Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Amy, My Daughter - Winehouse

Title: Amy, My Daughter

Author: Mitch Winehouse
Published: 2012
Genre: Memoir
4/5- Great. Push it on your friends and family.

Book Source: I received this book as a Netgalley, free of charge, in exchange for an honest review.

Recommended if you like: Celebrity Memoirs, Music, Stories about drug abuse and recovery

What Its About: 

This memoir is an intimate, honest and thorough look at the life and tragic loss of Amy Winehouse written by her father.

Amy Jade Winehouse was a British songwriter/performer who burst onto the scene in 2006 with her first album Frank. Her music was an eclectic mix of R&B, jazz, soul and reggae. Her biggest hit Rehab, from her second album Back to Black, was an intimate reference to her unfortunate growing dependence on drugs, admittedly introduced to her by her husband. Civil-Fields eventually landed in jail and Winehouse's family worked diligently to help her beat her dependence. Sadly, though she eventually kicked heroine and crack, she struggled until her death to beat alcohol dependence.  The alcohol eventually took it's toll and she was found in her bedroom deceased July 23, 2011 from alcohol poisoning.

This heartbreaking memoir takes the reader on Winehouse's journey from birth through her childhood and limited adult years. Her father, Mitch, describes her breakthrough and success in the music business, selling millions of copies of her work, winning three prestigious Ivor Novello Awards and five Grammys, among other awards. He describes Amy's seeming obsession with Blake Civil-Fields, whom she married, who later admitted introducing her to serious drug usage. Winehouse goes on to describe in detail Amy's descent from a normal, talented girl who was known to denounce the use of "class-a drugs", such as heroin and cocaine, to a junkie struggling to recover and take back control of her life. Winehouse seems to share honestly (other bloggers in fact use the term "saturated by honesty") the ups and downs of his daughter's remaining life and struggles.

Winehouse offers a wonderful picture of his daughter as the kind and loving woman she was, offering stories of how she helped various random people, how she connected with people on a deeper level and asked about them years after they had last seem each other, and how she looked forward to a life that included children of her own.

The Bottom Line:
This is a wonderful and heartbreaking memoir by a parent watching himself lose his daughter to demons he can neither deal with or excise. It was a wonderful read and I really enjoyed truly learning more about Amy as a person. Winehouse, though a parent, tells his stories and anecdotes so openly and thoroughly that you cannot help but believe him fully and doubt he is wearing "rose-colored glasses", especially when he admits his own faults and errors. A terrific read for anyone interested in Amy's music, celebrity, or struggles with alcohol and drugs.