• Rachel Penate

Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett

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★★★★★⁣⁣⁣⁣

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SUMMARY: "Chosen as a Most Anticipated Book of 2020 by O, The Oprah Magazine! HOLLYWOOD PARK is a remarkable memoir of a tumultuous life. Mikel Jollett was born into one of the country’s most infamous cults, and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse. Yet, ultimately, his is a story of fierce love and family loyalty told in a raw, poetic voice that signals the emergence of a uniquely gifted writer." (Adapted from Goodreads)

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PUB DATE: May 5, 2020


REVIEW: I sure am a sucker for a good memoir. I think it's fitting to start my review with that line. Memoirs are important; they share lessons of the human experience in such a personal and intentional way. And I'm so, so grateful for them. They are truly a special genre and authors all deserve equal praise for the quiet heroism that exists in vulnerably sharing one's life.


HOLLYWOOD PARK by Mikel Jollett is no exception to this. His is one of those extra special memoirs that tells a familiar story of the pains and lessons that come from loss, healing, and growing up. But, he doesn't just stop there. Mikel's story taps into this extra space which shows us the magic that art can hold in our own lives: the beauty of music, of writing, of a simple horse race.

I was captivated by Jollett's story and definitely count it as one of my favorite memoirs I've read these last few years. It is wise and introspective. If you were a fan of HILLBILLY ELEGY or EDUCATED, you might like this one. It was a good mix of those two dynamics.


Overall, a story worth reading and then sitting with for a long while as his reflections eagerly permeate your very own heart.

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SENSITIVITY WARNINGS: Language, addiction (alcohol & drugs), mental illness, death of a parent, child neglect.

{Huge thanks to Libro.fm and Celadon Books for this free ALC copy.}

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