Reviews

In this spell-binding, electrically charged and heart-breaking memoir, The Philosopher’s Daughter, Jennifer Stace tells one of the most unbelievable, unforgettable stories a reader may ever have the privilege to encounter – the tale of an improbable, eccentric, ecstatic, tragic and incredible life, filled with cameos from the notoriously famous, beginning with the poet W.B. Yeats, intellectuals like Bertrand Russell, a minor genius known as Albert Einstein – segueing to entertainers like Cher, Bette Midler, and Robin Williams, along with a host of other famous artists, musicians, and dancers, and appropriately capping off this impressive list with dramatic ferocity: a spectacular performance by the 1994 L.A. Northridge earthquake. READ MORE” – Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers’ Favorite

“I just finished reading The Philosopher’s Daughter. Amazing how your story took me back to places where I also lived and traveled (Patton Ave/Cedar Lane) yet, somehow we kept missing each other. And of course there was Noel, who was a year behind me on the Swim Team but who lives on in our Team Photo, and so we shall forever remain connected. And of course your unforgettable Dad, my Philosophy Lecturer, a poet I never knew, but whom so much I admired in thoughts and words. Your work is so moving. I can not begin to tell you how much it has affected me. Just know …personally, powerfully, unforgettably. Much of life is heartbreak and you have had your share, and more. As you so nicely summarize: it has been a successful dancing career followed by days of darkness: love, laughter, sorrow and pain. Thank you so much, Jen.” – Ed Breisacher

“Oh Jennifer I just finished reading your engaging book this past weekend, and was so very touched by you extraordinary story, and your courage in sharing it so openly. I was impressed by the details you shared in recounting your life, and can only imagine how difficult–and yet perhaps–cathartic–the retelling must have been. What a wonderful tribute to your profound and caring father and your brave and talented son. Your story affected me on a deep, emotional level and was hard for me to put down even knowing the tragic end… thank you for your courage in sharing it, and for being the loving thoughtful and giving person you are.” – Mary Beth DiCecco

“I just finished reading Jennifer’s book which I read straight through and did not want to put down. I am very moved by her story. My heart aches for her. I cannot imagine what she has been through. I believe I love Michael and am inspired by his strength. Especially his belief in God which is such a big part of my life. I loved Jennifer’s book, I love her and have now shed tears with her, which I think is a good thing.” – Darl Staat

“I could not stop reading The Philosopher’s Daughter, Not even when I tried my hardest. The story and the writing is just amazing. I want to tell everyone, read this it is beyond good. It will make you happy, angry and sad all at the same time. Us who live in Baja can relate on many levels the joy animals can bring to us. Loved, loved it. Like · 4am this morning I finished it and I cried, I never cry. Thank God for the Glow worm. Read this book.” – Sandra Moffat

“I savored the experience of reading this well-written, emotionally gripping memoir. Michael and I attended boarding school together. I could easily add a chapter or two, but this isn’t about me.

“Thank you, Jennifer, for giving me some closure. I’d often wondered about Michael. I was shocked and saddened to learn not long ago that he’d passed. You provided some background to the how and why. That is a gift for which I am deeply indebted.

“I read the book slowly and carefully. I thought that, as long as I was still reading, Michael was in some sense still alive. I was sad when the book came to an end. I miss him and the times we had.

“I was privileged to have known Michael. I met you and Lee during your visits to see Michael at boarding school, and I got to meet Tim during my Venice visit. You were (and are) heroes in my eyes.

“I simply can’t thank you enough for your memoir. Words cannot express my gratitude for sharing so much.” Ian Rosaaen

“I had the privilege of being an LA Knocker for a short period in the early 80’s. I went to Roland Dupree to sign up for my usual jazz dance class, and noticed a sign in sheet for a class with Jennifer Stace, founder and choreographer for the LA Knockers. I had seen them perform at the Comedy Store on the Sunset strip and had completely fallen in love with them. I remember sitting in the audience thinking ‘I want to be one of them!’ I quickly changed my sign in, and took Jennifer’s class. Within a few months she asked me to join the troop. It was a dream come true. I knew and loved her son Michael and have remained friends with Jennifer to this present day. But it wasn’t until I read this amazing recount and detail of the events that unfolded in her life, that I feel the desire to sit at her feet in awe and wonder. To me, it was further proof that we are never alone. The light that shines within us is always there to guide us, if we recognize it and allow it to shine. This is a beautifully written and structured novel in Jennifer’s authentic voice, sprinkled with quotes of wisdom from her philosopher father and gripping in content. Jennifer, your Father and Michael would be so proud, and yes, even your Mum.” –DeeDee Rescher 

