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A Disney Childhood: Comic Books to Sailing Ships - A Memoir (English Edition) Versión Kindle
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Freeman led a charmed childhood, meeting interesting people from all over the world, traveling to many amazing places, and getting to know Disneyland inside and out. Her fairy tale ended abruptly when her father died of cancer at 45 years old. I loved the fact Freeman didn't end her story there with her father's death, but continued on with her family's near fatal boating trip and adventures throughout college and Europe. It's an interesting, all-encompassing memoir that does great justice to her life.
"What I couldn't foresee was the unexpected Foe waiting to strike," she wrote, "My life was as fated as Sleeping Beauty was fated." Freeman ended her memoir with the revelation that she had inherited her father's fatal cancer. The grim diagnosis led her to start this book. She wanted to document her childhood and her father's sense of humor and wonder. More than anything, she learned to look for humor in everything and laugh in the face of adversity.
A Disney Childhood was not at all what I expected. I anticipated a lighthearted story about growing up in Disneyland. I got that, but also a lot more. This book is poignant and touching, rejoicing in the beautiful aspects of childhood as well as delving into deep, dark parts of growing up--episodes like her father's death and the emotional turmoil it caused. I admire the way in which the author didn't blame anyone for her troubles and difficult times. She's raw and real and she strives to get past every hurdle with grace and maturity. She loses sometimes and she also succeeds greatly. This is a great coming of age story and an easy read. You absolutely don't have to be a Disney fan to enjoy Freeman's story. It's purely inspirational!
by Jennifer Melville
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
Cathy Sherman Freeman got to see alot behind the scenes at Disney because her father was head of Publishings and a bit of a Disney diplomat (she travelled all around the world as a child--and as a college student, but more on that in a little bit). It really made the magic of Disney even more amazing to me, getting to know the big (and unsung) names behind all these wonderful fantasies. She isn't a perfect "Mary Sue" for whom everything always goes perfectly, but this book is a wonderful, uplifting adventure.
It doesn't stop at her childhood, but keeps right on going with sailboat races around the Pacific and the Caribbean during high school and romping across Europe alone during college.
Cathy writes really well and includes lots of little side stories and details that are just as interesting and exciting as the major life events.
It is worth buying just for the early Disney behind-the-scenes peeks, the sweetness of seeing the world through a child's eyes, seeing how others deal with tragedy, and the experience of growing up on the California coast in a iconic era.
I absolutely loved it. It is one of my favorite memoirs ever written. Sweet, earnest, and never a dull moment.
A compelling coming of age "Alice in Disneyland" adventure: What if Alice had been born in Wonderland, and her father, one of the creators of Wonderland, dies of an atypical cancer? What if, after leaving Wonderland, she discovers she might have inherited not only his sense of humor and creative drive, but the cancer itself?
Sherman Freeman has seen into the looking glass of her life, and come through it, weaving a tale of foolishness, courage, and resilience. She's cut her heart on the high seas, and returned to us to tell the tale.
Spoiler alert: There is s a boogeyman, and he's under the author's bed. This time.
Of course, I'd be interested in hearing about her dad (George Sherman), Carl Barks, Del Connell and other legends in my business.
She spent her childhood living just down the street from Disneyland; knew "Uncle Walt"; acted as a child guide for various dignitaries visiting Disneyland; and got to help decide which comic book stories were published? Heck, yes. You bet I'm interested---and jealous!
But I was also predisposed to like this book because I liked Cathy immediately when she wrote to me and asked if I'd be interested in reading the book. Not because she offered me a free copy (although that helped), but because she just seemed so nice, down-to-earth, friendly and chatty.
And that's exactly the writing voice she has in this book. You feel like you're reading a letter from a friend. (Assuming, of course, you have friends who lead exciting lives and do great jobs writing about it.)
There's a lot more to this book than amusing Disney anecdotes. Her fairy tale (and zany) childhood ends when her father dies of a rare tumor disease. Now she's battling that same disease. In between she led a full and varied life. There's a lot about her family's sailing adventures. (What happens when a yacht hits a whale? The whale wins!) Plus, you learn what it's like to be an attractive coed roaming Europe on your own; launch a career in theater; have anorexia; and fall in love.
This would be a warm, touching story even without the Disney aspects!