Mama Mia: A Memoir of Mistakes

| 2 October , 2009 | Reply

Guest editor

Carla Caruso,Diamonds & Whirls

I was all ready to write off Mia Freedman\’s new autobiographical tome, Mamia Mia.

There seemed plenty of reasons to begrudge her. As the book blurb book reads, she became editor of Cosmopolitan magazine at age 24 and went on to become a high-flying TV exec. Now, she runs a successful website and has her own high-profile newspaper column.

Mama Mia

Hers has always seemed a life to envy. And, as she writes, when she first applied for an internship at Cleo, the then editor (and her idol), Lisa Wilkinson, asked her: “So, Mia. You went to a private girls\’ school. You just spent six months in Florence and you live in the eastern suburbs. Why shouldn\’t I hate you?” Indeed!

I\’d heard the rumours about Mia\’s Devil Wears Prada-style management (such gossip was also written about in the papers – a fact she mentions in her book). I\’d even once heard a whisper that, when she was first trying to claw her way into magazines, her parents nabbed her an apartment near the Packers to help her chances. (Who knows if there\’s even a single grain of truth in it?)

Still, it would seem she had led a fairly privileged life so far, compared to most of us, and it wasn\’t hard to feel a tad bitter.

Then, I started reading. And reading. And, I couldn\’t stop.

Freedman writes with honesty, grit, humour and passion.

With all the trials and tribulations she has been through, it\’s actually no wonder she may have snapped at a work experience girl or two.

Via her “memoir of mistakes, magazines and motherhood”, you get to hear about it all. The bong-smoking, emotionally abusive boyfriend, who sponged off her, when she was first making her way in the magazine world. The constant, guilt-ridden juggle between magazine editing and motherhood.  Her partner\’s debilitating chronic fatigue. A heart-crushing miscarriage. Bouts of painful mastitis (inflammation caused by breast-feeding). A thieving nanny. And, the odd rip-roaring mistake she made while in magazines and TV and the inevitable negative press.

If anyone is interested in the glossy magazine world, they will be duly sated with this book. But, for me, it was more the insight into Freedman\’s life – outside of work – that compelled. And, inspired. I\’m a new fan of her writing.

Available now: HarperCollins RRP$27.99

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