A memoir by award-winning actor Mena Suvari, best-known forher iconic roles in American Beauty, American Pie, and Six Feet Under.
The Great Peace is a harrowing, heartbreaking coming-of-age story set in Hollywood, in which young teenage model-turned-actor Mena Suvari lost herself to sex, drugs and bad, often abusive relationships even as blockbuster movies made her famous. It's about growing up in the 90s, with a soundtrack ranging from The Doors to Deee-Lite, fashion from denim to day-glo, and a woman dealing with the lasting psychological scars of abuse, yet knowing deep inside she desires so much more from life.
Within these vulnerable pages, Mena not only reveals her own mistakes, but also the lessons she learned and her efforts to understand and grow rather than casting blame. As such, she makes this a timeless story of girl empowerment and redemption, of somebody using their voice to rediscover their past, seek redemption, and to understand their mistakes, and ultimately come to terms with their power as an individual to find a way and a will to live—and thrive. Poignant, intimate, and powerful, this book will resonate with anyone who has found themselves lost in the darkness, thinking there's no way out. Ultimately, Mena's story proves that, no matter how hopeless it may seem, there's always a light at the end.
In this haunting debut, actor Suvari best known for her roles in American Beauty, and American Pie chronicles her life and rise in Hollywood, and opens up for the first time about being sexually abused. She traces how her seemingly idyllic childhood in the 1980s in Rhode Island crumbled as her parents faced financial trouble and the family moved to South Carolina. There, she started middle school and was groomed into an inappropriate sexual relationship by her older brother's friend. In frank and searing prose, Suvari illustrates how this violation sent her into a tailspin, even as her acting career took off at age 13 and she moved to Los Angeles. "I gravitated toward men who took advantage of my vulnerability and confusion," she writes. "A photographer. A manager. A lighting engineer." Time and again she found herself in toxic relationships including two marriages she deems "ill-conceived escapes" and numbed herself with drugs, all the while clinching leading roles and trying to find her footing in the limelight. Suvari writes that until now, "this life of mine was... my secret world of shame." While the experiences she details are devastating, her ability to weave them into a narrative of empowerment is what makes this so moving. In bringing her struggles to light, Suvari reclaims her story and will surely inspire others to do the same.