Bobo's Daughter: One Woman's Journey to Find Hope, Healing,
and the Father behind the Face Paint

by Bonnie Barnett


Synergy Books, 2010. ISBN 978-0-984-23587-2.
Reviewed by Lee Ambrose
Posted on 11/29/2010

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Relationships; Nonfiction: Faith/Spirituality/Inspiration

Growing up with a Shriner for a grandfather, I am familiar with the Shriner's Circus and their clowns. As I read Bonnie Barnett's accounts of the clown acts and the circus personalities I was transported back in time. My grandfather would seat me and then carry some of the crippled children from the Shriner's Hospital to front-row seats. While all of this was taking place, clowns visited those already seated. I always wondered what they were like behind their face paint, but I never once gave thought to the fact that they might have children of their own.

Bonnie Bartlett shares the painfully honest story of growing up without a father in her life and with a mother who was incapable of really being all that a mother should be. It's hard to think that someone who spends his life making children happy could be so uninvolved in his own daughter's life. But Bartlett paints an honest portrayal of just that sort of childhood.

Her tenacity of heart when she decides to find and get to know her father is remarkable. Her ability to overcome what for some would be insurmountable obstacles gives validation to her need to connect with him.

This is a bittersweet story of the human condition and all of its flaws. It is also an amazing story of how one woman never gave up until she was able to have a meaningful relationship with her earthly father and her Heavenly Father.


Bonnie Barnett grew up in Southern California. She attended California State University at Los Angeles where she earned a BA in art and psychology. Continuing her education, she went to Pepperdine University and earned her MA in psychology. She lives in Durham, N.C. where she works as a Marriage, Family, and Child Therapist and a Life Coach. Visit her website.

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