I sat down to read You Have No Idea, by Vanessa Williams and her mother Helen Williams, with no expectations. Aside from the fact that my daughter and I watched Vanessa Williams sing about trash in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland last week, I knew almost nothing about her life or work before I started reading her book.
You Have No Idea, made me think about my relationship with my daughter--how it will change as we both get older, how we will weather the teenage years. As I read about the challenges faced by Vanessa and her parents, I wondered how I would react in such situations. I was not a rebellious child but my husband was. We often wonder what route our daughter will choose.
Vanessa has a love of dancing, singing, and acting from a young age. I found myself wondering what our daughter will become passionate about as she gets older. She loves to play make believe, she loves art, she loves animals. As I was reading I wondered how her interests and talents will develop as she grows.
What I enjoyed most about this book (along with it's unflinching honesty) is that is reminded me over and over again how much I learn from other people's experiences. This book was window not only into Vanessa Williams' life and family but also into American society over the last several decades--how it celebrates and vilifies, judges and forgives...how it interacts with race, class, and celebrity. It made me reflect on my own experiences, family, and relationships.
You Have No Idea made me think and I love a book that makes me think.
This was a paid review for the BlogHer Book Club, however, it contains only my own thoughts and opinions. To read more about You Have No Idea and participate in discussions, please visit the BlogHer Book Club.