Carole King's new memoir, "A Natural Woman," was released today, and she's making the rounds wuith television and radio interviews. The book chronicles her rise from a New York childhood influenced by music, to her discovery of rhythm and blues on the radio shows of legendary DJ Alan Freed, to acclaim with the hit album "Tapestry," (a hallmark of my generation) and through her troubled marriages. (In two weeks, King is scheduled to release "The Legendary Demos," an album of her early recordings, including "Yours Until Tomorrow.") Here are exceprts from reviews of her memoir:
Kirkus Reviews: That voice comes through strongly on every page of this memoir, an engaging assortment of recollections comprising a journey that started in her working-class Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, took her to Manhattan and Laurel Canyon and saw her escape what Joni Mitchell called "the star maker machinery" to settle in rural Idaho. In one of the book's best sections, King explains her decision to retreat from fame in the mid '70s, chronicling the joys and sorrows of going "back to the land" as well as the tempestuous relationships she had with two men during this period. She is also refreshingly candid about her four marriages. A warm, winning read that showcases baby-boomer culture at its best.
Publishers Weekly: King's affecting memoir eases readers through her life, from the girlhood in Brooklyn ... through her tumultuous marriage and songwriting years with her first husband, Gerry Goffin; her moves back and forth between New York and California; her three marriages after Goffin; and her deep commitment to environmental issues bred by her living self-sufficiently with her family in the mountains of Idaho. She confronts the physical abuse she experienced at the hands of her third husband; her disbelief that she would let someone treat her that way, and her incredulousness at her own decision to remain in the relationship; and her eventual decision—with the help of an abuse support group—to leave him.