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Little Black Sheep: A Memoir [Kindle Edition]

Ashley Cleveland
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)

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Book Description

“This is the story of the groundwork that paved the way to my faith. It is not an easy story to tell….”
This powerful memoir from Grammy Award winner Ashley Cleveland reminds us that even in the lowest times of our lives, beauty can shine through.
As a young woman from a deeply flawed family, Ashley had little hope she would amount to anything. If there was trouble, near or far, she found it. Yet, in her destructive days of drugs, alcohol, and sex, she encountered a forgiving God who was relentlessly faithful.
Change did not come quickly. The brokenness did not disappear. But little by little, Ashley allowed God to heal her, to transform her desires, to bring courage to others through her journey. Little by little, she saw that it was her brokenness itself that God wanted to use.
This beautifully told story will take you from the back rooms of Nashville to the churches of the San Francisco Bay area to a tender new life where one woman discovers that God can work in broken places.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Since her debut on Atlantic Records in 1991, Ashley Cleveland has released eight critically acclaimed albums, which have earned her two Dove Awards and three Grammy Awards. She was the first woman to be nominated for a Grammy for the Best Rock Gospel Album and the only woman to ever win the award three times. Ashley is also a writer and essayist who has contributed to books including The Dance of Heaven and The Art of Being. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Kenny Greenberg, and has three children, Rebecca, Henry, and Lily.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1504 KB
  • Print Length: 212 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook (September 1, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,525 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The rough paveway to Ashley Cleveland's faith August 27, 2013
"This is the story of the groundwork that paved the way to my faith. It is not an easy story to tell...." Little Black Sheep - a memoir from Grammy Award winner Ashley Cleveland reminds us that even in the lowest times of our lives, beauty can shine through. Since I treasured Ashley Cleveland's music ever since her debut album Big Town (1991), I was curious to read her own memoir. Ashley was encouraged to write a book because she's a story to tell. I totally agree. Outcast for both CCM industry in the 90′s (lyrics broke the unspoken but distinct rules on lyrics) as well as Atlantic Records because of a couple of songs hinting on Christian themes. Eventually she got a couple of Grammy Awards. The raw music had an even more raw personal side. Raised in a family, where dad flirts with homosexuality and alcohol, Ashley felt out of place. Too big hands, unattractive to boys, gaining weights where she shouldn't and lots and lots of alcohol and stimulants of every kind. Losing her virginity and getting pregnant before she even considers the consequences.
The AA didn't help at first, her mother's pushing to attend church and find God didn't help. Friends weren't around. Developing her musical talents, from covering other artists to writing her own songs in the early 90′s leading to Big Town, there was always the relapse, and new challenges. Kenny Greenberg, the guitar player she had admired for years, eventually became her husband. A Jewish background and a similar past of alcohol addiction, raising children, writing and touring, and the ever swinging pendulum of overcoming and giving in to addictions. To become "joyful and triumphant" took many years. Little by little, Ashley discovered that God wanted to use her brokenness.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Raw and Revealing September 1, 2013
I knew with a title like Little Black Sheep that this was a memoir I would be able to relate to. How many of us at one time or another in our lives felt like the black sheep?

While I never struggled with addiction like Ashley Cleveland, I could relate to wonderfully expressed feelings of loneliness and feeling like an outcast. Moving and changing schools is hard and she did it several times throughout her adolescence creating a feeling of listlessness and un-belonging.

It was no surprise when I read that she turned to addictions of alcohol, food and drugs to numb the pain and help her cope. Her journey has been a rocky one and it was a sad story to read but not one without great merit. Without all the heartache in her life she would not have been able to feel and accept true love and grace when she found it, nor appreciate it the way she does.

This memoir was an inspiration to read. While Cleveland's struggles haunted her most of her life, she found forgiveness and acceptance in her heavenly father after trying to fill her empty ness with all things fleeting.

Little Black Sheep is open and raw and a testament to the character of Ashley Cleveland who is not ashamed to say who she was at is has helped her become who she is today.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How the Shepherd called to His little black sheep October 23, 2013
By Flora
Ashley Cleveland has won multiple awards for her work in the entertainment business as a singer, song-writer and recording artist.

