A Natural Woman
Carole King
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Buy *A Natural Woman: A Memoir* by Carole Kingonline

A Natural Woman: A Memoir
Carole King
Grand Central Publishing
496 pages
February 2013
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Carole King is a gifted songwriter who made the transition from writing material for other artists to becoming a highly successful solo performer in her own right. Her memoir traces her ascent from Jewish working-family roots to fledgling songwriter and ultimately to becoming one of the most inspired writers of our time.

King began her career writing music for other people. Among those songs ultimately covered by various artists are "Don't Bring Me Down" (The Animals); "Chains" (The Beatles); "Up on the Roof" (The Drifters); "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Take a Giant Step" and "Porpoise Song" (The Monkees); "The Loco-Motion" (Little Eva); and many others. She talks about some of these songs in her book, but she only mentions in passing that the Beatles recorded one of her songs. That must certainly have been a poignant moment in the life of this young--at the time--songwriter, but it barely musters two lines. Many other songs here are treated in the same fashion; it's just a shame she didn't pay more attention to some of these key songs and what they meant in her life.

Much of the book is given over to her rather disastrous personal life. Married multiple times, she even remained in an abusive marriage where her husband beat her. She had relationships with hardcore addicts and often supported men who mistreated her in one way or another. It's an insightful and honest book in which King lays it all out. You'll never listen to her music the same way after reading this.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Steven Rosen, 2013

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