She was the first black Miss America, she posed for some naked pictures when she was younger, she sang Saved The Best For Last, she was on TV and in movies. It all seemed very out in the open.
Then I received the latest BlogHer Book Club book, You Have No Idea and they were right, I really had no idea.
You Have No Idea is the story of Vanessa Williams' life, but it also about the life of her family, particularly her mother, attempting to raise her in the image that she had for her children. As mothers I think we all have certain ideas about how we would like our children to grow up, and what we find in this book is that we really have no idea who the person is that we are raising. We can shout our rules and give demands, but our children are going to find their own way eventually to who they are supposed to be.
Each chapter is written from Vanessa's point of view with her mother taking over at the end to rehash the view from her angle. They walk you through every piece of the life that you didn't know, that behind the scenes look at a rebellious teenager smoking pot, having sex in high school, getting pregnant, and living a life completely different than the dreams of her mother.
Unlike most autobiographies, Vanessa does not slap you in the face repeatedly with her achievements while skating over her failures, but instead takes you deeper through pictures, journal entries, and the 20/20 vision that comes with maturity and age.
I really enjoyed this book. I feel like the dynamic between Vanessa and her mother is both funny and poignant. You can really hear the love, respect and admiration that they have for one another through their writing.
I highly recommend You Have No Idea as gift for any mother on your Mother's Day list this year.
I’ll be discussing this book with the BlogHer Book Club over the next four weeks. Come join me.
This is a paid review for the BlogHer Book Club, the opinions expressed are my own.