Bobo's Daughter: One Woman's Journey to Find Hope, Healing, and the Father behind the Face Paint by Bonnie Barnett.
Publication Date: September 2010
Publisher: Synergy Books
Format: Paperback, 232 pp
(Received for review from Phenix & Phenix Publicity)
Synopsis (Courtesy of Barnes & Noble):
Bonnie Barnett first met her father at the circus. She was a four-year-old spectator; he was one of the world's most famous clowns, a veteran performer for like the Shrine Circus and The Ed Sullivan Show. Though is star persona was always present in the periphery of her life, she rarely got to see him in person, and the inconsistency of her mother, a former clown herself, only increased her loneliness. As she entered adulthood, put herself through college, and sought spiritual fulfillment, Bonnie found herself seeking out her father at every turn. It wasn't until she finally showed up at his doorstep, that he stopped being a larger-than-life myth and became a very human father, full of faults, regrets, and love. Bobo's Daughter recounts Bonnie's quest for the affection and acceptance of her legendary father - and the lessons she learned along the way.
Chester "Bobo" Barnett's fame as a circus clown from 1920's to the 1960's took the country by storm. Bobo was constantly on the road doing shows here and there because during the depression era the circus was a source of distraction from every day worries. But being a circus clown wasn't always what it was cracked up to be. It left little time for relationships even with his fellow clown Jojo. Bobo and Jojo shared a beautiful daughter, Bonnie, the author of this book.
Bobo's daughter is a memoir detailing Bonnie's struggle to understand her relationship with her father. Her first meeting with him was when she was four-years old and she didn't see him again until a chance meeting in her twenties. She went on with her life, but had a difficult time understanding why he didn't make an effort to find her and get to know her. Seeking help with loneliness and other issues Bonnie began seeing a therapist, that advised her against trying to talk to father, but she needed answers to the questions that were burning inside her and sought him out.
This was a very touching story. Bonnie went through a lot being the daughter of a high profile father. It made me ever more thankful for the relationship I have with my father and the fact that he has been such a big part of my life. I think daughters as well as fathers will love this book, from it's descriptions of the circus life to the hardships of life on the road. We can see how celebrity children often have a hard life, being at the disposal of a very harried lifestyle.
I liked the fact that the book is filled with photo's of Bobo, we can really see how much Bonnie loved him, even though things didn't start out so well between them. I also liked the fact that she took the initiative to find him and find out why he didn't come to see her and what kept them from a close relationship.
Bobo's Daughter is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Bonnie Barnett was born and raised in Southern California. She earned a BA in both art and psychology from California State University at Los Angeles and an MA in psychology from Pepperdine University. She currently works as a Marriage, Family, and Child Therapist and Life Coach near Durham, North Carolina.