Composed: A Memoir – Review

Getty Images - Roseanne Cash at a book reading at Barnes and Nobel for Composed: A Memoir

I listened to the audio book, Composed, read by Rosanne herself. Awesome! I never had any real interest in Rosanne’s music or her life, and I first got the book from the library just ‘cuz. Halfway through, I bought the audio book instead. Geez, there’s a lot about this woman I never knew. It’s cool for me that she’s gay-friendly. I read this one just after reading “Just Kids” by Patti Smith, and I couldn’t help but compare their attitudes towards gays. Rosanne seems friendlier, easier, and didn’t really mind being outed as a lesbian, even though she is straight. She surprised, and delighted me. Way to go Rosanne!


cover of the book Composed
cover of the book Composed

Of course Roseanne, daughter of Johnny Cash, was born into a house of crazy drama and, if she was to survive, she would just have to take things not so personally. Everyone wanted her dad, or a piece of him, or salvation from him. How ironic then that the one who wanted her dad the most, was her.

Roseanne’s memoir is beautifully, if impersonally, wrought – a life forged with sparks flying while her father shaped his own destiny. She fights with that same cold steel against her step-sister Carlene Carter, who dared once call Johnny “father”. Never again. Too personal.

Don’t look for hard words, though, about others. Roseanne will give none of that. But what she does give is kindness, kindness when you aren’t expecting it, when going for the jugular would be easy, quenching, and raw.

Roseanne’s memoir, after all, is Composed.

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