Thursday, January 28, 2021

She Come By It Natural by Sarah Smarsh

Title:  She Come By It Natural

Author: Sarah Smarsh

Read by:  Sarah Smarsh

Publisher: Simon & Shuster Audio

Length: Approximately 4 hours and 33 minutes

Source: Review Copy from Simon & Shuster Audio.  Thank-you! 

She Come By It Natural is an interesting and unique look into the impact that Dolly Parton has had on women during her career.  She Come By It Natural was originally published as a four-part collection that looked at Dolly's contribution to social progress for women by exploring her life and songs.  It also looked how Dolly and these songs impacted author Sarah Smarsh and her family, especially her grandmother. 

I thought it was an interesting way to tell Dolly Parton’s story and gave it a personal twist.  Dolly Parton gave a voice to those that thought they were voiceless.  This is not a straight biography of Dolly Parton, but more tidbits about her life.  What really struck me was her resilience and how she has stuck by her family and her people in her community.  She has gone beyond that and helps children across the country with literacy.  She has done a lot of good in her life beyond her beautiful and socially important music.  I also loved the side story of how her father washed her statue in her hometown every night, and she didn’t find out until after he had passed.  It was touching.  It was also interesting the work dynamics she had as woman singer with Porter Wagner and how that shaped her.  She is a strong woman.

One item that did surprise me is that the author brought in her personal politics.  I thought it went well with the story, but it could cause readers that don’t agree politically to be turned off by the narrative.

Sarah Smarsh the author also narrates the book, which I enjoyed.  It made it feel very personal.

 Overall, She Come By It Natural is an interesting look at Dolly Parton’s life and how it impacted the author and her family.


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