Little Black Sheep: A Memoir

Ashley Cleveland, Author, Ashley Cleveland, Narrated by
Ashley Cleveland, read by the author. Oasis Audio, unabridged, four CDs, 4.5 hrs., $19.99 ISBN 978-1-61375-541-9
Reviewed on: 01/06/2014
Release date: 09/01/2013
Hardcover - 201 pages - 978-1-4347-0529-7
Open Ebook - 200 pages - 978-0-7814-1087-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-60981-888-3
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-1-62188-276-3
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Grammy-winning gospel singer Cleveland’s rough childhood paved the way for the spirituality she later embraced. In his memoir, she describes her early struggles—beginning with her parents’ divorce, her inability to fit in, and her drug and alcohol addiction. The turning point comes when she becomes pregnant and decides to change her life, embracing religion and finding healing and redemption. As a singer, Cleveland has some serious pipes. As a narrator, however, she’s far more languid—almost melancholy. In some instances, this tone works perfectly—when she describes her stepfather as “a man who viewed women as accessories or lapel pins, connected at the surface but meant only for display.” Yet as Cleveland begins her spiritual awakening, this tone becomes ponderous and affected—almost as if it were weighted down intentionally to increase the seriousness of her religious beliefs. An uplifting tone would have been more appropriate, and listeners will yearn for the beautiful vocal variety that Cleveland exhibits in her singing. A David C. Cook hardcover. (Sept.)
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