Woody Allen. She never saw a flaw in anyone despite heartbreak. She searched for inner beauty, embraced the differences of the people she knew and spent her life searching for the purpose of her own existence. At the end of the day, she lived to have a meaning for her life which always included service to others.
I found it very sad that she was jaded by a man who looke
...more
Betsy
Aug 07, 2010 Betsy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A MUST READ autobiography. The title comes from Theodore Roethke:

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow,
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear,
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree, but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up
...more
Sarah
Mar 21, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first memoir that got me hooked on autobiographies. Read this book my last year of high school and loved it. I was really into the 60s in high school, and to this day I'm not sure how I stumbled onto Mia Farrow but all I knew was that she was a style icon back then. I researched more about her and picked up the book.

The book is a story about a girl whose parents were apart of old Hollywood, (nothing like what it is today). Her mom an actress, her dad a director. They lived in a man
...more
Flora
I read this because I never turn up my nose at a good trash-talkin' celeb-biog, but this is actually a good book. Yes, it dishes the dirt on Frank Sinatra and Woody and Soon-Yi, but I didn't find myself skimming just to get to the good parts. She's an odd woman, but smart, and she writes about her life -- and all its weirdness -- with real intelligence. The prose is even good. So...not what you might expect. Good for a long airplane ride, a rainy Sunday, or a day at the beach. You won't hate you ...more
Carla Peele
Jul 18, 2012 Carla Peele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know that most people buy this book to read the nitty-gritty, salacious details of Mia's tragic relationship with Woody Allen, but that is not the reason this book seemed to call out to me. I was curious about Maureen O'Sullivan, one of my favorite old actresses (and the best Jane to grace the silver screen), and Mia's mother, as well as Mia's time with Frank Sinatra.

Quite before it got to the Woody section that completed the book, I learned many facts I was surprised to find out. I had assum
...more
John
Aug 12, 2010 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A relaxing read. Insightful to the whole Hollywood / child of a star thing. Plus what she says about her marriage to Sinatra is very warm..

The final third of the book is taken up with the Woody Allen stepdaughter case and his (alleged abuse of others in the family). My views towards him have changed (used to be a big fan)and feel guilty about watching his films / buying his dvds....

Saw her on the news at the Naomi Campbell diamond thing and after reading this book I know who to believe...
Catherine
Her mother was Jane in the old Tarzan movies. She was a friend of Dali's. Was married to Frank Sinatra. Has more children than Angelina Joli, and did it all herself. She is a strong, fragile, and willful person. The book was a so-so read until revelations about Woody Allen who has to be one of the more vile characters on the planet. I read this because Margaret Ann Comito loved the book, but MA is a devout Catholic. Oh, dear, it's all so complicated...the Catholic thing.
NeDa
Mar 13, 2013 NeDa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Изключителна жена, осиновила 10 деца още през 70-те години и родила още 4 свои, много от ангажиментите свързани с децата е поемала тя, макар и с помощ от бавачки понякога. Всичко това паралелно с ангажиментите в киното. И без излишна показност.
А съжителството и с Уди Алън ме потресе, въпреки че очаквах подобни истории и бях чела за скандалите ...
Khris Sellin
Jun 05, 2013 Khris Sellin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Woody Allen: "The dick wants what it wants."
Silvio111
Dec 19, 2011 Silvio111 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mia Farrow has managed to tell her harrowing story through three marriages, fourteen children, a narcissistic Woody Allen who abused her seven-year daughter and then started a sexual relationship with her teen-aged daughter (although not in that order), and tried to win custody of three of the children. By some amazing gift, she can not only tell the story in quite a personal and poetic way, but does not make the reader cringe or run for the exits; she is just an excellent writer who reveals her ...more
Kaloyana
Mar 13, 2013 Kaloyana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
По принцип не обичам да чета много автобиографични и биографични книги, но тази ми беше изключително интересна. Никога не съм знаела нищо за живота на Миа Фароу. Направо бях потресена от нейната история. Първо заради силата на духа и куража ѝ, и освен това заради нейната готовност да се бори и да не пада. Животът ѝ с франк Синатра, снимането на филмите, нейното семейство, работата. Не съм знаела също, че един от любимите ми режисьори - Уди Алън, който всъщност е един изверг като човек. Много инт ...more
Corky
Until reading this book, I had no idea that Mia Farrow was second generation Hollywood. Her life has been an unusual one, parts of which have not been as public as one might think. This memoir really depicts the star's unabashed desire to care for and raise children that have been left behind, but also portrays her extreme dependence upon older men. A byproduct of her father's early death perhaps?

