Marilee J. Layman (mjlayman) wrote,
Marilee J. Layman
mjlayman

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The Way I See It by Melissa Anderson

Entire title: The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House

I'd only seen the occasional TV episode and thought they were sappy; the books didn't seem quite accurate, either. On Sunday, the WashPost has a list of who's presenting what where (in a three-page Bookworld -- a lot of people stopped buying the Post when the nice big separate section Bookworld was killed) and I wondered if I'd like this. I was kind of interested in how a child would like acting and how she felt about it as an adult, so I put in a hold at the library.

The book is divided with a bit of extra material at the beginning and end, but most of it goes by season. She talks about five to eight episodes in each season, as well as some of the freelance movies she did. She talks about loving being a child actor (and frequently about how much she still likes it) but says that children shouldn't act and she wouldn't let her kids do it.

I read the first 25 pages the first night and almost gave up there. There's a lot of information where she doesn't like people and how hard it is to act and the Coogan law (where at least 15% of a kid's pay goes into a trust until they're 18). She was massively passive aggressive and I didn't want to read much more. The next day I thought I'd try again that night and that's when she headed into the episodes.

There were two annoying ways of bringing real life communications into the book: one was like scripts, which is not fun to read, and the other was inserting her comments into a description of the episode without any separation. For example:

It's picnic day and the children from the blind school are having a great time. They are so happy for us. Charles is playing the . . . harmonica? I didn't know he was multi-talented. Caroline, Adam, and I are all miserable.

Her comments in real life are the harmonica and multi-talented sentences. The other three sentences are descriptions of the episode.

In the end, I liked some of the episode descriptions, but I think you probably need a stronger interest in the show or Anderson than I have to read it.
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