There Was a Little Girl by Brooke Shields
I'm about a third of the way into this and it is really great. It is a kind of emotionally heavy venture, as the preface states its intention is to serve as a kind of obituary for her mother, to make up for the terrible one the New York Times ran. In examining her mother, and her relationship with her mother, her mother's alcoholism is a central factor. Tackling a difficult topic with grace is perhaps one reason Shields rose to be an effective advocate about postpartum depression (including a prior book). And yet even though it has these darker aspects, there is a pretty good balance, which is kind of her point in writing the story, her mother was had good and bad, and not necessarily in the ways people think.
Aside from this there is a lot to interest a cinephile as at least to this point there are a lot of stories of Shields experiences as an actress that really give an insight into the process, especially as a child actor. For me, the part I was most interested in was to hear her own view of Pretty Baby, since so much of the discussion about that seems skewed or second hand. Indeed, what I'd read, offering quotes from Shields was rather negative or regretful. In this form it provides a very different, nuanced response. She does bring up some troubling aspects of the production, but they are far removed from the question of the sexuality/nudity in the role. Ultimately she cites the reaction to the film, not the film itself, as the traumatic aspect that almost drove her out of a career that she would come to love. Hearing this from her resolved some concerns I had about my own promotion of the film, hesitant to praise the ends if the means were problematic, but ultimately it sounds like my response to the film is actually affirming the sentiment or intent of Malle and Shields. This will likely entrench the film more solidly in my top-100 going forward.
Anyway, even though one of the aspects I was most interested in has been covered, I'm definitely hooked on the book and will finish it out.