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Amy, My Daughter [Hardcover]

Mitch Winehouse
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 18 2012

Candid, compelling, and heartbreaking-a father's story of a talent taken too soon and a legacy that will live on for generations

On July 23, 2011, Amy Winehouse's family, friends, and fans around the world mourned the tragedy that this remarkable, talented, and extraordinarily generous young woman was now gone. A legion of dedicated fans had lost their idol; a devastated family had lost their Amy. With this difficult news came an outpouring of love and grief from her fans, along with troubling questions about Amy's very public struggles with drugs and alcohol, as people tried to understand how such a soulful singer had been silenced so young.

Now, in this intimate and tender account, her father and confidant, Mitch, offers an inside view of Amy's life as she lived it, putting to rest once and for all the controversies that have long surrounded her. Sifting fact from fiction, he pre-sents a portrait of Amy unlike any other, detailing the events and the people that shaped her youth-from her mischievous childhood to her grandmother's Jazz Age stories, to her father singing Frank Sinatra around the house. Shedding light on Amy's musical coming-of-age, Mitch explores how she honed her distinctive sound, created her unforgettable look, and channeled her own life into hits such as "You Know I'm No Good," "Rehab," and "Back to Black"-some of the most memorable and personal pop music in years.

While her beehive hair, larger-than-life voice, and outrageous personality made her famous, her life offstage made her infamous. Here Mitch holds nothing back about Amy's addiction to drugs and alcohol, mixing the painful with the poignant as he describes the realities of her dependencies and the toll they took on the family and friends who refused to give up on her. Revealing the truth about Amy's substance abuse and dispelling many of the tabloid-fueled rumors about her tumultuous marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil, Mitch exposes the years of behind-the-scenes drama that consumed his life and explains how, for those who knew Amy in her last months, the greatest tragedy of all was that she finally appeared to be conquering her demons.

Filled with insights into Amy Winehouse's music, photographs from her life, and stories of the real woman behind the headlines,Amy, My Daughteris an emotional journey into music, addiction, and the unbreakable bond between a daughter and her father.


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Review

'Can't fail to move.' The Sunday Times 'An unsparing portrait of addiction ... refreshingly free of rose-tinting.' The Times 'Mitch does a fine job of fleshing out his daughter in all contradictory glory.' Observer 'An unflinchingly honest memoir.' Independent 'The inside story of a pop tragedy ... Told with courage, clarity and warmth.' Q magazine 'A fitting tribute to her incredible story.' Now magazine 'An intimate account' Look magazine 'A tender portrait of Amy.' Camden New Journal --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

Candid, compelling, and heartbreaking—a father's story of a talent taken too soon and a legacy that will live on for generations

On July 23, 2011, Amy Winehouse's family, friends, and fans around the world mourned the tragedy that this remarkable, talented, and extraordinarily generous young woman was now gone. A legion of dedicated fans had lost their idol; a devastated family had lost their Amy. With this difficult news came an outpouring of love and grief from her fans, along with troubling questions about Amy's very public struggles with drugs and alcohol, as people tried to understand how such a soulful singer had been silenced so young.

Now, in this intimate and tender account, her father and confidant, Mitch, offers an inside view of Amy's life as she lived it, putting to rest once and for all the controversies that have long surrounded her. Sifting fact from fiction, he pre-sents a portrait of Amy unlike any other, detailing the events and the people that shaped her youth—from her mischievous childhood to her grandmother's Jazz Age stories, to her father singing Frank Sinatra around the house. Shedding light on Amy's musical coming-of-age, Mitch explores how she honed her distinctive sound, created her unforgettable look, and channeled her own life into hits such as "You Know I'm No Good," "Rehab," and "Back to Black"—some of the most memorable and personal pop music in years.

While her beehive hair, larger-than-life voice, and outrageous personality made her famous, her life offstage made her infamous. Here Mitch holds nothing back about Amy's addiction to drugs and alcohol, mixing the painful with the poignant as he describes the realities of her dependencies and the toll they took on the family and friends who refused to give up on her. Revealing the truth about Amy's substance abuse and dispelling many of the tabloid-fueled rumors about her tumultuous marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil, Mitch exposes the years of behind-the-scenes drama that consumed his life and explains how, for those who knew Amy in her last months, the greatest tragedy of all was that she finally appeared to be conquering her demons.

Filled with insights into Amy Winehouse's music, photographs from her life, and stories of the real woman behind the headlines, Amy, My Daughter is an emotional journey into music, addiction, and the unbreakable bond between a daughter and her father.


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it Nov. 30 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very interesting, well written. I felt like I was along for the ride that was her life! Would loved to have known her and I only got interested really after I read this book
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars Sept. 4 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It was interesting. Obviously, though it was written by a Dad who was mourning the loss of his daughter
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  129 reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Narrative of this Book is about Amy's Addiction to Drugs and its Effect on her Loved Ones June 28 2012
By Jason S. Stokar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
On her Frank B-side song, "Best Friends" Amy sings, "And it's easy to smoke it up, forget everything that's happened in between".

And that lyric basically sums up her life between 2007 - 2011. This book is about Ms. Winehouse's struggle with addiction to alcohol, hard drugs and her "bad boy" husband. Amy's story here is told through the lens of her father, which is endearing but also leaves the reader wondering what exactly was going through Amy's mind (and it's a mystery that the elder Winehouse repeatedly admits to struggling with throughout the book).

Mitch Winehouse does a great job of illustrating how powerful addiction is - think Requiem for a Dream -style tragedy but in biographical form. That is what it is like to read this book, but there is no artistic element, Mr. Winehouse is simply recounting his experiences in a linear and very matter-of-fact tone.

