Synopses & Reviews
"Sure to be one of the best memoirs of 2021." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"So clear, sharp, and smooth that the reader sees, in vivid focus, Ford's complicated childhood, brilliant mind, and golden heart. Ford is a writer for the ages, and Somebody's Daughter will be a book of the year." —Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Untamed
"Ford's wrenchingly brilliant memoir is truly a classic in the making. The writing is so richly observed and so suffused with love and yearning that I kept forgetting to breathe while reading it." —John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author
One of the most prominent voices of her generation debuts with an extraordinarily powerful memoir: the story of a childhood defined by the looming absence of her incarcerated father.
Through poverty, adolescence, and a fraught relationship with her mother, Ashley Ford wishes she could turn to her father for hope and encouragement. There are just a few problems: he's in prison, and she doesn't know what he did to end up there. She doesn't know how to deal with the incessant worries that keep her up at night, or how to handle the changes in her body that draw unwanted attention from men. In her search for unconditional love, Ashley begins dating a boy her mother hates. When the relationship turns sour, he assaults her. Still reeling from the rape, which she keeps secret from her family, Ashley desperately searches for meaning in the chaos. Then, her grandmother reveals the truth about her father's incarceration... and Ashley's entire world is turned upside down.
Somebody's Daughter steps into the world of growing up a poor Black girl in Indiana with a family fragmented by incarceration, exploring how isolating and complex such a childhood can be. As Ashley battles her body and her environment, she embarks on a powerful journey to find the threads between who she is and what she was born into, and the complicated familial love that often binds them.
“This remarkable, heart-wrenching story of loss, hardship, and self-acceptance astounds.” Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“This is a memoir about love, live, and freedom. It's not just good — it's beautiful.” Brené Brown
“Somebody's Daughter will leave readers gasping for air.” Natachi Onwuamaegbu, The Boston Globe
"Ashley C. Ford went deep into the well of herself and her history and came back to the light with the book now in your hands. A piercing interrogation of who we are — to ourselves and to the people laying claim to us — Somebody's Daughter is an opportunity for each of us to illuminate the ties that bind, entangle, and connect us to one another." Saeed Jones, author of How We Fight for Our Lives
"A masterpiece of acceptance and exploration, of growth and forgiveness, and--maybe most important of all — learning how not to forgive. Ashley C. Ford's talent is on full display, as is her heart." Isaac Fitzgerald, bestselling author of How to Be a Pirate
"An achingly honest account of a complicated childhood. Through heartache and grief, Somebody's Daughter is the portrait of someone determined to love deeply, to honor the person they are meant to be, and to tell their story in service of a greater truth. I haven't stopped thinking about this book since I closed it, and neither will you." Aminatou Sow, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Big Friendship
"A comfort to those who feel lost, Somebody's Daughter is a powerful book that will give everybody the courage to love again." Laurie Halse Anderson, author of the National Book Award finalist Speak
About the Author
Ashley C. Ford is a writer, host, and educator who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband, poet and fiction writer Kelly Stacy, and their chocolate lab Astro Renegade Ford-Stacy. Ford is the former host of The Chronicles of Now podcast, co-host of The HBO companion podcast Lovecraft Country Radio, seasons one & three of MasterCard's Fortune Favors The Bold, as well as the video interview series PROFILE by BuzzFeed News, and Brooklyn-based news & culture TV show, 112BK.
She was also the host of the first season of Audible's literary interview series, Authorized. She has been named among Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 in Media (2017), Brooklyn Magazine's Brooklyn 100 (2016), Time Out New York's New Yorkers of The Year (2017), and Variety's New Power of New York (2019).