Country music’s spunky doyenne presents an inspirational, feel-good stocking stuffer.
Parton channels her years of down-home sensibilities and showbiz wisdom to fans needing a life-affirming pep talk, expanding on material delivered during a commencement speech highlighting what she considers to be the eternal rewards of dreaming, learning and caring. She fondly, if fleetingly, reminisces on being raised with 11 other siblings in a “shack at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains” and touches on her school days distracted by boys, being spoon-fed Bible chapters and rebelliously applying makeup even after being warned that it was “sinful.” Parton gets personal when writing of her 46-year marriage to Carl Dean and discusses what were initially considered as ill-conceived decisions to leave The Porter Wagoner Show to branch out into pop music then conceptualize the Dollywood theme park (she admits to knowing little about its daily operations). At the heart of Parton’s brief book are positive empowerment and a refreshing work ethic that support her travel-heavy livelihood singing, acting and fulfilling philanthropic endeavors like the Dollywood Foundation and the Imagination Library, which delivers free books to children. The author credits her boundless energy level to a minimalistic need for sleep (though she takes power naps) and true happiness surrounded by friends, family and a blessed life. Parton’s kooky, boobcentric sense of humor gels nicely with pages of song lyrics, anecdotes and countrified witticisms (“I look so totally artificial, but am so totally real”).
A pocket-sized pick-me-up for fans and dreamers.