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Told with raw, rugged honesty, this heartrending memoir from journalist Sarah Tomlinson recounts her unconventional upbringing and coming-of-age as colored by her complicated relationship with her father.<P><P> Sarah Tomlinson was born on January 29, 1976, in a farmhouse in Freedom, Maine. After two years of attempted family life in Boston, her father's gambling addiction and broken promises led her mother to pool her resources with five other families to buy 100 acres of land in Maine and reunite with her college boyfriend. Sarah would spend the majority of her childhood on "The Land" with infrequent, but coveted, visits from her father, who--as a hitchhiking, acid-dropping, wannabe mystic turned taxi driver--was nothing short of a rock star in her eyes.<P> Propelled out of her bohemian upbringing to seek the big life she equated with her father, Sarah entered college at fifteen, where a school shooting further complicated her quest for a sense of safety. While establishing herself as a journalist and rock critic on both coasts, Sarah's father continued to swerve in and out of her life, building and re-breaking their relationship, and fracturing Sarah's confidence and sense of self. In this unforgettable memoir, Sarah conveys the dark comedy in her quest to repair the heart her father broke.<P> Bittersweet, honest, and ultimately redemptive, Good Girl takes an insightful look into what happens when the people we love unconditionally are the people who disappoint us the most, and how time, introspection, and acceptance can help us heal.
The former child star--best known as Willis Jackson on Diff'rent Strokes--shares the shocking but inspirational details of his struggles with addiction, brushes with the law, and fierce fight to carve a path through the darkness and find his true identity. For Todd Bridges early stardom was no protection from painful childhood events that paved the road to his own personal hell. One of the first African-American child actors on shows like Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, and Roots, Bridges burst to the national forefront on the hit sitcom Diff'rent Strokes as the subject of the popular catchphrase, "What'chu Talkin About Willis?" When the show ended, Bridges was overwhelmed by the off-camera traumas he had faced. Turning to drugs as an escape, he soon lost control. Now, for the first time, Bridges opens up about his life before and after Diff'rent Strokes: the incredible reversals of fortune brought on by fame and the precipitous--and very public--descent that followed; the persecution from police; the drug addiction that nearly consumed him; the criminal charges that almost earned him a life sentence; and his successful legal defense led by Johnnie Cochran. Through it all, Bridges never relented in his quest to fight his way back from the abyss, establish his own identity--separate from Willis Jackson--and offer his ordeal as a positive example for those struggling to overcome similar challenges. His triumphant story of recovery and redemption is recounted here as well. Todd Bridges has lived a life of remarkable twists and turns--from the greatest heights to the lowest lows imaginable. In this shocking but ultimately hopeful memoir, he proves that what he was really talking about was survival.
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