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The Critic's Daughter

A Memoir

by Priscilla Gilman

The Critic's Daughter by Priscilla Gilman X
The Critic's Daughter by Priscilla Gilman
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  • Published Feb 2023
    304 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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There are currently 24 member reviews
for The Critic's Daughter
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  • William D. (Hudson, NH)
    The Critics Daughter
    Pricilla Gillman (Cil), the eldest daughter of Richard Gillman—famed drama and theatrical critic, has penned a memoir in tribute to her father. In the Prologue— "My father, in many ways was the quintessential intellectual and deeply cerebral man, was, nonetheless a man who thought with his heart."

    Her story intertwines the parallel paths of the person. He is a critic, a professor, an idealist and yet he, as she aptly defines, as charming, charismatic, sweet adorable and endearing father. But there are epochs of emotional darkness in his/their life—infidelity, divorce, sickness, and death.

    The crux of this memoir is the life story of the renowned critic, the mentoring of his children, especially his daughter Cil, and his love for his third wife and the respect he had for the second Mrs. Gillman. Of special interest is of course the narrative depicting the life of the drama/theatrical critic. A lot of famous names, personal relationships—artists, authors, politicians, educators, actors and such populate the pages. The successes and failures of many works were a direct result of his professional reviews.
    This five-star saga is grounded in love.
  • Stephanie K. (Glendale, AZ)
    The Function in Dysfunctional Family Love
    Ms. Gilman's work efficiently and sensitively categorizes the rise and fall in a family's fortunes, both in the literal and metaphorical sense, through the eyes of the eldest daughter, Cil. As well as taking us through her family's chronological history, it was more satisfying yet to wend our way through their emotional history. Anyone at all interested in Broadway or specifically musical theater will find this biography a charming accompaniment to a trip to the theater.
  • Melissa C. (Saint Johns, FL)
    A Beautifully Written and Brave Memoir
    I was so moved by this book because of the many shared experiences with the author.

    While I'm a few years older than Priscilla Gilman, I too grew up in the 70's in New York and could relate to so many of the stories shared in this beautifully written book. Ms. Gilman eloquently captures the complexity of emotions experienced by a little girl through her adult life and the impact of her special relationship with her famous, late father. A stunning memoir.
  • Colleen F. (Carrollton, TX)
    Truly Amazing
    I truly wasn't prepared to read this book. I thought it was just going to be about her dad's work and that was it. But boy was I wrong. This book was amazing and so well written. I love the relationship that she has with her dad, but then I start to see that she can't truly be who she needs to be. Her parent's separation truly put her at a crossroads with which parent to be strong for. I feel like the strength that she gave her father was what was truly needed at the time. I have never read a book this loving and genuine about a father and daughter relationship.
  • Ann W. (New York, NY)
    Nostalgia and then so
    Wonderful book. Great essays about her life, her father and others. Read it between finishing Barbara Kingsolver's last book. Had to stop to reread several Dickens short pieces and of course, my penultimate choices, Great Expectations, then David Copperfield and Bleak House.
  • Nancy L. (Staunton, VA)
    The Critic's Daughter
    "The Critic's Daughter" is a memoir written by Priscilla Gilman about her relationship with her father, esteemed critic Richard Gilman. I was put off in the very beginning by the seriousness with which Richard was portrayed, as well the name dropping of so many illustrious names from the world of literature and the arts. But soon I was drawn into the story of this very real, imperfect man and the all consuming love he had for his children. Priscilla Gilman writes with so much emotion that I was soon entrenched in the world of two small girls and their relationship with their parents: their father bigger than life, playful, caring and their mother, the consummate professional and quiet presence. Soon I was immersed in Priscilla's life as she passed through her teen years and moved into her adulthood. I was fascinated by the great love she had for her father through it all. This memoir is elegantly written and I highly recommend it.
  • Sharalynne P. (Valparaiso, IN)
    The Critic's Daughter
    I received this book from Bookbrowse knowing nothing about either Richard Gilman or his daughter Priscilla. But I enjoy memoirs so I thought I'd give it a shot. I started the book and couldn't get into it so I set it aside. While browsing in a book store I saw a copy of the book and thought to myself " You have this book, try it again". So I did. This time seemed to work for me, I guess I had to be in the mood for it. I did enjoy it but I have to say all of the quotes from Mr. Gilman were over my head . I was horrified that her mother seemed to think an eleven year old (I think she was) was old enough to hear all about her father's affairs and that he didn't really love her for herself. I really came away not having great feelings for her mother. After all, she started the whole mess by marrying someone she didn't love. Many years ago I heard someone say, "Just because he's a good father doesn't mean he's a good husband". I think that was the case here.

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