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Book Review
Loretta Lynn: Still Woman Enough

 
 
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When you think of country music's pioneers, Loretta Lynn is in the forefront. Her life has been a country song full of poverty, illness, hardships, abuse, love and tragedy. Her rags to riches story was first told in her 1976 autobiography, Coal Miner's Daughter then again in the 1979 movie of the same name starring Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones.

Now, twenty three years after the last credits have rolled off the screen, Lynn is again opening up her heart and soul to give us a glimpse of what those years have been like for her. The basis of her newest autobiography, Still Woman Enough, is to tell of her losses over these past two-plus decades. Losses unimaginable to many of us and all too real for too many others, Lynn's twelve familial losses include child, husband, parents, siblings, and several other close friends and relatives.

She talks quite a bit about the making of Coal Miner's Daughter and the reactions of herself and her family after seeing the movie's Nashville premier at the Bellemeade Theatre. Without rewriting her first book, Lynn does an excellent job of keeping the reader up to par while shedding new light on old stories. She took the opportunity with Still Woman Enough to clarify facts which may have left question marks (as well as exclamation marks) on the minds of Coal Miner's Daughter viewers and readers.

For example, there is a scene in the movie where Patsy Cline's husband sneaks beer into Patsy's hospital room when Lynn and Cline met for the first time. This scene bothered Lynn after seeing it because that never happened in her presence.

Still Woman Enough is an entertaining and heart-wrenching tale of truth and wisdom. The stories are anecdotal, told in Lynn's famed Butcher Holler vernacular which will make you laugh out loud. She takes you from humor to tears back to humor effortlessly. Lynn's "tell it like it is" approach is sure to make more than a few of the book's subjects squirm just a bit. She sheds light on many of the music industry's darker sides while maintaining the humorous lighter side of the business.

Still Woman Enough is full of the wisdoms which Lynn has acquired throughout her years of hardships both before and after her fame as one of country music's greatest legends.

With courage beyond comprehension, she gutsily journeys back through the darkest time of her life - the untimely drowning death of her son, Jack. Lynn sacrifices some of her private pain in hopes of helping others deal with this unimaginable Hell of losing a child.

Another hope Lynn wishes to fulfill with Still Woman Enough is that her stories of living with alcoholism will bring inspiration to someone else who is living with this disease. "I'm proud that I've been able to entertain some folks in my lifetime. Now, I'd like to inspire them. I'd like to uplift them."

Whether you're a country music fan or a Loretta Lynn fan or just a fan of real life, you will certainly enjoy this continued saga of Kentucky's "Coal Miner's Daughter" who is "Still Woman Enough" to tell it like it is.

Written by Sherry Anderson. April 2002, Countrypolitan.com.

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