A lot has been said about Ashley Judd in the media.
An eighth-generation Kentuckian, she’s an accomplished actress with a racing star husband, a “cheerleader” for the UK basketball team (University of Kentucky is her alma mater), an activist and advocate for poor and disenfranchised people, and last, but certainly not least, the daughter and sister of one of country music’s royalties, The Judds.
But we’ve only scratched the surface of her life. That is until now or shall we say about a year ago when she published her memoir “All That is Bitter and Sweet”. I’ve only recently finished the book, which took me many months to read. But in the end, I came out with a sudden appreciation and gratitude for the actress not because of her way using her celebrity to help others, but she is, in fact, a true humanitarian.
The book is not exactly a page-turner, hence why it has taken me a while to finish it, but it really opens your eyes on the depth of poverty and injustice around the world.
Judd devotes most of the book on her visits to the slums and brothels in third-world countries through her work with Population Services International and its grassroots programs. It’s astonishing to know that there are many women in those countries who are forced into prostitution and sex slavery. They are exposed to so many diseases like HIV and can’t afford the proper treatments. Passion to help and educate the less fortunate people about safe sex and use of contraception and use of cleaning drinking water is what drives Judd to be the voice of the voiceless.
You really understand that her passion for helping those less fortunate stems from her own childhood. Judd expresses in detail her personal journey of overcoming depression and sexual abuse and her path to recovery, using her faith in the God of her understanding to suppress the negativities in her life. I really enjoyed reading about her personal struggles because it demonstrates that not all of us are perfect.
Ashley Judd has used her “celebrity” with such grace, poise and confidence that it’s endearing. Few celebrities have achieved that. She is a clear example that there is hope for those who are struggling as long as we have faith and the devotion to keep that faith strong.
This is not your typical memoir, but it’s a memoir worth reading.