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Archive for Sunday, October 28, 2001

Bio tells how singer hit her way into the big leagues

October 28, 2001

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When Faith Hill was 17, her boyfriend broke up with her because he thought she was a dreamer who was going nowhere, while he or so he thought was headed for a career in major league baseball.

"There in the hallway of McLaurin Attendance Center, Sidney broke up with a girl who would someday be known as one of the world's most successful and beautiful women," writes James L. Dickerson in his biography "Faith Hill: Piece of My Heart" (St. Martin's Griffin, 163 pages, $10.99 paperback).

The book, a quick read, follows the country music star from her birth in Jackson, Miss., to stardom in Nashville, Tenn.

Dickerson, a former social worker who specialized in adoption, delves into motives and feelings surrounding Hill's adoption as an infant and her search for her biological mother.

Also discussed are Hill's first marriage and divorce, and her current marriage to country singer Tim McGraw.

While the book is full of insight and trivia about the country music industry, Dickerson expresses his opinion in a factual tone throughout. Often, it falls upon the reader to separate the facts from statements that are Dickerson's interpretation of the facts.

He writes that when first husband Daniel Hill proposed to Faith, "the only thing Faith had going for her was her relationship with Daniel Hill." Even though she was unemployed at the time and far from home, this was not something Faith seems to have expressed about herself. Later, Dickerson writes: "Faith is a person who speaks through her emotions her first refuge is always in tears and through her actions where her last refuge is usually in the badlands of defiant behavior."

The book is considerate to detail, with a discography, awards list and bibliography. The chapter titles are named for Hill's songs and each reflects the true essence of its chapter. Readers learn where songs originated, how they were chosen and their meaning for Hill.

There are missing pieces, though.

Hill isn't interviewed just quoted from TV appearances and newspaper articles.

Plus, after cataloging Hill's strengths and weaknesses and her will to remain true to herself, Dickerson offers a disappointing conclusion throwing in a cliche that perhaps works well with the copy but counters the point.

Even so, Hill's fans are likely to cheer her documented perseverance and applaud her upbeat attitude in the face of disappointment.

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