Customer Reviews: My Father's Daughter: A Memoir
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on November 5, 2000
I'm glad Tina Sinatra wrote this book about her late Father,and got the truth out about her money hungrey Stepmom Barbra,who wanted to get all she could for herself and son Bobby before Frank died.Its sad to think about the last days of Frank Sinatra.His kids were not even alerted that there Father was dying in the hospital.There was plenty of time ,but Barbra chose not to call the family untill Frank was already gone.I know there's two sides to every story,but I believe Tina. The pictures in this book are wonderfull.The last photo of Frank was sad.You realize how sick he was at the end,but what a great life he had.Tina writes about her Father's on going relationship with her Mom,Nancy,and her love for Ava Gardner and Mia Farrow.Also,Tina is the first family member to admit her father consorted with gangsters,like Sam Giancana,to help JFK nail the 1960 election.After reading all the other books about the late Frank Sinatra,its wonderfull to finally read the truth.
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on October 15, 2000
When I first heard the 60 minutes interview, I cringed a bit, especially with all the MOB, FBI and JFK stories. I thought to myself...oh another gossip book about Frank...BUT I was pleasantly wrong...This book was a wonderful and emotion-filled book about a daughter who spoke honestly and openly about her relationship with her dad, which happened to be one of the most famous entertainers of our time. Tina did not spare her feelings which ranged from sheer joy to anger to disappointment over feelings regaring her father. I disagree with the last reviewer...(anyway you must have only skimmed parts of the book if you only read it in the bookstore) The book had a very sad tone throughout as it explored the background of Mr Sintra...his deep pain and lonliness, inability to find peace, difficulty with having children, then having to leave them as well as his difficulties with intimate relationships...It was interesting seeing that this "Big" and "Powerful" man experienced the frailities and conflicts that face the human existence. Tina presented his life from very much a daughter's perspective, and one that is difficult for any of us on the outside to judge..This is the world that she lived in for 50 years of her life...I honestly think that she felt a need to tell the story of Mr. SInatra's later life, a sad picture of a once virile, independent swinger, being conformed to a life of dependency. Tina was very accusatory of Mr. Sinatra's last wife Barbara, and she chronicles from her perspective a pretty good case that this woman was not quite the nicest, caring and loving spouse that had somtimes been portrayed by the press. If the allegations are true...well then my hats off to the Sinatra children for letting his fans know the truth about the last years. Still this book was precious in that Tina talked about her father with such an intimate,loving and honest manner, again, one that could only be told from a daughter's perspective. This book is a great story, not only about Frank Sinatra, but on the subject of step familes, aging parents, as well as family love and loyalty.
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on January 9, 2001
This book is divided into basically two segments:
Part I focuses on Tina's relationship with FAS, although much of the other details of Mr. Sinatra's life are also incorporated here. This part is very interesting, even if it were not about Sinatra. It is mostly about being in a family, what is a good parent, etc. - and virtually anyone would relate to at least parts of it.
Part II is almost exclusively about FAS's fourth wife - Barbara. While its true that there are two sides to every story, and it would be interesting to hear Barbara Sinatra's point of view on the various incidents described in here - Tina's story comes across as very credible. Among other things, this credibility comes from the fact that she does not paint the relationship between her father and Barbara as all black and white, nor good versus evil. A short but telling passage in the book is Tina's description of FAS lambasting Barbara for offering her opinion during a dinner table political discussion with his cronies. FAS comes across as nothing short of misogynist and mean in this episode - and Tina's primary criticism of Barbara in it is her amazement that she would put up with such a man. Tina makes it clear that she thinks Barbara married her father for money and power, but she also makes it clear that FAS knew exactly what he was getting into. In fact, the most disturbing character in the latter part of the book is not Barbara, but FAS . Tina does not paint a picture her of a man who does things "his way", but rather of a tired, depressed and scared man who is too emotionally week to protect the people he cares about most in the world. One other point of interest in this book was some clarification of FAS's decline in latter years. Anyone who saw him in concert in the late 80's or early to mid-90's, or who saw his rambling speech at the Grammy's, knows there was something wrong with him, i.e., he was apparently suffering from Alzheimer disease or some other form of dementia in his latter years. His latter concerts were sometimes painful to watch - seeing a man struggle to remember lyrics to songs he'd been singing for half a century. I could never understand why his family did not put a stop these painful performances, nor why they permitted those awful "Duets" albums to be produced. Nancy Sinatra's two books on their father white-washed FAS's mental decline (as she did many other things, such as the mob connections which are clearly acknowledged here. One wonders how Nancy felt about her little sister's book, given that she herself denied so much of what is acknowledged here ). In any case, Tina hit this and other issues it straight on, and so helps clarify what was happening, and why the family did not stop him earlier.
