Aug 14, 2011

Life is Not a Stage by Florence Henderson, Joel Brokaw

For millions of people around the world, Carol Brady is synonymous with motherhood, but growing up as the youngest of ten children in rural Indiana in the aftermath of the Great Depression, Florence Henderson lived a life quite different from that of the quintessential TV mom she later played on television.

Florence's father was a dirt-poor tobacco tenant farmer who was nearly fifty years old when he married Florence's twenty-five-year-old mother, and was nearly seventy when Florence was born. Florence's childhood was full of abuse and abandonment. Her father was an alcoholic at a time when there was no rehab or help for the disease. Their home rarely had electricity or running water. When she was twelve, Florence's mother left the family to work in Cleveland and never returned.

Florence is ready to open up about her childhood, as well as the challenges she's faced as an adult, including stage fright, postpartum depression, her extramarital affairs and divorce, and her hearing loss and heart problems. She writes with honesty and wisdom of how her faith and ability to survive has brought her through rough times to a life of profound joy and purpose. She notes that this memoir "is written as a natural consequence of forgiveness and compassion, not only for those who harmed me, but most importantly, for myself."

Florence Henderson is most well-known for her role as Carol Brady on TV's The Brady Bunch, but she started her career on the stage, in musicals such as Oklahoma! and South Pacific. She starred on Broadway in the long-running musical Fanny, and in 1962, she became the first woman to guest host The Tonight Show. Her talent for skit comedy also allowed her to make frequent appearances on Dean Martin's variety show. In 1968, she was cast as Carol Brady on the popular TV sitcom, which ran from 1968 to 1974, and is still on air today.

Joel Brokaw coauthored Tyler Perry's #1 New York Times bestseller Don't Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings.

Publish Date: 9/20/2011
ISBN: 9781599953885
Pages: 288
Size: 6" x 9"

Whatever our age, we likely remember and loved the TV sitcom called The Brady Bunch, and Carol Brady was the perfect role model. I was really looking forward to reading the memoir of Florence Henderson, to find out what she was really like.

Florence Henderson has had a very troubled life, and in this book she shares details about her childhood, her career, then her marriage and motherhood.  She also shares explicit details of her indiscretions, affairs, insecurities and so much more.

Some portions of her story should have been kept private. There were some parts that were interesting, but overall I was disappointed in this memoir and really struggled to finish it.

Disclosure: Ebook received courtesy of Net Galley and Hachette Books.

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