Book Review…. Saving Amy (Winehouse)
Saving Amy had me interested from the moment I saw the weatherbeaten, vintage look cover. The book looks like it has been poured over many times, dropped, ripped and then stored in a dusty box even though it is brand new. The cleverness of the book cover was not lost on me and I appreciate the design work.
I must admit, as much as Daphne Barak tells us (a few times) that she is very famous for interviewing celebrities it was the first time I had ever heard of her. She is a credible journalist and pays attention to the smallest details.
The book of course is about Amy Winehouse, but Daphne cuts through the singing career, only listing major music awards and moments to give us a timeline of her short, spectacular, scattered and incredibly lonely life. This book is not for music fans. This book is for those who want a window into the life of a family who have a member with addiction. Fatal addiction.
Daphne speaks most freely with Mitch Winehouse, Amy’s doting father and you can see that although she was trying to keep distant and factual, she feels for him deeply on occasion. He annoys her, plays to the media, plays his past as well as his current wives off each other but it never seems malicious. Who can judge a guy who was unsuspectingly thrust into the spotlight to tend to his drug adled, alcoholic daughter who seems to crave his attention 24/7 and who just happens to have been one of the most talented voices of our time.
The tiniest of details, the briefest of converstaions are relaid second by second, word by word and it is these tiny moments in Amy’s world that give the reader the biggest sense of her as a woman. A young woman who was struggling with demons that were all too powerful for her tiny frame.
An interesting book, one I would recommend to anyone who loved her work and was baffled by her quick demise and untimely death. It is also a book for those of us who think our family is just a little bit left of centre. Daphne shows us that even the most rich and talented cannot choose the family they are dealt and it is these families who sculpt the children they rear.