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Still Woman Enough - Loretta Lynn
Still Woman Enough - Loretta Lynn
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Reviewed by Kathy Coleman

Loretta Lynn has long been one of the most outspoken women in show business. She doesn't concern herself with other folks' troubles; largely because she has plenty of her own to deal with. She doesn't worry about what her neighbor is busy doing; instead, she tackles her own troubles with head up and fists flying.

It's been twenty years since the release of the movie Coal Miner's Daughter. In that twenty years, Loretta Lynn has seen a lot more pain and trouble than should be heaped on one tiny woman's shoulders. But Loretta doesn't back down from the rough spots in her life. She picks herself up and gets on with living, and she doesn't mind sharing that with anyone who's willing to listen to her stories.

Still Woman Enough isn't strictly a "sequel," in any sense. Loretta doesn't simply outline the years since the release of her first autobiographical book and movie; rather, she meanders casually through her life, picking up pieces that she left out of the first book (sometimes a detail was simply overlooked, but more often she explained that now she felt free to tell these tales, as the other main parties involved were either dead or had since given consent for her to speak about them) and enlarging other stories, from her early years in Butcher Holler to the recent years at Hurricane Mills; from Honky-Tonk Girl" to "Country in My Genes."

But all too often, pain is the main theme of this book, as Loretta Lynn has seen more than her share in the last twenty years. As though the loss of her mother, her son, and her husband were not enough, she also lost dear friends such as Tammy Wynette and Conway Twitty. But she's come through it all a little tougher, but still the same heart-warmingly open and generous Loretta, who offers everything she has to her fans and still feels guilty because a few stalkers forced her to put up a security fence around her private home.

Loretta Lynn does not hold back. When she lets you into her life, she lets you all the way in, sharing deepest pains and trials, never shirking from any event no matter how gruesome, gritty, or dirty the details. She is frank and honest when discussing the tribulations of her lengthy marriage to Doolittle Lynn; she doesn't retreat before the duty of telling all about his faults however, she also never fails to tell how much she loved him and leaned on him. She speaks with heartbreaking sincerity about their marriage from tempestuous beginning (if you think you saw it all when you saw Coal Miner's Daughter, think again) to its heart-tearing end. She talks about their children, their businesses, their follies and foibles, their ups, their downs, and, often, the details of every down-and-dirty, fists-flying battle. Sometimes it seems the times were so bad you find yourself wondering why she stayed with this man, but she tells that, too.

Her stories are somewhat rambling, but they're all extremely interesting. Everything Loretta says is worthwhile, enjoyable reading. She starts with the line, "Mommy, why do you try to talk like Sissy Spacek?" and thereby gives us the first of many stories about her twins (better known as The Lynns), and how they were too young to understand the relationship between Sissy Spacek and their mother.

Loretta see-saws between the humorous and the heartbreaking. Her book is a very pleasurable read, sometimes a tear-jerker, sometimes a laugh-out-loud knee-slapper. Her straightforward approach and never-say-die attitude are inspiring. She is a modern woman, as well as a child of a different time. She will never fail to entertain, awe and impress.

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