Despite his flaws - it remains true that one hundred years from now, when M&M is again only known as a kind of candy, and even people like Madonna, and whoever else is the flavor of the day has been long forgotten, people will still be playing Sinatra's albums (certainly those from his Capitol years). This book helps give a hint at just why those albums are so damn good - FAS really knew and meant what he was singing about.
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on October 22, 2000
I have been a fan of Mr. Sinatra for over thirty years, one of my earliest memories is of my mother singing along while Frank sang in the background, my first child was brought into the world while a Sinatra tape played in the delivery room. I have read most of the books written about him, this book provides the details from an informed, inside source.
I took the time to read all the other reviews prior to writing my own. Anyone who has followed the Sinatra family and history should know that Tina is not in need of money and as her father before her, she values her privacy and her family more than any publicity. I am sure that writing this book was to set the record straight and also, to allow those millions of devoted Sinatra fans to understand the final years of Mr. Sinatra's life and times. Tina makes no effort to make herself out to be a saint, she admits her flaws while plainly stating the facts about Barbara Marx. As an Italian, I understand her comments about family and blood. Ms. Marx clearly desired to climb the "rich and famous" ladder and evidently, Francis Albert Sinatra was the top rung!
My hat is off to Tina for having the courage to tell the cold, hard facts about life as the greatest singer of all times' youngest daughter. She is most assuredly, her "Father's daughter". I highly recommend that anyone who considers Sinatra to be the best read this book to learn why he was the best. He wore his heart on his sleeve for his listeners pleasure, his talent came out of his inner sadness. He was the lost soul he sang about, he was the broken-hearted lover his songs described, he understood pain and could communicate it in song like no one else ever could. The book speaks of many sad things, about the tragic bitterness of an extended family and their private battle for Sinatra's legacy (and money), but it's enduring message should be the fact that it sheds full light on what made Sinatra Sinatra!
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on October 11, 2000
Frank Sinatra was always a father. His wives walked through his life but his children and thier mother were always first in his heart.
Tina, FS's youngest child, has recounted her father's life for all to read. She tells of her concern and sister, Nancy's for the care her father was given during the last year and a half of his life. Sinatra's mind was dulled by use of antidepressants and pain pills. Tina felt these drugs were given to her father to keep him a placid and calm frame of mind.
Sinatra's youngest let's the chips fall where they may in regard to her father's last marriage to Barbara. Accorinding to the author Barbara ditched her husband Zeppo Marx in order to be with Sinatra. During his last days Barbara kept Frank worried about money enough for him to continue to perform past his prime. His fear of not leaving his family provided for was the reason he had to continue to entertain even though he was forgetting the words and being ridiculed by the press. It seems like Tina is a chip off the old block, and not afraid to call them as she sees them. All Sinatra devotees should make this a must read.
