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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Life is Not a Stage...Review

About the book:
For millions of people around the world, Carol Brady is synonymous with motherhood, but growing up as the youngest of ten children in rural Indiana in the aftermath of the Great Depression, Florence Henderson lived a life quite different from that of the quintessential TV mom she later played on television.

Florence's father was a dirt-poor tobacco tenant farmer who was nearly fifty years old when he married Florence's twenty-five-year-old mother, and was nearly seventy when Florence was born. Florence's childhood was full of deprivation and abandonment. Her father was an alcoholic at a time when there was no rehab or help for the disease. Their home rarely had electricity or running water. When she was twelve, Florence's mother left the family to work in Cleveland and never returned.

Florence opens up about her childhood, as well as the challenges she's faced as an adult, including stage fright, postpartum depression, her extramarital affairs, divorce, her hearing loss, and heart problems. She writes with honesty and wisdom of how her faith and ability to survive has brought her through rough times to a life of profound joy and purpose.

Like many who grew up watching the Brady Bunch and Wesson Oil commercials, I had no idea that Florence Henderson has had such a long career. I learned that she started on Broadway and was the original Today Show girl and that she came from an alcoholic, impoverished home. Florence talks about abuse, postpartum depression, her father's alcoholism, her mother's abandonment, divorce and affairs.  But, I found her memoir straightforward and easy to read and she shares her story with a refreshing honesty and a positive attitude. 

An interesting and enjoyable read and one that fans of Florence will enjoy.

Thanks to Sarah at Center Street for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Florence Henderson here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 7/12

* * *
3/5 Stars


  1. My mom has told me about Henderson's tough upbringing and her early start. This sounds like a book I'd enjoy.

  2. I have always really loved Florence Henderson, and I think I would really enjoy reading this book. I have a fascination with people who beat the odds and end up on top, so this seems like it would probably be a great read for me. Great review today!