Picks and Pans Review: A Memoir
When ordinary folks want to vent their hurt and anger at parental neglect, they tell it to a friend, a clergyman or a shrink. When celebrities' kids have such an urge, they tell it to the world. Thus tell-alls like Mommie Dearest and this self-serving memoir by Frank Sinatra's youngest—and, by her own admission, most demanding—child.
Daddy was loving but mostly absent, writes Tina, 52. She also reveals that at the urging of Joe Kennedy, Frank tapped mobster buddy Sam Giancana to help JFK nail the 1960 election, continued to have romantic liaisons with first wife Nancy long after their divorce and didn't think he deserved to be happy. Those who've read Kitty Kelley's crudely enterprising His Way will be familiar with Sinatra's childish piques and cruelties. Fourth wife Barbara, now 73, is Tina's villain, portrayed as greedy, grasping, conniving and responsible for turning Frank into a doddering wreck. When the Chairman of the Board died at 82 in 1998, "I truly lost a piece of myself," Tina writes. So did all those whose lives were lived to a Sinatra soundtrack. My Father's Daughter does a service to no one. (Simon & Schuster, $26)
Bottom Line: She did it her way