My Father’s Daughter: A Memoir, by Tina Sinatra with Jeff Coplon
This book is the sort of memoir that no one wants to be on the wrong side of. Tina Sinatra, by no means the most famous of the Sinatras, given that her brother and sister both had successful musical careers and her father a very successful career in film and music, had a well-earned reputation as one of the defenders of the well-being of the Sinatra family estate, which featured some drama because of the bad relationship between the Sinatra children and the last wife that Frank Sinatra had. And while this book is by no means a tell-all memoir, in that it does not tell as much as one might have hoped about the author’s own life, but it does give a feeling of what it was like to grow up in a broken household where the father was simply unable to be content with a wife at home and kept on having to break things up because he wanted a professional woman, but not one who was too professional that she was unable to keep things solid at home. The author appears to have a shrewd understanding of her father, and the story told is a somewhat harrowing one.
This book is about 300 pages long, and it contains the sorts of contents that the author thought worthwhile in expressing her own relationship with her siblings and mother and father in the midst of a famous and famously dysfunctional family. In this book, the author expresses why her father was a simp for believing that he had to be married, even though he was not the best-suited person to marriage and made some terrible relationship choices. There are quite a few photos from the Sinatra’s own family collection and also some obvious score settling, as the author expresses her frustration at the political struggles that Sinatra faced and the way that he was frequently investigated for supposed mob ties despite never having any criminal connection, and paying his debts through music performance rather than anything of an improper nature. And it should be noted that while this book is by no means a completely candid memoir, it certainly makes it plain the way that fame and fortune have divided the Sinatra family against each other, and that is a real shame.
This is the sort of book that has an ingrained bias and perspective in it because the author is openly seeking to settle scores. Some of the jabs that the author makes are rather darkly humorous, as when she points out the ways that the Kennedys took advantage of her father for political support from the mob and then cast him aside as soon as they got what they wanted with JFK in the White House, or the way that her razor wit flashes when it comes to the repercussions of Sinatra’s search for an annulment without understanding its full repercussions on his first wife and children, who were left to wonder if the Catholic Church considered them illegitimate or what. And while the book is clearly written with a perspective and a bias, and therefore there are certain things about it that may not be written with the sort of neutrality one would expect in a history, as a memoir about the relationship between a famous and estranged and bungling father and a fiercely loyal daughter, this book is well worth reading. Admittedly, this is a book that will likely be easier to read and appreciate if one is already a fan of Frank Sinatra’s music as well as his family life, but someone interested in the intersection between music and politics and family and business will find much to reflect on here.