Hello, Molly!

Ecco. Apr. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9780063056237. $27.99. MEMOIR
Readers picking up actress and comedian Shannon’s memoir might be surprised by its contents—starting with the prologue, where Shannon relates the car crash that killed her mother, cousin, and baby sister and was caused by her alcohol-addicted father. It’s an effective marker for the book as a whole, for while there are plenty of laughs to be found here, there’s a large dose of vulnerability as well. Readers might expect the memoir to focus on Shannon’s six-year Saturday Night Live stint, and it does cover her time on the show with fondness, but there’s less reminiscing about her castmates or behind-the-scenes details than anticipated. Shannon instead devotes the majority of the memoir to her unconventional childhood (including an incident in which she and a friend charmed their way onto a plane and spent a day wandering around New York City) and her struggling pre-SNL years in Los Angeles (where she sometimes landed interviews with agents by pretending to be a protégée of David Mamet).
VERDICT A scattered but often-absorbing recollection, tending more towards anecdote than introspection, and becoming most thoughtful when Shannon reflects on her complex relationship with her father and her mother’s absence from her life.
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