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Amy, My Daughter Hardcover – June 26, 2012
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From the Back Cover
Candid, compelling, and heartbreaking—a father's story of a talent taken too soon and a legacy that will live on for generations
On July 23, 2011, Amy Winehouse's family, friends, and fans around the world mourned the tragedy that this remarkable, talented, and extraordinarily generous young woman was now gone. A legion of dedicated fans had lost their idol; a devastated family had lost their Amy. With this difficult news came an outpouring of love and grief from her fans, along with troubling questions about Amy's very public struggles with drugs and alcohol, as people tried to understand how such a soulful singer had been silenced so young.
Now, in this intimate and tender account, her father and confidant, Mitch, offers an inside view of Amy's life as she lived it, putting to rest once and for all the controversies that have long surrounded her. Sifting fact from fiction, he pre-sents a portrait of Amy unlike any other, detailing the events and the people that shaped her youth—from her mischievous childhood to her grandmother's Jazz Age stories, to her father singing Frank Sinatra around the house. Shedding light on Amy's musical coming-of-age, Mitch explores how she honed her distinctive sound, created her unforgettable look, and channeled her own life into hits such as "You Know I'm No Good," "Rehab," and "Back to Black"—some of the most memorable and personal pop music in years.
While her beehive hair, larger-than-life voice, and outrageous personality made her famous, her life offstage made her infamous. Here Mitch holds nothing back about Amy's addiction to drugs and alcohol, mixing the painful with the poignant as he describes the realities of her dependencies and the toll they took on the family and friends who refused to give up on her. Revealing the truth about Amy's substance abuse and dispelling many of the tabloid-fueled rumors about her tumultuous marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil, Mitch exposes the years of behind-the-scenes drama that consumed his life and explains how, for those who knew Amy in her last months, the greatest tragedy of all was that she finally appeared to be conquering her demons.
Filled with insights into Amy Winehouse's music, photographs from her life, and stories of the real woman behind the headlines, Amy, My Daughter is an emotional journey into music, addiction, and the unbreakable bond between a daughter and her father.
About the Author
Mitch Winehouse is the father of Amy Winehouse and a lifelong resident of London who worked for many years as a taxi driver. The founder of the Amy Winehouse Foundation, Mitch is also a jazz vocalist whose most recent album is titled Rush of Love.
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REASON: Amy Winehouse was such a beautiful soul with a magical voice, and a one in a million talent. I thought I knew how heartbreaking her story was, but to see the movie and watch her go from a bubbly teenager to a tortured, lost soul was almost unbearable. I can't complain about the book's grammar or the usual ways a book fails. But it was truly awful to realize that the two most important men in her life, whom she loved desperately but unwisely, were not only repugnantly self serving, but consistently let her down.
It was brutally, horrifyingly clear in the film that her father's disappearance in her early years, and his reappearance after his daughter's fame and fortune grew (some coincidence) were harmful to her in each case! Her need for a nurturing, perhaps even a bit more stern guidance from a parent, was unmet. Instead, she wound up with some narcissistic, trash of a husband and another self serving leech: her father. It becomes unavoidably clear that daddy's "love" centered around her career, but not her health and well-being. In fact, Mitch Winehouse probably had as much right to be a parent as a snake does: he was the first one to scorn the idea of early substance abuse programs (you know this from the "Rehab" song). Any other intelligent parent would have dragged her straight to rehab and kicked her boyfriend to the curb.
Of course she had a support net of great friends and other family members. But with young, susceptible celebrities like Amy Winehouse, it's invariably the soul stealers who have the more powerful effect on them. As a similarly unfortunate singer (Janis Joplin) voiced it best in one of her songs, very ironically, "...Take another little piece of my heart now...."
I can't imagine this lousy excuse of a dad as a legitimate author, so I'm guessing someone "helped" him pen this unfortunate biography anyhow. I'm going to actually return this book, on principle. For anyone who really wants to know about this gifted singer's tragically short life, just watch the movie, because what it reveals is the heart wrenching story of the death of innocence. And you'll never get the truth from her father.
I hope her soul is at peace, but I'd hate for the people who brought her down to benefit posthumously in any way! Unfortunately, I bought the book before seeing the film, and now regret that. Even the thought of one cent coming his way via this book is repugnant. But what I really hope for is that Amy Winehouse is at peace, and that the beautiful, engaging young woman who gave so many people joy in her beautiful music, is the one that people continue to remember most of all.
In a nut shell, it read, in my eyes, as an all too common tale of parental denial in the face of the crippling mental illness and self destruction of a beloved child, mixed in with the accompanying co dependency and a real sense of meaning well, but having no clue. Parenting doesn't come with a handbook, especially parenting a mentally ill, self destructing , co dependent , drug addicted super star who was stalked, hounded and crucified in the press day after day with no PR , no damage control, no help or guidance or direction of any sort. I can't even imagine .