Read by Claudia Church, with an introduction by the author and foreword read by Kris Kristofferson
The Most Beautiful Girl is a heartbreaking yet uplifting memoir of a daughter, her father, and the healing power of music. The story opens with a scene at Johnny Cash's funeral when author Tamara Saviano is struck with grief about unfinished business with her father. Robert Ruditys died two years before Cash, and hadn't spoken to his only daughter for more than a decade before that.
Her grief led the author on a journey to rediscover her father and examine the lost relationship with a man she once loved. The Most Beautiful Girl is the result of that exploration and reveals a painful and complicated, yet at times touching, relationship between a young girl and her dad.
Through an unstable childhood, a turbulent young adulthood and finally on a path to freedom, Saviano lays bare the complexity of family ties - both those that bind and those that break.
Her story is set to a soundtrack of folk and country music that both inspires and haunts her. Saviano weaves a tale that proves music can provide a lasting connection long after human relationships have unraveled. Threaded with lyrics and grounded in a mid-century coming-of-age tale, The Most Beautiful Girl represents a true American remembrance of childhood anguish, lost identity and happy endings.
The Most Beautiful Girl concludes at the 2005 Grammy Awards, as Saviano is honored for producing the Best Traditional Folk Album: Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster.
What listeners say about The Most Beautiful Girl
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Poignant father/daughter story
I very much enjoyed this book. I had read Saviano's biography of Guy Clark and loved it, so was intrigued by her own story, and was not disappointed at all. Since Guy Clark is one of my own heroes, I knew Saviano , who clearly admires him as much as I do, wouldn't lead me wrong. Her upbringing in Milwaukee and environs is a wonderful slice of life for this reader, an easterner, loving to learn how other people live. The descriptions of their vacation lives at the Maple View Resort were heartwarming. The strife and internal conflict she experienced growing up with an alcoholic father and enabling mother were resonant for anyone who has struggled with similar types of upbringings. Ultimately, her difficult yet triumphal breaking away and individuation were vindication for her powerful character and inner drive. She's an honest and direct narrator, and I rooted for her as she made her way in life. As a fellow music lover, it was fun to follow along with her father's and later her own tastes in music, which very much mirrored my own. I enjoyed living vicariously through her life in the music industry in Nashville.
The narrator was perfect.