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Paper Dollhouse: A Memoir Hardcover – April 1, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In Paper Dollhouse, Dr. Lisa M. Masterson traces a journey that begins with an unconventional childhood shaped by her larger-than-life mother, who broke away from an abusive husband in Louisiana to find new opportunities for the two of them in the West. With charm, determination, and a budget that often involves moving every few months to skip out on the rent, plus a lot of other creative financing, the two of them lead a hidden existence that allows Lisa to attend exclusive private schools and feed a brilliant mind.

Their life together is as heartbreakingly flimsy as the dollhouse Masterson makes for a school project, using the only materials she has: notebook paper and tape. But the love and grit and resilience of those early days ground Lisa for harrowing years of medical training in an ob/gyn ward known as The Pit and give her the fierce determination, after she loses her mother to cancer, to found clinics for pregnant women and babies in Africa and India. This unexpected story from the accomplished doctor and cohost of the Emmy® Award–winning medical talk show The Doctors will captivate, surprise, and inspire readers and her many daytime TV fans.

From the Back Cover

Dr. Lisa M. Masterson tells the inspiring story of her childhood and her path to becoming a renowned physician and cohost of the Emmy® Award–winning TV show The Doctors—a story of love, fierce
determination, and prevailing against all odds.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Skirt!; First Edition edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599219980
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599219981
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #616,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

An interesting and entertaining piece of work.
Avid Reader
It is a story of courage and strength that not only her mother showed but Dr. Lisa as well.
bigmm
It really made me feel like I was really getting to know you!
Shipittome

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By l.a.writer on May 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It's always tempting to guess that success came easily to someone like Dr. Lisa Masterson, a photogenic M.D. with a regular gig dispensing advice on a daytime TV show. So Paper Dollhouse, her memoir, is a bit startling. Turns out she was raised by a single mom who used what could politely be called creative financing (skipping out on the rent and moving from place to place, "losing" overdue bills) to keep Lisa in elite private schools. Dr. Lisa saw the risks her mom was taking and decided, as a little girl, that she was not only responsible for her mom's actions but needed to redeem them by getting stellar grades. Men came and went, and her mom's fortunes went up and down pretty dramatically. Lisa suffered mightily when her mom was at the low end of an emotional spiral.

She was a driven child who grew up to be a *very* driven (and high-achieving) woman. There was med school, a crazy modeling contract, even the idea of single-handedly starting an international charity. Her medical training at the County Hospital in Los Angeles involved grueling hours in an ob/gyn ward known as The Pit for the bloody, life-and-death cases that streamed through. Her stories about learning to deliver babies and save women under precarious circumstances are worth the price of the book.

She writes quite movingly of her complicated mom, and her anguish at not being able to save her from breast cancer. I picked up the book after seeing her talk about that on her show, now archived, on April 25, which also had re-enactments of her story. We're all shaped by our moms--and even the deeply flawed ones give us incredible gifts. That comes across in spades in this book. I didn't expect her to be able to write, but she can.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Bio-reader on April 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Paper Dollhouse - A Memoir" by Dr. LIsa Masterson, the beautiful co-host of THE DOCTORS, is a really powerful story. You wouldn't have expected this beautiful doctor survived the kind of childhood she describes in her book. And, after becoming a successful doctor, she started a charity to help mothers and babies. I hope Hollywood turns her story into a movie!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sally Maddox Bradford on September 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a sixty-seven year old wife, mother and grandmother.I grew up in Haynesville, La where LaVonne and the Smith family lived. The Smiths'lived not far from us ,the Maddox family .The community was and still is called Pinehill. LaVonne was in the school choir and so was I. we rode the same school bus and went to the same high school. I also visited her home a lot when her cousin Sally Ann came to visit.

I have seen Lisa on The Doctors and didn't know she was LaVonnes' daughter until this summer. We graduates from Havnesville Colored High School have a reunion every two years and I was informed in an e-mail to watch because she was going to talk about her mom and the book.

I ordered the book and related straight away. In November 2010 I had an exam by my OBGYN and she found nothing but gave me a referral form for a Mammogram. In February 2011, I found a lump and was told after testing that I had stage 1 breast cancer. I had not had a breast exam in three years.I was shocked to say the least.
Having had two knee replacements ,gallbladder removal, and pneumonia.I had no time for anything else. This is what may happen if you don't get a mammogram.
In March I had a Lumpectomy and had to wait five months to start treatment. I am also part of a University of North Carolina study of three thousand women of which one half are African American ,to figure out why we die of breast cancer more often than other groups. I too hope they make this book into a movie,It's inspiring. There are no perfect families and we strive to be a success in spite of it all and being aware of some of our not so happy history ,work hard not to repeat it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bigmm on December 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this to be a very moving account of a woman that under the worst of circumstances had the courage and fortitude to encourage her daughter to excel at everything she did. Dr. Lisa Masterson is now a very famous OB/GYN and is a regular on the series, The Doctors TV. It is a story of courage and strength that not only her mother showed but Dr. Lisa as well. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, especially if you have any doubts as to how you can make it in a world that is so down on so many people just because they are poor. It shows that no matter what your lot in life is, you can have a good life if you just work really hard at it and have the courage to stand for what you believe in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Glynis on December 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dr. Masterson on the "Doctors" was a surprising read. I simply enjoyed it, and how candid she was about her life. I'm sure her mother would've been proud of her. I recommend this book solely on the read, and I'm sure we all can find something in this book that mirrors our life or personality in some way. And, if it doesn't it will show how obstacles has shaped the lives of successful people who we've come to admire.

I recommend this book, enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. James on March 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I was surprised to learn of the obstacles Dr. Lisa overcame to become a doctor. Her mother did what she needed to do to get her a top education. I would never have guessed she came from a single parent family where her mother did whatever she could to get her daughter a good education.
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