Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Ashley Cleveland
Publisher: David C. Cook
"I could not find satisfaction for my desire anywhere else in this world. I did, however, give it my best shot. But my solutions led me to alcoholism, drug addiction, lying, cheating, stealing, promiscuity, and really bad moods. I spent years heaping shame upon shame,” Ashley Cleveland confesses in her book, Little Black Sheep, A Memoir.
Songwriter and multiple Grammy award winner, Ashley Cleveland tells all about herself and her torrid past in this two hundred page hardbound book. With minor profanity and topics of alcoholism, drugs, premarital sex and homosexuality, this Christian story is targeted toward those who understand God’s loving grace, mercy and forgiveness but may it not be edifying for naïve, immature young adult readers.
Born in Tennessee in the late nineteen fifties, the writer faced a multitude of challenges, heart-breaks and obstacles in life to succeed as a musician let alone a human being. Having alcoholic parents who were divorced when she was in kindergarten set her up to imbibe at an early age, progressing to illegal drug use and abuse. Realizing her father was gay further stunted healthy personal and sexual relationships, leading to her becoming a single mother who, thankfully, was deeply devoted to her daughter.
Being tossed from coast to coast to live with each parent during her school years, Cleveland was uprooted often and set apart from her peers, causing a lack of belonging and loneliness that included not valuing others and herself. Her only outlet was writing songs and playing music, starting at age fifteen at a local restaurant for money.
With music being her only source of substance and solace to overcome her awkwardness, she always felt God was furious with her yet she consistently was drawn to local churches, finding singing at them or in their youth groups gave her a sense of being in control.
After becoming pregnant and trying to do the twelve step Alcoholic Anonymous program, she finally hit bottom relapsing, leading her to find the true meaning in life: a solid, loving, forgiving relationship with Jesus Christ where she continually wants to surrender all to Him.
Although this memoir is a hard read to comprehend this singer’s constant self-destruction, emotional angst, internal torment and chronic addiction to the bottle, it is an amazing blessing that she has found love and intimacy by now experiencing a Christian marriage, three healthy children and a gifted musical career. She is a living testimony that God loves us no matter what we do as He walks with us down life’s path.
This book was furnished by the publicist for review purposes.