Author: Bonnie Barnett

Publisher: Austin, TX: Synergy Books

ISBN: 978-0-9842358-7-2

Click Here To Purchase Bobo's Daughter: One Woman's Journey to Find Hope, Healing, and the Father behind the Face Paint


One tends to associate fun, love and laughter with clowns, but, in this memoir one is reminded that, although such is the public and, one may say, professional face of clowning, nothing could be further from the emotional lives and feelings of some of these doyens of the circus. Bobo’s Daughter tells of the heartbreak that often lurks behind the face paint of even the most renowned of such pivotal figures of the big top. Though being capable of teaching numerous small dogs tricks that astounded both child and adult alike, emotional attachments to humans proved to be more problematic for Chester “Bobo” Barnett—Bobo the Clown—who will be inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame this October.


This memoir, written by his daughter Bonnie Barnett, tells of how she essentially grew up without a father, and, even when she did find him again, how asserting her emotional claims on him took considerable effort, as he had a history of avoiding his responsibilities towards her, both in financial and in relationship terms. For most of his life, the stage persona was the only version of her father that Barnett knew. 19 black-and-white photographs, mainly of Bobo either on or off stage, and many with the dogs that he trained, illustrate the memoir. Despite Bonnie’s life being far from ideal, she had some basic instincts which helped her through the rough times, including a love of dogs, clearly inherited from her father.


However, the tragedy of separation from what ideally should be one of the key relationships in one’s life is borne out graphically in this tale. Barnett, who, ironically enough, is now a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with more than 30 years’ experience, has the following to say about her growing up without her father: “I was forced to walk down a road of difficult discovery and heart-wrenching healing. I learned to recognize the importance of asking forgiveness and reconciling with others. I want to tell this story so others who have been discouraged do not give up.”  


This memoir should find resonance with anyone from a broken home who has struggled to make contact with an estranged parent. With so many marriages ending in divorce and separation these days, the prospective audience for the book should be very wide indeed.   

Click Here To Purchase Bobo's Daughter: One Woman's Journey to Find Hope, Healing, and the Father behind the Face Paint