Cindi Michael appears to live a charmed life: she’s happily married, has a successful career, and is a loving mom to two wonderful children. Yet she longs for a father who hasn’t spoken to her in twenty years, and even secretly watches him on TV when the longing becomes unbearable. When Cindi was eleven, her father fought for sole custody of her and her siblings, raising three children on his own despite being a bachelor and rock n roll DJ in New York in the 1970s. But with his rising fame as the host of the popular show Sports Machine, his 80-hour-a-week work schedule, and his second marriage, the close relationship Cindi shared with her father began to crack; she did everything to earn his love and attention, but for perfectionist George, it was never enough and when she was eighteen and a freshman in college, in a burst of anger he told her never to come home again.
As the years went on, Cindi struggled to steel her heart while still remaining hopeful that they would one day reconcile, just as her father did with his own dad, and transcend painful family patterns that span generations. Candid, moving, and ultimately hopeful, The Sportscaster s Daughter is a family story of forgiveness, faith, and strength.
I’ve been reading memoirs this month thanks to BookSparks’ Magic of Memoir Blog Book Tour, and this was the last book of the first four for me to read. Because it arrived after the fact, I tore into the four books included with Part Two of the Magic of Memoir Blog Book Tour, and then came back to reading this one. The Sportscaster’s Daughter is written by Cindi Michael and it’s a story I never would have known about, had I not had the opportunity to join this blog tour!
As I have said on many occasions throughout life, there are always two sides to every story because peoples’ perceptions of things are never the same. In The Sportscaster’s Daughter, we hear Cindi Michael’s sharing of her life experiences and how they affected her as it pertains to her father, George Michael, who was a sportscaster on a show called the Sports Machine. I’m not saying she’s wrong or anything, I’m just saying that there are always two sides. That’s all. As I read this book, I really would have liked to hear the father’s version of what transpired as well, to paint a full picture of all of these events.
Cindi’s father divorced her mother when Cindi was eleven, and he fought and received sole custody of Cindi and her siblings. Despite being a bachelor, and a DJ in New York in the 1970s, George was raising three children on his own. His fame began to rise as the host of the popular show Sports Machine, his work schedule ever increased, and he remarried. All of these things began to take a toll on the close relationship he shared with Cindi.
CIndi tried to do everything she could to gain back her father’s love and attention, but it seemed that nothing she could do was good enough for her father. When she was 18 and a freshman at college, her father threw her out of the family home and inexplicably told her never to come home again.
The Sportscaster’s Daughter is a story of Cindi’s strength and faith, and it is also a story of forgiveness. In case we don’t already know, Cindi reminds us that living “real life” can be hard sometimes, and it is often complicated. The “happily ever after” that fiction stories often allow doesn’t always happen in the real world. Cindi’s story itself was very well written, and many of us growing up in our own dysfunctional families might be able to relate to some of her story. I admire her for bringing her feelings to paper so that she could let them go and go on with her life growing and healing.
Who is Cindi Michael? Here’s what she says: “Reading and writing has been my solace and inspiration from the time I was six. I never thought I would have the stamina to write a full-length book, so in high school and college, I only wrote short stories. Many of my stories were fictionalized accounts of my family life. There’s so much material – ugly custody battle, famous Dad, dysfunctional family – and I love the happy endings that fiction allows. Real life can be harder, more complicated.
I have been lucky to travel the world from England to Switzerland and to live abroad for several years. I now live in BEAUTIFUL, rural New Jersey, where black bear and red fox roam my neighborhood. I could do without the deer.”
I received a complimentary paperback copy of this book from BookSpark and the publisher as part of the #MagicofMemoir Tour!