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Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter: A Memoir Hardcover – November 6, 2012
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“I am always in search of the book I can’t put down. Well, thanks to Melissa Francis, I FOUND it. I may have missed a few nights sleep, but I am so much better for it. Her book is captivating, revealing and ultimately healing. Who knew the kid from Little House on the Prairie had such a fascinating real-life story? I am in awe.”
"Chilling memoir by a Fox Business Network anchor and child star chronicles the misery of growing up with a cruel, controlling and abusive stage mother. Francis' narrative grabs readers immediately. One of those intimate, heartbreaking, doubled-edged stories that is hard to read, impossible to put down."
"Compelling...A thoughtful trek across a troubled family landscape resulting in a bittersweet yet hopeful final act."
About the Author
A graduate of Harvard University, Melissa Francis grew up in southern California. As a broadcast journalist, she has anchored CNBC’s Power Lunch, The Call, and On The Money, served as a regular contributor to the Today show and Weekend Today Show, and currently hosts two daily business shows on the Fox Business Network. She lives in New York City with her husband and their two sons.
Top Customer Reviews
I was expecting a Mommie Dearest meets Gypsy sort of book, however what I got was something decidedly more disturbing which begged the question as to whether the child or the mother was the performer. Melissa Francis need not worry about being accused of exaggeration. Her mother was the stage mama horror that often is portrayed in the media, but Melissa manages to tell her story truthfully without embellishments and avoids any attempt to sensationalize the difficult situation that she, her father, and sister found themselves as her mother's outrageous behavior escalated.
In Melissa's case and that of her older sister, her mother is beyond pushy. She plays psychological games with her daughters to wear down their confidence and security. For Melissa's mother it is all artifice and status symbols such as the BMW that Melissa gets for her birthday. It is the mother who is concerned about money and image and appearances. While the mother wears down both of the kids, Melissa is essentially a survivor with the goal of escaping her mother's grasp. The sister is less lucky as she continues to recede into her cocoon without much in the way of survival skills. In the end, the mother is shown as a manipulator, thief, and fraud who is without conscience or soul.Read more ›
By the time Little House on the Prairie was in full swing, I was just starting to work full time and really had not much interest in the show. However, over the years, I have read Melissa Gilbert and Melissa Anderson's books so this was a nice addition. Kind of interesting since I was never a huge fan - but, as I said, I could not resist the "Diary" part of this title LOL.
Having said all of this, I can honestly say that this was one of THE best memoirs (celebrity) or otherwise that I have ever read. Melissa Francis was incredibly honest, direct and always, always entertaining with her writing.
She starts off by telling us about her life as a young child and manages to balance just the right amount of information - so that it does not get bogged down in boring detail (as so many other memoirs do when it comes to the "younger' days). Additionally, Melissa does a wonderful job setting the stage (excuse the pun) for the "scenes" her mother has done and will continue to do throughout the course of this book.
It is always interesting to me to think about how you can be watching a young tv performer "do their" thing in their roles, all the while not knowing that the real drama in their lives is being played out behind the scenes and this was certainly the case with Melissa Francis.
Her descriptions of her experiences on the set are great, but what really worked were the contrasts she was living during her days on TV and her life with her mother (and the rest of her family).
I loved, loved this memoir - run to read it.
I thought she did a good job, not overloading on little details but giving you enough to understand her feelings. I had to remember it was more about her relationship with her mother and not about her TV shows, commercials, and the inner workings of them. She did touch on that, but I would have liked more, being interested in how that all comes together.
I also would have liked to hear more about her time on LHOP and other cast members that helped her during that time. I realize she might not have been quite as impressed with the show as I was, but a little more about that period in her life would have been nice for fans that remember her from that time.
I am glad she came out of her shaky relationship with her mother a stronger person, albeit some tragic events, and wish more child stars could say the same. Her honesty and candor was refreshing.
I read this yesterday afternoon and it would make a great book club book. Any age group of women today - mothers, daughters, sisters -- would enjoy the question - can there really be an end to wanting your mom? Even after condemning behavior, your mom is still your Mom. Where are the limits to the power of mothers? Thank you for sharing your story and your "end." I will hug my kids extra tonight.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Writing this book was probably a cathartic release for Melissa Francis for which I am grateful. She grew up seemingly unscathed compared to her sister and father perhaps. Read morePublished 27 days ago by kmedat8
This was one of the best written, deeply moving autobiographies I have ever read. The mom in me wanted to hold and comfort Melissa and Tiffany and the mom in me wanted beat the... Read morePublished 28 days ago by Kindle Customer
As with the other books I've downloaded to my Kindle, WHAT IS UP WITH ALL THE TYPOS?!?!? Please, correct this! Very annoying.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I am always fascinated to read someone's life story and learn how they grew up what drove or motivated them. Melissa's story did not disappoint. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Susan C
Very touching story. I admire Melissa's work on Fox News. Loved reading her story.Published 2 months ago by belladeb12
What an amazing story! I couldn't put it down! A story of love, pain and guilt. And ultimately triumph. A great true story and reminder that a bad family cycle can end with you. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
This book was not what I expected. It was rather slow in my opinion, and did not spend much time on the Little house on the prairie days. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Touk