You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (and Each Other)

May 3, 2012 Book Reviews, Books 5

How’s that for a title? It wouldn’t be Vanessa Williams if it wasn’t big and bold, would it?

I have no idea why, but Vanessa Williams has always been on my radar. It’s probably because my grandmother was one of the types who got the National Enquirer every week and read it cover to cover. And watched the Miss America pageant, without fail, every single year. So I saw when Vanessa Williams won the pageant and was the first African-American to do so. And I saw when she turned her crown in, thanks to a scandal that, quite frankly, no one would really bat an eye at nowadays.

I’ve watched her movies. I’ve listened to her sing (and what a lovely voice she has!). I’ve seen her on TV. And I’ve always been struck by her grace, professionalism, and her infectious smile. The woman is gorgeous, but wears it so well! So when her biography, written with her “no-nonsense” mother (and a ghost writer), came up for review, I thought “what the heck,” and took it. Because after “knowing” her practically my whole life, I thought it would be interested to get to “know” her a little better. Plus, I probably have a bit of that “National Enquirer” spirit inherited from my grandmother. Okay, I admit it. Sometimes I have a penchant for celebrity memoirs. So sue me.

And I admit, the fact that her mother helped write it intrigued me too. I’ve often wondered at the parents of such talented, successful people. You know, if they were the supportive type, the stage-mother type, or what. And boy howdy, is her mother a feisty one. Loved her. And I still love Vanessa. What a great memoir. I loved the way they wrote this, with the back and forth between mother and daughter. It felt like a conversation between to dynamic women and I was lucky to be allowed to listen in. I loved getting more of the story, the real story, behind the photo scandal, the marriages and men, and career highs and lows. As the title says, “you have no idea.” Yes indeed, I had no idea. I haven’t read this kind of book in a long while, so I’m glad I took and chance and read it.

I’m so excited to see Vanessa herself is supporting her blog tour for the BlogHer Book club! She tweets at @vwofficial and she has tweeted about the campaign! Want to join the conversation? Join us at BlogHer to learn more!

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

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5 Responses to “You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (and Each Other)”

  1. Debi

    I am so completely clueless when it comes to celebrities. Clueless. After reading the first few paragraphs of your review, I do think I sort of remember Vanessa Williams. But yeah, this probably isn't a book for me. Even so, I *loved* this review! I feel like I got a look at another fascinating facet of YOU! :D

  2. bermudaonion

    I love memoirs and will admit that a good celebrity memoir will really capture my attention. The picture of Vanessa and her mother on the cover is fabulous!

    • Heather

      Isn' t it! I think celebrity memoirs in particular are interesting because, in some small way, one feels like one "knows" them. Weird, I know, but still.

  3. Kailana

    I am not entirely sure if I have even seen Vanessa Williams in anything before, so not really for me, but great review!

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