Don’t Tell Anybody the Secrets I Told You: A Memoir

Crown. Apr. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9780593136492. $28.99. MEMOIR
In a conversational style, Grammy Award winner Williams takes readers through the ups and downs of her family life and musical career. She weaves a narrative that feels relatable and extraordinary. Having inherited her musical talent from her mother and her way with words from her father, Williams considers how her childhood and family shaped her music and life. When the author was a child (she was born in 1953 in Louisiana), her mother was diagnosed with manic depression with paranoid schizophrenic tendencies, which left Williams and her two siblings in the care of their poet father, a professor at the University of Arkansas who read a poem at Bill Clinton’s second presidential inauguration. The author ponders her long journey toward achieving her dream in her forties, decades after being stuck in the hard-to-sell category between country and rock. Williams tells her story candidly, sharing the inspiration for her songs along with the trials and tribulations that made her the artist she is today. The book includes a chronology of the many places where the author lived from childhood through the 2020s.
VERDICT Honest and raw, this book serves a slice of an inspiring life that reminds readers to keep trying. Williams’s story will likely appeal to readers interested in music, poetry, literature, or mental health.
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