Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and Carly Simon remain among the most enduring and important women in popular music. Each woman is distinct: King is the product of outer-borough, middle-class New York City; Mitchell is a granddaughter of Canadian farmers; and Simon is a child of the Manhattan intellectual upper crust. They collectively represent, in their lives and their songs, a great swath of American girls who came of age in the late 1960s. Their stories trace the arc of the now-mythic generation known as "the sixties"-the female version-but in a bracingly specific and deeply recalled way, far from cliché. The history of the women of that generation had never been written-until now-and it is told through the resonant lives and emblematic songs of Mitchell, Simon, and King.
Filled with the voices of many dozens of these women's intimates, this alternating biography reads like a novel-except it's all true, and the heroines are famous and beloved. Sheila Weller captures the character of each woman and gives a balanced portrayal enriched by a wealth of new information.
Girls Like Us is an epic treatment of midcentury women who dared to break tradition and become what none had been before them-confessors in song, rock superstars, and adventurers of heart and soul.
A Fantastic Book for Anyone's Collection
If you have ever listened to any of these artists, and been affected by them, you need to purchase this book. I grew of age with them and they bring back nothing but fond memories. They say you can't go back but Sheila Weller has allowed me to with this very in-depth, very well researched book, on the three women who changed the face of music. I spent many sleepless nights with this book.....You should really add this to your collection - DAN
Like a Great College Thesis
Ms. Weller did an admirable job and worked very hard to create this book; she is extraordinary in winding these three lives together and I believe she wrote with great integrity and deep feeling as well as excellent research into these women, who have meant so much to me and millions of others.
However, the book misses out in its structural weakness as a biography...the narratives and conjectures are all third person; I never get to understand King, Simon and Mitchell better, only to know them. As a pop culture/sociology piece on the changes in the American woman during the 60's and 70's, it gets an "A." But if your soul has been reflected in Joni Mitchell's lyrics, or Carly Simon wrote a song that always makes you cry ("Robin" for me) or you wonder where Carole King's amazing strength came from, raising a family and writing hit songs at 17, this book will not answer your questions.
I only hope Ms. Weller gets the opportunity to interview these three women individually and together..rather than bank on second hand interviews and facts. She deserves the opportunity; she has been entirely respectful to all three. I would love to hear those interviews, would love to hear, in their own voices, how they created their art.
Girls Like Us - Helped me remember who I was!
For those of us who mark the memorable events in our lives by songs and lyrics what better historical calendar for "libbers" than Weller's book on Simon, Mitchell and King. Weller's work depicts them as the independent, hard-driving women who epitomized the "movement" and set the table at which female performers of various genre may now sit. Girls Like Us is a blast from the past for me. The subjects were treated with the dignity they deserve without the detailed probing of celebrity gossip. Excellent work, Sheila.