Although I can say I never have been a fan of Woody Allen films, after reading this memoir I most ce
...more
Spencer
Most of it is pretty good, but the Woody Allen stuff...so much dirty laundry. My first thought was "What a scum this guy must be," but then, I thought, "Well--there's two sides to every story." Not to say that I think Ms. Farrow is lying. I'm sure that Woody Allen is as much of a psychological mess as he makes himself out to be. But public scrutiny has already been hard enough on the man. Still, the parts about Frank and the Beatles and Ms. O'Sullivan were pretty entertaining.
Jan
May 16, 2010 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly well written. I didn't know much about Mia Farrow. She has an interesting ilfe. One of the reviews I read said that Farrow was a clear, concise writer--good for Frank Sinatra and Andre Previn, her first two husbands but not at all good for Woody Allen........
All in all, she had 14 children, some biological, mostly adopted.
Melissa
Mar 15, 2010 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After seeing her talk at the RMU Speaker Series recently I was quite impressed with her, and right away my impression of her as a flaky Hollywood star was dashed. She was so "real" and unassuming, and an eloquent public speaker. So, I went to the local library and ready her autobiography. She is also a very good writer and brought me right into her life.
Rebecca McNutt
What Falls Away is an in-depth book about the life of Mia Farrow. From The Haunting of Julia to Rosemary's Baby, she has acted in numerous highly-acclaimed films. But this book focuses more on her personal life, a life not much different from everyone else. From her Irish roots to her first job, What Falls Away captures it all.
Mari
Apr 18, 2010 Mari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished today, and while I knew the Woody/Soon-Yi story, I'm filled with disgust anew, as I was just a teenager when that was all going down ... and a teenager in the middle of the country at that, but even I heard about it and was appalled. Her early life was less known to me -- her parents and marriage to Frank Sinatra. I absorbed this book in about a day.
Emily
May 10, 2014 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
She's a good writer, which doesn't surprise me, and the Woody Allen portion is....gripping to say the least. I think I was maybe subconsciously annoyed at her seemingly challenge-less rise to success as an actress, and her insane beauty? Wait, am I just jealous? I don't know. It doesn't matter!
Nick Guzan
Jun 20, 2016 Nick Guzan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
<3 Mia
Joellen Valerius
THE MOST well written book that I've ever read. I LOVE the way Mia Farrow writes...it just flows...
Allison C. McCulloch
Even though I was curious, it was a little too in-depth for me.
Ellen
Feb 04, 2014 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great memoir. She comes across as very likable, and her heart for children is huge. I will never watch another Woody Allen movie again.
Karen
Jul 02, 2012 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book a long time ago and I remember that I enjoyed it very much.
Mia Farrow is a very interesting person and a humanitarian.
I recommend this book if you are interested in her life story.
Cynthia
Jan 13, 2015 Cynthia rated it really liked it
This is a biography that I picked up at Value Village and read pretty rapidly. I allow myself one of these kinds of fastfood type books every so often-- usually feel a little greasy and ill after I consume them. Mia Farrow writes well and the book is interesting on many levels, mostly because my "inner judge" just wouldn't lay down the gavel. I'm not keen on books that I don't learn something positive from, and I'm still attempting to figure out what it is that I learned from this.

I guess I am
...more
Lorna
Dec 13, 2014 Lorna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
This is a simply wonderful memoir. Mia Farrow has lived so many contradictory lives. On paper she is simply a daughter of two celebrity parents who, it seems inevitably, becomes a successful actress like her mother but the reality is a life of selflessness and devotion to others with the education of herself and her children as its highest prize.

At age nine Mia contracts polio and is abruptly removed from her rarefied and idyllic life as one of seven happy little children to a ward of suffering
...more
Mary Mattis
Feb 19, 2017 Mary Mattis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved mia.. loved the book!
Ruby Noise
Jan 04, 2016 Ruby Noise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picking this book up at Vinnies for $1.00 I expected nothing but a bit of fluff. How wrong I was. Mia Farrow is a wonderful writer, her story of a second generation Hollywood actor was not a gloat but merely a journey through her life with well known parents. The journey into herself in the 60's meeting the Beatles and Maharishi and marriages to Frank Sinatra, Andrea Previn are a wonderful adventure into a life so different from mine. Mia collects children, some born from her, most adopted, whil ...more
Jen
Dec 10, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mia has lived such a fascinating life. By 19 she was best friends with Salvador Dali and beginning a romance with Frank Sinatra that lead to a quick marriage followed by a lifelong relationship. I listened to this on audio book, which she narrates, and I think it added to the read as I think I may have rolled my eyes at some of what she wrote without her frank delivery. She's an avid reader and writes beautifully... not really my style (I prefer much more casual prose) but I got used to it after ...more
Linda
Oct 27, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio-memoir
The "Momma Mia!" article by Maureen Orth in Vanity Fair's November 2013 issue gives a look at actress Mia Farrow and the life she has carved for herself, while raising 14 biological and adopted children along the way.

While perusing the shelves of the local library recently I came upon Farrow's 1997 memoir What Falls Away and picked it up, out of curiosity mainly, to get a further picture of a woman a couple of years older than me who has spent much of her life in the public eye, first as a daugh
...more
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252051
Maria de Lourdes Villiers-Farrow, known as Mia Farrow, is an American actress. Farrow has appeared in more than forty films and won numerous awards, including a Golden Globe award (and seven additional Golden Globe nominations), three BAFTA Film Award nominations, and a win for best actress at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. Farrow is also notable for her extensive humanitarian work ...more
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