HOMESICK: A Memoir
This earnest memoir by Ward, the 46-year-old star of the 1990s sitcom hits Sisters and Once & Again and spokesperson for Sprint long distance, juxtaposes a jet-setting Hollywood image with a smalltown Mississippi past. More sugared up than a glass of Southern iced tea, the book will surely build Ward's reputation with her TV fan base, as it doesn't delve deep into Ward's psyche or tell all about the biz. It's targeted at the women Ward grew up with in Meridian, Miss.—the same women she wants to reunite with now that she's returned there to begin settling down, loaded with cash, a Los Angeles venture capitalist husband and their two children. The fascinating trajectory of Ward's ideal American woman's life—she went from cheerleader and homecoming queen at the University of Alabama to fashion model and fixture of New York nightlife—should intrigue readers who can relate to culture shock. There's also a smattering of intelligently researched treatises on civil rights and on the contemporary crumbling of social bonds. A portion of the book's proceeds will go to a foundation for abused and neglected children that Ward founded last year in Meridian. Her overly saccharine tendencies notwithstanding, Ward gives readers a cute story of a smalltown girl's rise to celebrity. Photos. (Oct. 15)
Forecast:There's a large audience for this book, if one considers Ward's popularity on Sisters. But whether that sizable viewership will translate into big book sales is doubtful. Still, her publisher has planned an author tour stopping in cities such as Birmingham, Meridian, Jackson and Nashville.