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Shirley Jones: A Memoir Hardcover – July 23, 2013

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; First Edition edition (July 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476725950
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476725956
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (525 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Shirley Jones comes across sounding like a thoroughly modern woman. Maybe, sometimes, nice girls do finish first." ---AudioFile --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

About the Author

Shirley Jones is an American singer and actress of stage, film, and television. In her six decades of show business, she has starred as wholesome characters in a number of well-known musical films, such as Oklahoma! (1955), Carousel (1956), and The Music Man (1962). She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing a vengeful prostitute in Elmer Gantry (1960). She played Shirley Partridge, the widowed mother of five children in the situation comedy television series The Partridge Family (1970–1974), co-starring her real-life stepson David Cassidy.

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Customer Reviews

This book was a very interesting read.
Lisa A. Mello
All in all I liked the book but I just thought that it was too bad that at eighty she feels the need to shock us.
Other than those, there's not much to the book, and what is there is poorly written and edited.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 85 people found the following review helpful By E. B. Watson on July 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It takes guts to write a book like this and risk one's reputation at 79 years of age. But Shirley Jones was never weak, and she shows her raw strength at its best in this fascinating and, yes, shocking tale of show business and a woman we all thought we knew. A riveting read, Ms. Jones doesn't let "polite society" stand in the way of stark truth-telling. Beloved as the nearly perfect "Mrs Partridge" and the idealistic "Marian the Librarian," Ms. Jones was instead a flesh-and-blood woman married to a man she adored, but who mistreated her (to use the kindest euphemism) and introduced her to a sub-world she certainly knew nothing about during her protected childhood in Smithton, PA. In many ways, Ms. Jones's life could have been more like that of "Lulu Baines" in "Elmer Gantry," led astray by callow men. Instead, she, with her remarkable talent, found her way out of the cobwebs and into the life she deserves. She is married to a man who loves her (as odd as he might be!) and has four sons and twelve grandchildren who fill her life. They may be -- will be -- upset and disturbed by what their mother writes about her trials in life, but should be proud of her ability to survive it all with a sense of humor, enduring strength, and a vital sexuality. Oh, yes, Mrs. Partridge does have a sex life, and you'll read all about it! Perhaps a little TMI for the squeamish, but you can skip those parts if you must!
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95 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Galla on July 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Given her talents and the longevity of her career, I was expecting a bit more from this memoir. Jones skims over much of the really important and interesting aspects of her career in order to focus more on her marriage to Jack Cassidy. Jones worked with great actors and directors but they are only mentioned briefly, although a few, such as Richard Brooks and Marlon Brando, with telling comments. The book would be far more interesting if she had discussed in greater detail her work on these movies and her relationships with her costars. (The information about riding around and necking with Richard Widmark really was mindboggling.......Richard Widmark?????). The description of her childhood, growing up in a small town, and her relationship with her parents is interesting. Despite the seemingly importance of her parents in her life, however, they are hardly mentioned after her move to New York. For example, when did her father die? She mentions his death at an early age in her introduction but never discusses it in the book, despite her great love for him. And what about her mother? Her disapproval of Jack Cassidy is referred to (smart woman) and her attempt to cut David Cassidy's hair, but nothing else. Was she a constant presence in Shirley's life long into her adulthood? The focus of the memoir is really on Shirley's marriage to Jack Cassidy, evidently a rather nasty bit of work. He was the 'love of her life" and she accepted his jealousy of her success and that of his two sons, his constant infidelity, his temper tantrums, his drinking, until his illness posed a real threat to their sons. Even thirty five years later she still sees him as her great love, despite the success of her second marriage to Marty Ingels.Read more ›
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113 of 134 people found the following review helpful By Voraciousreader on July 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Being a child of the early 70's and a fan of The Partridge Family at the time, I thought that this would be a good read, I was wrong.
Her references to her own children's large penis sizes, her ex-husbands penis size, her masturbation ritual (Vaseline and a finger) and her threesome were just a bit more than I wanted to hear. I expected some inside, behind the scenes stories from her long and until now spotless career. She repeats herself several times, discusses extra marital affairs and in my opinion describes her current husband as some sort of freak.
Hopefully this review can keep 12 bucks in someones pocket or spend it on a worthwhile book.
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47 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Talia on July 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Shirley Jones since I was 11 and saw her in "The Music Man." I've also had the pleasure of meeting her in person twice - once at a lecture and another time at one her concerts.

Although it's easy for people to confuse the actor with the role, I've always had a solid understanding that Shirley Jones was unlike the roles that she played on TV and in the movies.

That being said, I was quite disappointed with her latest book. Aside from the fact that it was not copy-edited very well (several misspellings and missing words), I felt the content was poorly organized. Generally, memoirs and autobiographies are linear. It just makes sense to organize the narrative that way. But Jones' book jumped all over the place - one moment she was a young child, the next a married woman, and then back to being a teenager.

The content itself was disappointing. Rather than present a thoughtful account of her upbringing, career and marriage, she chose to resort to shock-jock tactics, spilling everything about her sexual activies (including how she masturbates and to what), her sons' physical endowments, etc.

I realize that you don't want to sugar coat things in a memoir, but there are ways to be tasteful while still being honest. It's almost as if she wanted to distance herself from any squeaky-clean image that still might linger. For me, that forced crassness was distracting and frustrating.

In the end, I did learn more about Shirley Jones. In some cases, I learned much more than I ever wanted to know. Reading this book makes me want to sit down and write Julie Andrews an earnest thank you card for providing a lovely memoir that was thoughtfully and tastefully written and laid out in an easy-to-understand chronological order.

Shirley Jones should take note.
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