At the beginning of Little Black Sheep, Ashley mentions that writing this book about her life so far was not easy. And no wonder. Who likes to tell the whole world that at one time, you were so addicted to drugs and alcohol that you didn't even stop when you were heavy with your first child. Also, that you may even have crashed into a car at the traffic lights because you were driving under the influence and to this day, don't even know the extent of the damage you caused.
In the midst of all these and more, the Shepherd was calling to his little black sheep. Ashley recounts how, stage by stage, she began from emerge from the heavy fog of addiction.

Verdict: Ashley Cleveland can write as well as she can sing.

Highly recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book and a must read. October 10, 2013
By J. S.
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent book. Must read for anyone who's ever struggled to find and hold on to sanity.
If the Christian context bothers you, skip over it, and read the book.
The pathway to sanity applies to everyone.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, elegant and colorful January 20, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ashley Cleveland has plenty to say and chooses her words carefully to make her story come alive. Any one of her several themes would have provided enough for a book - but she interweaves them with a single cord - the Pursuing Love of Jesus Christ. It's a Christian story - it's a coming of age story - it's a music industry primer - and a real story of addiction and recovery. I was humming "There is Power in the Blood" (on Cleveland's Men and Angel's Say) as I finished, feeling that I'd just spent time with a very special and very real friend.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have bought 5 copies already, it makes a great gift October 23, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Knowing her music well I was all ready to say "Oh what lovely book": Instead my reaction was "Damn! This girl can write!"

And something tells me this book is part 1 of a series, it just feels that way to me, there is more story there.

It is a bit "jesus'y" for me but as an atheist I expected that. It works for her and that's what matters.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of selective surrender October 23, 2013
By Howard
Format:Kindle Edition
I have been an Ashley Cleveland fan for several years and I have heard her speak and sing at Laity Lodge. I had high hopes for her book because she has quite a story to tell. Little Black Sheep exceeded my expectations.

Ashley's story is one of "selective surrender" to God and of a continuing struggle with addiction and other demons.

I highly recommend this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good for AA etc folks
quick read to get another Christian perspective from a world of hurt and reconciliation
Published 1 month ago by Elizabeth D. Retallack
4.0 out of 5 stars It is something that would be helpful to anyone trying to sort our the...
Ashley's memoir is so very compelling. It is something that would be helpful to anyone trying to sort our the challenges that face good people who have fallen into substance abuse... Read more
Published 1 month ago by ann
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!
I thought I couldn't love Ashley more but I do! Compelling, honest and wonderful!
No matter where you are in your walk, Ashley touches your heart!
-Lisa Oliver-Gray
Published 2 months ago by musicfirst
5.0 out of 5 stars Courage and Conviction.
A compelling, brave, thoughtful, and consistently honest memoir from a truly great artist.
Published 3 months ago by M. Timm
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and well-written
I loved this brief memoir - Ashley's prose told her story vividly, honestly, and succinctly. Above all it is a testament to the love and grace of God, without any phony... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Matthew Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars awesome testimony
Honest and powerful testimony to the power of grace in helping us overcome our struggles. Ashley inspires others to overcome.
Published 3 months ago by Jim Winter
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an incredible book that I recommend highly!
Ashley Cleveland is actually a moderately famous singer who I had never heard of. However, this book intrigued me, so I gave it s shot, prepared to hang it up, if I didn't care for... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jason Branson
5.0 out of 5 stars Redemption at its best...
This was a fantastic book of real life, failure, and redemption. I loved Ms. Cleveland's candid nature, her vivid and intuitive style. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars beautifully and powerfully written
An extraordinarily honest, humble and loving memoir of the life of a powerful force in Christian music circles - proving that Christianity is not a crutch for the faint of heart. Read more
Published 5 months ago by janer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Christian Story
The author did an amazing job with writing a story in such a way that you are able to connect with the characters!
Published 5 months ago by Yolie Gachelin
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