Summary and book reviews of Somebody's Daughter by Ashley Ford

Somebody's Daughter

by Ashley C. Ford

Somebody's Daughter by Ashley C. Ford X
Somebody's Daughter by Ashley C. Ford
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  • Published:
    Jun 2021, 224 pages

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Book Summary

One of the most prominent voices of her generation debuts with an extraordinarily powerful memoir: the story of a childhood defined by the looming absence of her incarcerated father.

Through poverty, adolescence, and a fraught relationship with her mother, Ashley Ford wishes she could turn to her father for hope and encouragement. There are just a few problems: he's in prison, and she doesn't know what he did to end up there. She doesn't know how to deal with the incessant worries that keep her up at night, or how to handle the changes in her body that draw unwanted attention from men. In her search for unconditional love, Ashley begins dating a boy her mother hates. When the relationship turns sour, he assaults her. Still reeling from the rape, which she keeps secret from her family, Ashley desperately searches for meaning in the chaos. Then, her grandmother reveals the truth about her father's incarceration...and Ashley's entire world is turned upside down.

Somebody's Daughter steps into the world of growing up a poor, Black girl in Indiana with a family fragmented by incarceration, exploring how isolating and complex such a childhood can be. As Ashley battles her body and her environment, she embarks on a powerful journey to find the threads between who she is and what she was born into, and the complicated familial love that often binds them.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

BuzzFeed
Ashley Ford's much-awaited memoir chronicles her complicated relationship with her father...expect a deeply moving, nuanced story.

Time
Layering in the complexities of her relationship with her mother, her changing body and a boyfriend who grows abusive, Ford offers a heart-wrenching coming-of-age story.

Elle
In this beautiful, delicate memoir, writer Ashley C. Ford recounts a childhood defined by her incarcerated father's absence...and she starts a journey toward true and powerful selfhood.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A potent coming-of-age memoir...Ford creates fully three-dimensional portraits of her mother, grandmother, and other key players, using a child's-eye view to show us their failings and the calculations, negotiations, and survival tactics she developed in response to them. Sure to be one of the best memoirs of 2021.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Journalist Ford debuts with a blistering yet tender account of growing up with an incarcerated father...This remarkable, heart-wrenching story of loss, hardship, and self-acceptance astounds.

Author Blurb John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Ashley C. Ford's wrenchingly brilliant memoir is truly a classic in the making. Ford's writing is so richly observed and so suffused with love and yearning that I kept forgetting to breathe while reading it.

Author Blurb Saeed Jones, author of How We Fight for Our Lives
Ashley C. Ford went deep into the well of herself and her history and came back to the light with the book now in your hands. A piercing interrogation of who we are?to ourselves and to the people laying claim to us?Somebody's Daughter is an opportunity for each of us to illuminate the ties that bind, entangle, and connect us to one another.

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