Sunshine and Shadow

Jan Howard, Author Eagle Publishing Corporation. $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-931933-48-6
A Depression baby (born Lula Grace Johnson in 1930), Howard knew poverty throughout her childhood in various small towns in Missouri and Oklahoma before becoming a Grand Old Opry star in the 1960s. Despite her success as an entertainer, her personal life, as recounted here, has been almost unrelieved tragedy. Recalling her first marriage, she writes that she had three sons by an immature and selfish husband whom she finally divorced after he threatened to kill her. Her second husband, unbeknownst to her, was already married; she had two miscarriages before she discovered the truth and left him. Her third marriage, to a songwriter, brought her to Nashville where she triumphed professionally, but their marriage broke up because of his womanizing. Later years presented more sorrow: her oldest son was killed in Vietnam, her youngest became a drug addict and killed himself, and her long affair with a married man ended. Howard's account of her storm-tossed life is readable but sloppily edited. 15,000 first printing; $30,000 ad/promo; author tour. (August 5)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1987
Release date: 06/01/1987
Paperback - 490 pages - 978-0-931933-78-3
Paperback - 490 pages - 978-0-685-35686-9
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