Thursday, May 3, 2012

You Have No Idea: BlogHer Book Club Review

I have a love-hate relationship with Vanessa Williams. I love her because she's talented and warm and so beautiful it almost hurts to look at her. I hate her for the same reasons. OK, maybe that's the jealousy talking. Anyway..."You Have No Idea" is Williams' autobiography which features interjections and observations from her mother, Helen.

I'm Canadian, so while the Miss America pageant is aired here - I think - it certainly isn't the cultural "thing" it is in the U.S. The only Miss America I can name is Vanessa Williams, and that's only because of the scandal. I often wondered how she could be so stupid, so I am glad she explained it right off the bat. As expected, the perfectly plausible explanation is young and dumb. We've all been there, but most of us have had the good fortune making our mistakes away from the prying eyes of the tabloids. Her tales of her reign were fascinating. Fears for her safety in Alabama because she was black? In the 80s? Well, colour me naive! I had no idea it was an issue less than 30 years ago (see earlier point re: Canadian).

Now this is not, for the most part, deep stuff. Williams does touch on serious issues in her life, like her abortion as a teen and recounting a story of molestation by a friend of the family, but without more in-depth discussion about how this affected her life, it seems this information is FYI rather than an integral part of the woman she is today. I'm not sure that's what she was going for or what to do with it in the context of her story. But it was a fun read about an interesting life with insights from TWO moms who can teach us a thing or two about being a supportive parent.

Join the BlogHer Book Club conversation on "You Have No Idea" for lively, thought-provoking discussions every week!

This is a compensated review as part of the BlogHer Book Club. All opinions expressed are my own.