“I can’t help but feel joy in seeing how nicely Jennifer’s first book has come together. There is never a dull moment as one weaves their way through this memoir. It clips right along. She has lived a life that is worthy of reading about. And the written form of that life is as vibrant as the cast of characters and events themselves. I definitely enjoyed it and would recommend it.” – Leslie S.

“It’s exciting to learn about the life story, however tragic, of an exceptional woman who was the creative force behind the dance group L.A. Knockers. Jennifer is still in touch with many former dancers who continue to love her and remember fondly the days of their youth, when they were kicking up a storm with their provocative dance routines. Jennifer Stace co-created with photographer Elisa Leonelli a blog about the history of the LA Knockers.”  – Elisa Leonelli

“Well done. The long hours of this now documented, emotional journey, have come to fruition. Thanks for sharing a tiny window of your experiences.” – Rio Lerma

“Heeding the advice of her philosopher father, author, Jennifer Stace wrote to better understand events in her life. As a result of this advice, she penned her fascinating memoir,The Philosophers Daughter. Throughout the authors tumultuous life her rebellious spirit remained unchecked as she roller-coastered from childhood to peaceful retirement. An international cast of artists, dancers and musicians accompany her through this compelling account.” – Coronabaja

Jennifer Stace takes the reader on a journey powered by her indomitable spirit. As the child of a respected Princeton professor, she showed her mettle early on. Refusing to accept the staid roll required by women of her generation, she grabbed life by the horns and decided to ride it out on her own terms. I enjoyed going along with her on the ride, sharing her positive attitude and her refusal to give up, even when tragedy struck. There is no regret, no whining–how exceptional to see someone who never felt sorry for herself, but just kept on dancing. The Philospher’s Daughter is both an inspiration and a road map on how a positive life can be lived.” – A.R.Donenfeld-Vernoux, author of Cave Dream

“Jennifer’s story of who she is and her personal journey from Princeton, New Jersey to Baja California (where we both currently reside) is so captivating. I had volunteered to proof read only half of the book because of time constraints, but then I had to keep on reading because I became emotionally hooked. There is humor and tragedy and failure and accomplishment and love. She is a gifted storyteller!” – Eileen Romero

“How this indomitable woman has managed to create such a touching and exquisitely written memoir is without question a feat of courage and fortitude. Sit with her if you will, inside her lovely home overlooking the grand Pacific Ocean. Sit with her if you will and listen while she recounts hilarious escapades, daring adventures and shares her friends and students. Sit with her if you will, inside her heart while she tells of the tragic losses that has made her the force of nature Jennifer Stace has become. Along with a brush of the tar paint. Jennifer, you’re fine.Just as you are.” – Katie O’Brian-Robles 

The Philosopher’s Daughter, a memoir by Jennifer Stace is hard to put down. In her beautiful and accessible prose Jennifer chronicles the amazing adventures of her life from rebellious youth in Princeton, daughter of renowned mystical philosopher, Walter Stace and tiny, feisty and eternally disapproving Sri Lankan mother.

“We follow her journey of escapades; dance, music, celebrity students, feckless and occasionally violent lovers, broken marriages and finally, her greatest achievement, the launching of her iconoclastic, (not to say crazy) all-girl dance company, the LA Knockers.

“Despite the tragic losses of the most beloved men in her life, her brother, aviator Noel Stace and her son, piano man extraordinaire, Michael Cavanaugh, Jennifer survives. And how she survives. Taking us with her through the nightmare ordeal of Michael’s arrest for the attempted murder of the renter from hell, his incarceration and eventual death, she alternately breaks our hearts and infuses us with hope. Her unquenchable spirit takes her to a peaceful sojourn in Baja, Mexico where she now lives with horses, chickens, dogs, affection for her Mexican neighbors and an undying talent for joy.” – Joan Wulfsohn, author of Stalking Carlos Castaneda

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