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on December 24, 2000
Great performers are human beings with problems just like the rest of us. The sadness of man's inhumanity to man emerges from this book as Frank's power, influence, drive, enthusiasm and desires became the victim of greed and deceit by others as he stuggled to do what we are all trying to do, build a life that would work for him. There seemd to be no sense of value to his existence in his later years beyond his material worth. His treatment in later years by others was a source of great pain for his children - as it will be for you after you read the book.
I was deeply saddened by the book. I believe that anyone respectful of Frank for whoever he might be (because of his talent) would be so saddened. So few knew him personally. I felt like I drove to the hospital and walked in with Tina on the night Frank died. I felt as though I knelt with her next to him. The visuals from the book are stunning and real - very well done.
Frank left everything with us -his music and films are the product of a lifetime of professional dedication and hard work- he took nothing more to his grave than any of us will. Let this book fill in some of the all imporatant gaps in this important life and bring you closer to Frank than you could imagine.
The books seems real enough, written by Tina Sinatra, and although Barbara does dispute the content, she would be difficult to believe over this beautifully written piece. Buy it.
Thanks again Frank, rest in peace.
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on November 3, 2000
I am a thirtysomething woman, whose knowledge of Sinatra is limited to "New York, New York'' and listening to "Summer Wind'' on my boyfriend's CD player. But this book kept me immersed in the complex, exciting and often melancholy world of Frank Sinatra. This book interested me because it was written from his daughter's persepective. It wasn't an unauthorized biography or a tell-all by a former employee; it had the ring of emotional truth because it was from his youngest child's point of view. Her feelings of loss at her father's frequent absences touch the heart as does her struggle to keep in contact with her increasingly withdrawn and frail father in his later life. The chapters about her father's marriages to Ava and Mia are riveting, as is the chapter about Frank Jr.'s kidnapping. If her portrayal of Barbara Sinatra is accurate, Frank Sinatra had a sad ending to his life. I think Tina Sinatra was a good daughter - not a spiteful one as some critics have claimed - in writing this book. So much of what we know about Sinatra is based on his larger-than-life image. His daughter describes a man who was all too human.
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on October 20, 2000
The "legend" of Frank Sinatra is well known, the "reality" is not...until this book. While disturbing at times, I found his daughter's account to be forthright, strong and unyielding in its quest to make reality known. There is tenderness, bitterness, sadness and certainly a deep love found in the pages of this book. This seems to be a story that needed to be told..and I am pleased that his daughter, Tina, was the one to tell it. No doubt there will be more Sinatra books to hit the shelves...but this one reminds us that there is always more to the story than we know. Thank you, Tina, for sharing your father with us....we only knew the legend.....until now.
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on January 3, 2001
Frank Sinatras youngest delivers lots of interesting tidbits about her father that most of the public was probably unaware of. For instance...what brought the physical side of love her mother dished out to old dad to a halt? Okay, so maybe she told more then we really wanted to know, but just goes to show she was pretty open about her fathers life. I found it surprising that she downplays her own personal life so much although she deals openly with her feelings toward her father. One thing she doesn't downplay even one iota is the rather venomous feelings she harbored for her stepmother, Barbara Sinatra. If her accounting of Barbaras behavior is accurate, she definitely had plenty of reason to dislike & distrust the woman. I personally tend to believe the wicked stepmom is just as she portrayed her because Tina is very kind in her recollections of her other 2 stepmothers, Ava and Mia. Somehow I came away with the feeling this book was written not only as a tribute to her father, but also as a means of publicly debunking the image Barbara Sinatra had carefully projected throughout her marriage to Frank. Her written treatment of her father is probably a little biased and too gentle considering what is generally known about the man. But, it is her father so what can one expect? Overall, a very good read that I would recommend.
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on October 15, 2000
Excellent insiders view of Sinatra's world......c'mon folks give the lady her say....after Kitty Kelly's slamming, Friedwald's study of the music, and Nancy's books, why not one more story? Frank Sinatra was a complex fella and whether you like it or not deserves a portrait from his youngest daughter.......This is good stuff, Thanks Tina.
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