Coals to Diamonds
Abuse, Book Review, Memoirs, Nonfiction

Coal to Diamonds: a Memoir by Beth Ditto

In a family so large that it tumbled and stretched to the edges of comprehension, every one of us came knocking on Aunt Jannie and Uncle Artus’s front door eventually, looking for refuge.

Mary “Beth” Ditto grew up in Judsonia, Arkansas, where there was no dancing allowed in public, sexual abuse was common, and being “different” was a cause for bullying.   This did not deter Beth in her pursuit of punk, finding her identity and breaking the mold on unhealthy perceptions of women’s bodies.  Nevertheless, Beth moved to Washington state with her friends and started a band called Gossip where the scene was more enlightening and fitted her style.  After finding out about and coming to grips with a rare and debilitating disease and finding her niche in music and in her love life, I believe the world is her oyster.

Beth’s story is gritty and painful, but she says “without all the stories, the best ones and the worst ones, I wouldn’t be who I am now. I’m proud of myself–something I can say because of all the people in this book.”  She is a very strong, savvy, and talented woman and I’m glad to have discovered her music.  She has a reason to be proud of herself.

I have added one of my favorite songs (I Wrote the Book) by Beth below and thought it was fitting for this review.  I see some Madonna moves…

Thank you to Beth Ditto, Random House and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book with no expectation of a positive review.

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