Sign of Life: A Story of Family, Tragedy, Music, and Healing

Hilary Williams, with M.B. Roberts, Da Capo, $24 (240p) ISBN 9780306819131
In March 2006, Williams and her sister Holly were driving to their grandfather's funeral in Louisiana when she lost control of the car and rolled it several times, experiencing an out-of-body experience. In her first book, she tells her inspirational story of pain, recovery, and faith. Williams's narrative alternates between grueling recovery (14 surgeries in Memphis and nine more down the road) and her famous family, grandfather Hank Williams and father Hank Williams Jr. After her parents divorced, she, her mom, and her sister moved to Nashville and lived a normal "middle class life" (if swimming in Waylon Jennings's pool is normal). Stories about her grandfather, who died at 29, are few but fascinating. "It hurts to heal," Hilary recalls, describing one memorable low spot, when she stayed up most of the night because of a cold foot; her sock had come off and she "couldn't get out of bed, pick up the sock, and put it back on." This is an inspirational story for anyone who has ever experienced traumatic injury or been on the other side of the bed, and Hilary's family illustrates the strength that loved ones can offer in our darkest hours. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/17/2011
Release date: 11/01/2010
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