It’s complicated—and lovely

She doesn’t make excuses and she doesn’t tell secrets, so don’t expect much of either. Instead, Rosanne Cash’s memoir is a close-up look at the making of a folkish, country-ish, rockish songwriter. She straddles genres with all the confused grace of a California girl who happened to inherit a blue-ribbon country music pedigree, and this memoir struggles between being a recitation of how her career has unfolded and a very literary memoir of how she became a songwriter. The latter is far more successful than the former, for her unwinding of the life that led her to become a writer of songs like “Runaway Train,” “September When It Comes” and “Rules of Travel” is far and away more interesting than the actual details of their writing and recording. The only juicy tidbit? She thought Walk the Line was “egregiously oversimplified.” Yep, it was; and there’s never been a Cash that wasn’t complicated, Rosanne included.