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Sign of Life: A Story of Family, Tragedy, Music, and Healing Hardcover – November 2, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In March 2006, Williams and her sister Holly were driving to their grandfather's funeral in Louisiana when she lost control of the car and rolled it several times, experiencing an out-of-body experience. In her first book, she tells her inspirational story of pain, recovery, and faith. Williams's narrative alternates between grueling recovery (14 surgeries in Memphis and nine more down the road) and her famous family, grandfather Hank Williams and father Hank Williams Jr. After her parents divorced, she, her mom, and her sister moved to Nashville and lived a normal "middle class life" (if swimming in Waylon Jennings's pool is normal). Stories about her grandfather, who died at 29, are few but fascinating. "It hurts to heal," Hilary recalls, describing one memorable low spot, when she stayed up most of the night because of a cold foot; her sock had come off and she "couldn't get out of bed, pick up the sock, and put it back on." This is an inspirational story for anyone who has ever experienced traumatic injury or been on the other side of the bed, and Hilary's family illustrates the strength that loved ones can offer in our darkest hours.
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From Booklist

In 2006, Hilary Williams, the 27-year-old daughter of Hank Williams, Jr., and the granddaughter of country icon Hank Williams, was driving to her maternal grandfather’s funeral in Louisiana, when she and her younger sister, Holly, were in a terrible car crash along legendary Highway 61. Williams recalls the details of the moment that she reached down to change a song on her iPod—Patty Griffin’s “Tony,” about a suicidal gay man—when their Toyota 4Runner skidded across the road and flipped over. Her sister was banged up, but Williams suffered the most severe damage: broken legs, ankle, back, collarbone, tailbone, pelvis, ribs as well as shattered hips. Worse, her heart stopped briefly before she could be revived again. This inspirational and sweetly written memoir recounts her many surgeries and her determination to get better. Although Williams also discusses the careers of her famous relatives, the brunt of the book is devoted to her long and arduous rehabilitation, and her triumphant return to the stage. Country-music fans will especially find it appealing. --June Sawyers
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306819139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306819131
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #405,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have actually known Hilary, her sister Holly and their lovely mother Becky for many years. I remember the time during the accident and how scared everyone was for Hilary and Holly, but wasn't aware of all the details! Over the past couple of years, I have become very close friends with Hilary and this book really helped me understand her journey before, during and after the car crash with much more clarity! You see, Hilary never complains about being in pain so it is easy to forget that she has been through so much and continues to face pain on a daily basis!!

The writing style is as if you are hanging out with Hilary and she's talking directly to you! It was fun learning details about the Williams family and all of the struggles as well as triumphs that they as a family have been dealt in life!! This book is a must read for anyone, especially someone who likes a "happy ending" in life!! It truly helped me understand my friend, where she has been, and where she is going and I loved it!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I knew the story of Hank Williams, Jr. and his terrible accident in 1974 and his amazing comeback, so I was interested in reading the story of his daughters (2) accident. This story will take you through a range of emotions. I cried, I laughed and my heart broke over this story, but in the end Hilary's story of triumph over tradgedy was so uplifting. She will know pain the rest of her life, yet her spirit and attitude towards life is amazing and inspirational to say the least.

I recommend this book to anyone who has ever needed a spiritual uplifting and a new view of the magic of life. Many of us have known sadness and depression in our life but this story tells of hope and an optimistic attitude that simply won't quit. Very inspiring.
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Format: Hardcover
Although I did not know much about the Williams family, this beautifully crafted book about courage and grace made it a wonderful read and a chance to share in Hilary's deeply personal journey. The book is timeless and will certainly remain with the reader indefinitely. Hilary is a testament to strength and faith in a way that will inspire and energize anyone who has the chance to get to know her through her book. Although she is a member of such a famous family, she, and her family, are all deeply human and "ordinary" in a beautiful and remarkable way. I highly recommend it!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At first, I would have given this book a 5-star rating, but I was getting a little bored at the end. The story seemed to slow down to a crawl and then end abruptly. I would definitely recommend this book, though. Hilary is a real survivor and I admire her very much; she is an inspiration. There are a few grammatical errors but otherwise the book is good. I got involved in her story quickly and was really riveted through most of it until near the end.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not only do you get to read Hilary's inspirational story you get some more info on Hank Jr's accident, Hank Sr and Audrey's lives and how all the kids/grandkids are related to the Williams that we've heard of as singers! So its not just all about Hilary but her relations come into a lot of it too which made for a very interesting story along with her accident and recovery. You get to see a different side of Hank Jr as her Dad even though he wasn't in her life very much due to his career and a divorce, he still tried to be there for her. A book worthy of your time to read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I knew OF country music star Hank Williams Jr. and his famous father, but really enjoyed getting to learn more about the family through Hilary's story. Very good read - very entertaining, and I feel a great appreciation and admiration for this legendary family. I highly recommend the book. If you were not a fan of Hank Jr. before the book, you will be after you read it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of Hank Sr. & Jr. So when I saw this on Jr.'s FB page I had to have it. This book is more than just Hillary's story of recovery from a horrible auto accident. She gives insight into her family and faith. I read it while on my own journey of recovery and found it to be very uplifting.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this story about the life and family of Hillary Williams, the daughter of Hank Williams Jr. And her recovery though the horrendous wreck. She shared her experience of seeing heaven after she died and then returning to her body. She also shared the struggle to recover and about her childhood and the people in her life and some family history. I did not put this book down until I read the whole thing. She is living proof that all things are possible with God and prayer.
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