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Somebody's Daughter: A Memoir Kindle Edition
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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
NBCC John Leonard Prize Finalist
“This is a book people will be talking about forever.” —Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Untamed
“Ford’s wrenchingly brilliant memoir is truly a classic in the making. The writing is so richly observed and so suffused with love and yearning that I kept forgetting to breathe while reading it.” —John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author
One of the most prominent voices of her generation debuts with an extraordinarily powerful memoir: the story of a childhood defined by the looming absence of her incarcerated father.
Through poverty, adolescence, and a fraught relationship with her mother, Ashley C. Ford wishes she could turn to her father for hope and encouragement. There are just a few problems: he’s in prison, and she doesn’t know what he did to end up there. She doesn’t know how to deal with the incessant worries that keep her up at night, or how to handle the changes in her body that draw unwanted attention from men. In her search for unconditional love, Ashley begins dating a boy her mother hates. When the relationship turns sour, he assaults her. Still reeling from the rape, which she keeps secret from her family, Ashley desperately searches for meaning in the chaos. Then, her grandmother reveals the truth about her father’s incarceration . . . and Ashley’s entire world is turned upside down.
Somebody’s Daughter steps into the world of growing up a poor Black girl in Indiana with a family fragmented by incarceration, exploring how isolating and complex such a childhood can be. As Ashley battles her body and her environment, she embarks on a powerful journey to find the threads between who she is and what she was born into, and the complicated familial love that often binds them.
About the Author
Ashley C. Ford is a writer, host, and educator who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband, poet and fiction writer Kelly Stacy, and their chocolate lab Astro Renegade Ford-Stacy. Ford is the former host of The Chronicles of Now podcast, co-host of The HBO companion podcast Lovecraft Country Radio, seasons one & three of MasterCard’s Fortune Favors The Bold, as well as the video interview series PROFILE by BuzzFeed News, and Brooklyn-based news & culture TV show, 112BK.
She was also the host of the first season of Audible's literary interview series, Authorized. She has been named among Forbes Magazine's 30 Under 30 in Media (2017), Brooklyn Magazine's Brooklyn 100 (2016), Time Out New York's New Yorkers of The Year (2017), and Variety’s New Power of New York (2019).
From School Library Journal
- ASIN : B08FGSQYND
- Publisher : Flatiron Books: An Oprah Book (June 1, 2021)
- Publication date : June 1, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 2472 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 221 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,054 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on June 5, 2021
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Top reviews from the United States
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By Ann Mogil on June 5, 2021
A part that resonated deeply with me was her experience living with a host of relatives and mother's boyfriends. Moves to other households were usually precipitated by some disastrous occurrence involving her mother. Ford captured the voice of a preteen or teen who had no say in where she would live or go to school. Her happiest times occurred when she lived with her grandmother. Ashley's grandmother was reliable, but hypercritical, frequently schooling Ashley in the lessons of what Other People would think if she acted, dressed or did certain things. According to her grandmother, what Other People thought was paramount and should drive decisions.
Very poignant episodes in the book dealt with Ashley visiting her father in prison and just making it to the hospital before her grandmother died of cancer. Even as her relationship with her mother grew better over time, life brought unwelcome changes, some of which motivated her to become a successful writer. Ford's triumph over poverty and domestic upheaval is a remarkable story.
I’ve only read a few memoirs and I enjoyed them all. This one felt very close to home. I had a similar mother.
The author describes her life that is completely relatable. Her honesty is commendable. I thought this would be about her father but its more about her mother. I say that to say that this sentence, sentenced all of them. It was a trickle down effect of many things going wrong. A broken family.
My husband had a life sentence for murder so I know about the struggle. Life moves on without them. And then they get out. I think most people will enjoy this.
Thanks Macmillan Audio via Netgalley.
Ashley was loved but the feelings bestowed upon her by her mother were sporadic. They were mixed with fear. When she wasn’t being beaten, which started at a very young age, she attempted to discern how to read her mother, how to behave, in order to avoid physical punishment, for something she wasn’t even aware she had done wrong. Not easy for a little girl with no one to turn to for help. As if the actions of a child, let alone anyone, warrant being abused.
Fortunately, she had the love of her maternal grandmother and a little brother, later younger siblings. But that did not change the dynamics at home. When Ashley learned at a young age that her father was incarcerated, but not why, she longed for the father she knew of from his loving letters. She wished he could reach her in the real world.
As a teenager, Ashley meets a boy who gives her attention in a way that she doesn’t want nor that she asks for. Then, he attacks her. From that day forward, she carries the shame and hurt alone. Out of fear, she felt it was a secret she must keep.
What transpires after Ashley is able to get herself through high school and out of the town that simultaneously holds the security of a tight-knit family and horrific memories as well, she is off on the road toward reparation of mind, body, and soul.
What the author endures as a young girl is heart-wrenching but there is such beauty in the making of Ashley as she is coming into her own and as she is becoming somebody’s daughter.
Top reviews from other countries
There’s something in the way she writes that put me in her shoes, even though her story is very different to mine.
I always love learning of others lives their highs, lows and learning from them. Ashley’s writing/thoughts particularly on her early childhood convey what an intelligent women she is.
I think it shines a light on black, LGBTQ and class issues. A true fighter for what she went through too I can’t help but draw some parallels with Maya Angelou’s, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
My number one take home, loved ones / friendships aren’t always perfect but they’re all we have. We have to choose what aspects to hold onto and which to let go.
🇬🇧 Somebody's daughter
🇬🇧 Ashley C. Ford
🇬🇧 I bought this book after reading an excellent review in Time.
🇬🇧 In her memoir, Ashley tells us about her single mum of four kids, with little money and a very bad temper, about her always supportive grandmother, and the absence of her dad, in prison. She tells about her first boyfriend and how he raped her. Her second boyfriend, Brett. How she got to college and feels free from her chaotic family. When Ashley is 25 she decides to visit her father in prison.
🇬🇧 Some parts of this book remind me of the excellent "Educated", because of the difficult childhood. It's always interesting to see how some people thrive despite their hard start in life, mostly because they get an education. But honestly I'm a little bit disappointed by this book, I think the tone is cold and the author tells a succession of memories without much feeling.
🇬🇧 First publication: 2020
🇬🇧 400 pages
🇬🇧 My opinion: ⭐️⭐️⭐️