For millions of people around the world, Carol Brady is synonymous with motherhood, but growing up as the youngest of 10 children in rural Indiana in the aftermath of the Great Depression, Florence Henderson lived a life quite different from that of the quintessential TV mom she later played on television.
Florence’s father was a dirt-poor tobacco tenant farmer who was nearly 50 years old when he married Florence’s 25-year-old mother, and was nearly 70 when Florence was born. Florence’s childhood was full of deprivation and abandonment. Her father was an alcoholic at a time when there was no rehab or help for the disease. Their home rarely had electricity or running water. When she was 12, Florence’s mother left the family to work in Cleveland and never returned.
Florence opens up about her childhood, as well as the challenges she’s faced as an adult, including stage fright, postpartum depression, her extramarital affairs, divorce, her hearing loss, and heart problems. She writes with honesty and wisdom of how her faith and ability to survive has brought her through rough times to a life of profound joy and purpose.