Composed by Rosanne Cash

Beth Walz
Student, MFA

In Composed, Roseanne discusses what it’s like to grow up in the long shadow of her country legend father.  She discusses the pain of her parents’ divorce (she is one of four daughters born to his first wife) and the difficulties surrounding her father’s well-known addiction to drugs.  But there are perks to being the off-spring of a superstar, as well.  She learned to play guitar from Carl Perkins, and got to hang-out with the likes of Waylon Jennings, George Harrison, George Jones and Tammy Wynette.  These stories make for highlight in the book.

Composed is Rosanne’s second book (Bodies of Water, a collection of short stories came first), additionally, she is a gifted singer and songwriter in her own right. To her credit she forthrightly chronicles the demands and struggles of balancing motherhood with her career. Rosanne’s life, while glittering and privileged in many respects is not without its own personal challenges and set-backs. She divorced her first husband after three children and thirteen years and successfully underwent and recuperated from brain surgery.

Unlike many memoirs, especially those written by the offspring of the rich and famous, Roseanne’s book is not accusatory or combative.  She has a genuine love and admiration for her father and some of the best passages in the book is about the time spent with and advice received from her deceased father.

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