STILL WOMAN ENOUGH
Loretta Lynn with Patsi Bale Cox

 


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Hyperion 2002
Reviewed by Sissy Jacobson

A Memoir

Loretta Lynn, the famous award winning country music star, was married at thirteen, became a mother at fourteen, and had three more children by the time she was eighteen. Her autobiography, COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER, written in 1976, hit the New York Times bestseller list. The movie by the same name became an Oscar winner, as well as winning an Oscar for Sissy Spacek, who played Loretta. Over twenty years later, her youngest children, twin daughters Patsy and Peggy, asked Loretta why in the world she was writing another book. "'Cause I still got things to say," she replied.

There were several people left out of the first book that she wanted to include in this one, plus things she hadn’t included in the first book, even though her husband told her to tell it all. Also, a lot has happened since the last book that she felt needed to be told, and tell she does.

In STILL WOMAN ENOUGH, Loretta admits to having been an abused wife. Her husband, Doo as she calls him, was an alcoholic and a womanizer who physically and emotionally abused her. For many years she thought her "mommy" and daddy were the strange ones because they had a loving relationship. Everyone Loretta and Doo knew were just like they were, the wives putting up with drunken husbands who knocked them around and slept with other women. Even after she found out not everybody lived like they did, she wouldn’t leave him. He was her soul mate, the other half of her. Besides, in the fighting department she could usually give as good as she got. One night when he came in drunk and started yelling and hitting her, she balled up her fist, swung, and knocked out his two front teeth.

In this book, Loretta tells of the awards she’s won, the famous people she’s met, including several presidents, and the places she’s performed. She talks about the deaths that have left her reeling… both of her parents, her best friends Patsy Cline and Tammy Wynette, Conway Twitty, her oldest child, Jack, when he was a young adult, and her husband’s illness and death. Doo blamed himself for Jack’s death and from that point on his health declined.

STILL WOMAN ENOUGH is written in Loretta Lynn’s own voice, terrible grammar and all. When Doo called her stupid, she told him that she won’t argue with being called ignorant, but stupid she is not. I am not a country music fan, but I really enjoyed the refreshing frankness of this book. This dirt poor, undereducated, naïve country girl was not afraid of hard work. As she climbed the ladder to the top, she’s had huge wins, and some of the deepest losses a person can experience, but has always come back fighting. The deaths of her son and her husband brought her to her knees, but she hasn’t stayed there. For a truly inspirational book, I would recommend you read STILL WOMAN ENOUGH. Loretta said she told about her marriage hoping people would benefit from her story, and not go through all she did.

 

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