I’m Glad My Mom Died is the memoir of child-actor-turned-author Jennette McCurdy.
It would be an understatement to say that this book is one of the hottest memoirs of 2022; and with good reason. Not only does McCurdy’s memoir tackle the curse of a brutal and unrelenting “Momager” on a child actor, but it also puts a spotlight on the immense importance of protecting one’s mental health and how, if it is left to spiral out of control, could have life-long consequences.
Throughout the book, Jennette takes the reader through her early life as a part of a dysfunctional family that was headed by a Mother who pushed Jeanette into a career she didn’t want. With a seemingly tenuous connection to the Mormon church as well as a home life that had fallen victim to her mother’s hoarding tendencies, Jennette had few opportunities to escape or feel like a child without feeling constantly overwhelmed.
Despite the very heavy subject matter, Jennette somehow managed to maintain a great sense of humor about it all. I guess at some points, all you can do is laugh. There are moments that while absolutely traumatic, are completely absurd with one in particular forcing me to pick my jaw up off the floor.
Before I picked this up, I can’t say I knew a lot about Jennette. Her 2007 breakout role on Disney Channel’s iCarly happened to be a sitcom geared toward a younger generation, therefore it was not on my radar. That said, it’s not like Hollywood ever seems to change regardless of the age we’re focusing on given the mental abuse she sustained during her career.
I listened to this one rather than read it. After several positive experiences with celebrities reading their own stories, I think that may be my preferred method for memoirs moving forward. Given that this was a one-woman show before becoming a book, Jennette’s performance was raw and unflinching. I applaud her ability to tell her own story – warts and all – when most may shy away from such dreadful experiences.
Jennette McCurdy’s story is an important one. The long-term effects brought about by unwanted fame and years of abuse require excruciating work to unravel and sort through on her part and McCurdy’s ability to come out on the other side is nothing short of inspiring.