I have both sympathy and respect for Mitch Winehouse -- handing out Amy's clothes to grieving fans was a remarkable gesture. But as I finished the book, I couldn't help but dwell on Amy. The book is really Mitch's story - not hers. It centers on what it's like to have an addict child who achieved international success at a young age, and what he did to try to save her. He seems liberated by her death but unsettled by the turn of events that led up to it. But even with month-by-month descriptions of her life, I still feel like I don't know her story. For that, her music is probably the closest I'll get.

But this is a 4-star book nonetheless, simply because it's engaging and full of suspense and dramatic irony. And readers will definitely find themselves YouTubing clips of some of the events that happen in the book. And Mr. Winehouse's proceeds are all being donated to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.

In conclusion, Amy Winehouse still remains a mystery, and that's probably for the best, because it makes her even more sensational. But this book will at least fill in the spaces between the spaces of a story her fans lived through.

Amy was the morning, now she's gone...
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sad July 3 2012
By Jennifer Fox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a terribly sad book. Mitch Winehouse has said that he wrote this book to let people know that his daughter was a person beyond the train wreck depicted in the media, especially the London tabloid press. Instead, the book tells of Amy Winehouse's relentless deterioration that seems to have begun in ernest between her first album, Frank, and her last album, Back to Black. From that point on, things only got worse for her despite her conquering her drug addiction at the end of 2008 because by then she was a truly raging alcoholic. Mitch Winehouse clearly doesn't see his daughter's story that way--he appears to genuinely believe that she was combatting her alcoholism as she had her drug addiction, with periods of abstinence, followed by using, sometimes to excess, followed by longer and longer periods of abstinence until she ultimately stopped the addictive behavior altogether, but I read the story of a young woman who suffered terribly from what proved on July 23, 2011 to be a terminal illness that had started in 2003-04. I have confidence that Mitch Winehouse is a reasonably accurate chronicler, but don't look for insights into what drove Amy Winehouse's relentless self destruction. Other than blaming her former husband Blake Fielder-Civil for introducing her to hard drugs, Mitch Winehouse doesn't address what drove his daughter to regularly seek oblivion in drug- or alcohol-induced stupors. That's understandable because he's lost his beautiful and talented daughter whom he obviously loved dearly to a vicious addiction. It's heartbreaking in the book when he writes of texting his daughter since her death, "When are you coming home," and given the enormity of his loss, I don't blame him for not revealing more than he has here.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet, yet page turning. June 26 2012
By Kah628 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Downloaded this to my kindle today. I have always been fascinated with Amy Winehouse's story since she is truly my favorite singer of all time. After her death I got my hands on anything new attached to her name. Both this and Lioness are my keepsakes since she's been gone. I have started reading this book and quite frankly I think it is good so far. Mitch Winehouse is not an author and does not pretend to be, yet the story of Amy's existence is very engaging. He writes honestly and candid and gives us the peak into an Amy many people never saw. It's a page turner for myself and I definitely recommend it to Amy Fans alike.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I feel bad for anyone who has lost a child, but at times I wanted to yell at Mitch Winehouse July 4 2013
By Mary Lavers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I do feel bad for Mitch Winehouse. No matter what else you may say about him, he is a father who has had to bury a child, and that's an experience no one would wish on another. So it's hard for me to criticize him too harshly because, at the end of the day, he's a grieving father and he has a right to his own memories and his own side of the story. He did, however, translate those memories into a book for everyone to see. So I can't read the book without criticizing him just a little.

Amy Winehouse was a troubled person with a serious addiction to drugs and alcohol. She was also a singular talent with a voice that comes along only once in a long while. She made poor choices in her personal and romantic life and died far too young. These are all facts that the whole world could see. And unfortunately her story is not unique. From Etta James to Whitney Houston, her story is one that has been told before. Of course that doesn't make it any less tragic. Like many fans, I was curious to read her father's book, even if I was a little skeptical about his motives. Was he trying to show the world the "real" Amy? Was he exploiting her death to sell his own book? Or was he just using the whole thing as an opportunity to reiterate that Amy was fine and that the press was just exaggerating everything? Shockingly, it was the last one.

Somehow, despite the fact that he knew his daughter had an addiction to alcohol and hard drugs--an addiction that eventually killed her--and despite the fact that he had tried to get her to go to rehab many times, Mitch Winehouse still managed to spin her life story as "not that bad." Numerous times throughout the book he recalls incidents in which people told him that Amy was doing drugs but he responds by insisting that she wasn't or that it was greatly exaggerated. Even his stories about her rehab stints are filled with his own enabling behaviour, like helping her find "alternatives" to rehab that she would find easier (i.e. easier to sneak drugs into). I know it must be an impossible situation to live with an addict, particularly if it's your own child, but sometimes I found his stories maddening.

She obviously was not fine, even if her Daddy thought she was.

Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Honestly written.. July 2 2012
By VeeMe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I think Amy was a true original. Never heard, seen anyone quite like her. So complex and at the same time so simply straight forward. She was beautiful and fascinating....and tragically sad. I think Mitch does an excellent and job at giving us an idea about her childhood character, surroundings and influences as she grew up. That part was fun and uplifting to read. He also is very frank in describing the downward spiral of addiction in how it takes over and changes ones personality and what it's like to be on the other end of that and watching someone you know become almost unrecognizable. I appreciate that he didn't sugar coat the story and described it for what it was. My only issue is the finger pointing at Blake. I can't help but wonder how Amy would feel about some of that. The fact is that Amy loved that boy and he inspired her to make great music-. He might be to blame for her introduction to hard drugs, but it takes two to tango. She loved him and stood by him for a reason--however, toxic it all ended up being at the end, that relationship impacted Amy's life on multiple levels and I personally prefer to believe that not only in a negative way. I like listening to Back to Black tunes--
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