Thursday, October 26, 2023

Book Review: Inside Out

For decades, Demi Moore has been synonymous with celebrity. From iconic film roles to high-profile relationships, Moore has never been far from the spotlight – or the headlines.

Even as she was becoming the highest paid actress in Hollywood, however, she was always outrunning her past, just one step ahead of the doubts and insecurities that defined her childhood. Throughout her rise to fame and during some of the most pivotal moments of her life, Demi battled addiction, body image issues, and childhood trauma that would follow her for years – all while juggling a skyrocketing career and at times negative public perception. As her success grew, Demi found herself questioning if she belonged in Hollywood, if she was a good mother, a good actress – and, always, if she was simply good enough.

Inside Out was published September 24, 2019, from Harper Books.

My wife and I listened to Demi narrator her story while driving on our vacation this week. I think hearing her bring her words to life helped to enjoy the story more. This is definitely a dark tale as she had to struggle most of her life with family around her - her parents, her marriages, even at times with her children. She also had to face many of her own demons, sometimes more successfully than other times.

At times, I question the reliability of her narration. There is no question she was a victim early in her life, but at some point she also had to own up to her own choices in how she handled situations. Sometimes, the choice was made for her (like when she was about to start filming St. Elmo's Fire). The way it comes together in the end makes me think she went through a lot of therapy in the few years prior to her writing the book - though we get no indication of that in her narration. Things just end up "better" by the epilogue.

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