Sunshine and Shadow

Sunshine and Shadow

by Jan Howard

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A Depression baby (born Lula Grace Johnson in 1930), Howard knew poverty throughout her childhood in various small towns in Missouri and Oklahoma before becoming a Grand Old Opry star in the 1960s. Despite her success as an entertainer, her personal life, as recounted here, has been almost unrelieved tragedy. Recalling her first marriage, she writes that she had three sons by an immature and selfish husband whom she finally divorced after he threatened to kill her. Her second husband, unbeknownst to her, was already married; she had two miscarriages before she discovered the truth and left him. Her third marriage, to a songwriter, brought her to Nashville where she triumphed professionally, but their marriage broke up because of his womanizing. Later years presented more sorrow: her oldest son was killed in Vietnam, her youngest became a drug addict and killed himself, and her long affair with a married man ended. Howard's account of her storm-tossed life is readable but sloppily edited. 15,000 first printing; $30,000 ad/promo; author tour. (August 5)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Howard survived much hardship before becoming a popular country music singer. Her family was terribly poor, and she was ill prepared for the bad marriage that she entered at age 15. The marriage ended after eight years, three children, and a nervous breakdown, but the poverty continued through another jinxed marriage to a bigamous spouse. Her third husband was song-writer Harlan Howard, who encouraged her to pursue a recording career. Good fortune followed and they both became highly successful as individual talents. She and Howard eventually divorced, too, and she has since then suffered the tragic deaths of two sons in separate incidents. Fans of this Grand Ole Opry performer will be touched by her story. Will Hepfer, SUNY at Buffalo Libs.

Product Details

Hastings House Daytrips Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

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