NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this unforgettable memoir, Ashley Judd describes her odyssey, as a lost child attains international prominence as a fiercely dedicated advocate.
In 2002, award-winning film and stage actor Ashley Judd found her true calling: as a humanitarian and voice for those suffering in neglected parts of the world. After her first trip to the notorious brothels, slums, and hospices of southeast Asia, Ashley knew immediately that she wanted to advocate on behalf of the vulnerable. During her travels, Ashley started to write diaries that detailed extraordinary stories of survival and resilience.
But along the way, she realized that she was struggling with her own emotional pain, stemming from childhood abandonment and abuse. Seeking in-patient treatment in 2006 for the grief that had nearly killed her, Ashley found not only her own recovery and an enriched faith but the spiritual tools that energized and advanced her feminist social justice work.
Her story ranges from anger to forgiveness, isolation to interdependence, depression to activism. In telling it, she resoundingly answers the ineffable question about the relationship between healing oneself and service to others.
Praise for All That Is Bitter and Sweet
“Ashley Judd has given us magnetic and searingly honest portrayals of diverse women on screen. Now with the same honesty and magnetism, she brings us her true self on the page. From her childhood to her revolutionary empathy with women and girls living very different lives, her path will inspire readers on journeys of their own.”—Gloria Steinem
“Over the last decade I have watched my gifted, brilliant friend grow as an artist, but more importantly, as a wise, deeply empathetic woman. I have read the diaries that are the heart of this memoir since she began traveling the world, fearing for her safety and sanity, baffled why she chooses these grueling missions. All That Is Bitter and Sweet will be a revelation to readers, exposing Ashley Judd for what I have known for years she is: an amazing woman doing extraordinary work.”—Morgan Freeman
“All That Is Bitter and Sweet is all that is enlightening and inspiring. Ashley Judd has composed a memoir that teaches while it entrances and finds hope and faith in the most unlikely places. The book is full of real-life stories that reflect both the compassion of its author and the need for healing in the world.”—Madeleine K. Albright
It's widely known that Ashley Judd is a popular actress, with a roster of both large and small films on her CV, and hails from the same family that produced a country music sensation, but Judd is also a dedicated philanthropist and a global ambassador for Population Services International (PSI). In this frank and heartfelt memoir, Judd reveals the tumultuous and abusive childhood that led her to wrestle with anger and abandonment. She worked through these issues in therapy in order to recommit to both her acting and her role as an advocate for sex workers and public health issues. Skeptics, who think of Judd as another actress out of her depth, should be quieted by Judd's completion of a masters degree at Harvard University in 2010, better equipping her to carry on her mission of social justice. In his foreword, Kristof calls Judd a serious advocate following "a calling." On paper she is sensitive, thoughtful, devoid of narcissism or unnecessary drama, and shows superb judgment in collaborating with Vollers, whose 2007 book Lone Wolf, about abortion clinic bomber Eric Rudolph, was excellent. Judd's resolve and dedication to her work is humbling and inspiring, and her memoir is fantastic.
@rubydodd... What have you done?
Amazing story you're sure to love....
Like some of the others that have reviewed this book, I have had a hard time putting it down. Ashley has a way of writing that is smooth and stylized. Her words paint picture in your mind that perhaps remind you of a troubling event in your childhood. I'm not yet finished with the book, but based on the half I've read so far today I doubt I will lower my five star rating. I downloaded the book based on her story in People this week which implies she is getting along with her family but there was an article this evening indicating Naomi and Wynonna are seething. I tend to trust the direct quotes from Ashley than a somewhat tabloid article. I was disappointed that Ashley declined a request to appear with her mother and sister from Oprah. It could have done some healing for many to hear her tell her story.
Having read several celebrity tell-alls this year, including Meredith Baxter's Untied among others, this is surely the best.
All that is bitter and sweet
Ashley Judd's book mirrors my own life as a child. Hearing things named is a huge relief to me. Also knowing that someone of her caliber is working and caring and loving relieves the wounds I feel as a woman and as a survivor. This book is extraordinary, captivating and almost impossible to put down. It will allow the reader to feel connected to people and their horrible circumstances around the world. And most importantly to see that help can be given in an educated way. Thanks Ashley from the bottom of my heart.