PERFORMING ARTS

Broken Horses

Crown. Apr. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9780593237243. $28. MEMOIR
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In this memoir, five-time Grammy Award winner Carlile takes readers on a journey, from her childhood home in the country, to Joni Mitchell’s living room, and beyond. In her debut book, Carlile’s writing reflects the same candor that listeners get when they hear her music. She uses a casual tone and often addresses readers directly, which makes the narrative feel like a conversation with a friend, whether she is discussing her vocal phases, the various genre designations assigned to her music, or her thoughts about when and if to start a family. Carlile makes the format her own by including song lyrics and personal photos between each chapter. The singer-songwriter explores different topics that have had a major impact on her life, including family, her sexuality, and the COVID-19 pandemic. She also includes letters she has written to other artists, such as Adele, about the ways they have inspired or impacted Carlile through the darkest of times. Overall, she paints an intimate and elaborate picture of what it’s like to be a famous musician when the camera and the stage lights are turned off.
VERDICT A good read for fans of Carlile who want a peek into her life and her growth as a musician.
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