Sunday, February 18, 2018

Review: High on Arrival by Mackenzie Phillips

Non-Fiction, Memoir

Audio Book

Simon and Schuster

Release Date:
September 23, 2009

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Not long before her fiftieth birthday, Mackenzie Phillips walked into Los Angeles International Airport. She was on her way to a reunion of "One Day at a Time," the hugely popular 70s sitcom on which she once starred as the loveable rebel Julie Cooper. Within minutes, Mackenzie was in handcuffs, arrested for possession of cocaine and heroin. Born into rock and roll royalty, Mackenzie grew up in an all-access kingdom of hippy freedom and heroin cool. It was a kingdom over which her father, the legendary John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, presided, often in absentia, a spellbinding, visionary phantom.

When Mackenzie was a teenager, Hollywood and the world took notice of the charming, talented, precocious child actor after her star-making turn in "American Graffiti." As a young woman she joined the nonstop party in the hedonistic pleasure dome her father created for himself and his fellow revelers, and a rapt TV audience watched as Julie Cooper wasted away before their eyes. By the time Mackenzie discovered how deep and dark her father's trip was going, it was too late. And as an adult, she has paid dearly for a lifetime of excess, working tirelessly to reconcile a wonderful, terrible past in which she succumbed to the power of addiction and the pull of her magnetic father.

As her astounding, outrageous, and often tender life story unfolds, Phillips overcomes seemingly impossible obstacles again and again and journeys toward redemption and peace. By exposing the shadows and secrets of the past to the light of day, the star who turned up "High on Arrival" has finally come back down to earth -- to stay.

My Review

What a story this is. Mackenzie Phillips is the daughter of John Phillips, lead singer of The Mamas & the Papas. She is, also, a star in her own right on the hit TV sitcom “One Day At A Time”. I was a huge fan of both and still am.

Mackenzie narrates this herself which makes it all that much more heartbreaking. She starts from the beginning of her life until now. The things she endured growing up in the limelight is truly horrific. Some of it is the fault of the family and friends around her and some is her own fault. She acknowledges this. She doesn’t hide the truth. She’s quite honest as she tells her story. I’m just sad that anyone had to go through such a tortured life. I do hope she has settled down now and can live her life in peace.

For reading challenges:
Audio Book Reading Challenge 2018

Disclosure: I borrowed this audio book from the library. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. I read this book a while ago, but have not forgotten any of the memorable moments, from the highs to the lows.

    Great review! Glad you enjoyed it, although "enjoy" is probably the wrong word.

  2. I loved The Mamas & the Papas growing up and I remember watching Mackenzie every week on One Day At A Time. I was sad when I heard about her dark days into drugs etc. Glad she's getting her life back on track.

    1. I just added this book to my "Want To Read" list at my library.


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