I was delighted to have the opportunity to review Lynne Spears new book, THROUGH THE STORM: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World. There cannot be anyone in America who walks by the magazine racks to check out at the grocery story or who watches even a modicum of TV who isn't aware of the ups and downs of Britney Spears in recent years. As a mother, I can only imagine the agony of her parents during the worst of those times.
When this book was first announced, there was a lot of buzz on the Internet and in magazines that went something like, "Who wants to read parenting advice from a mother who has so obviously failed with her daughters?" Which, of course, isn't what this book is about at all. This isn't a book offering parenting advice to others but a look inside the lives of one particular family who found themselves in the cross hairs of the media.
The product information reads:
Spears wanted to sing ever since she was a little girl. But the years
of sacrifices, auditions, performances, albums, fame, and paparazzi
left the little Louisiana family swept up and spun around, and nothing
turned out the way anyone ever imagined or wanted. Now Lynne shares the
inside story of the Spears family as only a mother can.
Through the Storm
takes readers outside the narrow orbit of the Hollywood glitterati.
Lynne shares how fame forever changed their family; her regrets letting
managers, agents, and record companies direct the lives of her
children; the challenges that shaped Lynne and Jamie's failed marriage
and how they affected Bryan, Britney, and Jamie Lynn; the startling
events that led to Britney's breakdown; the aftermath of Jamie Lynn's
pregnancy; and how the family has tried pulling together to recapture a
sense of hope and purpose.
Through the Storm, says
Lynne, is "the story of one simple Southern woman whose family got
caught in a tornado called fame, and who is still trying to sort
through the debris scattered all over her life in the aftermath. It's
who I am, warts and all, with some true confessions that took a long
time to get up the nerve to discuss."
For any parent whose child has dreams of fame, this is definitely a book that shouldn't be missed. And for anyone, adult or child, who thinks life gets easier when fame and fortune come calling, reading it is a reality check. Life is messy, whether you're of interest to the tabloids or not. But if the media is interested, you get to live your messy life with all the details — and a good share of lies and half-truths — printed for all the world to see.
Reading Through the Storm reminded me how grateful I am that the mistakes I made as a mother (and I made plenty) and the mistakes my daughters made (yes, they made their own) were made in relative obscurity. I'm glad I had the opportunity to read this book, and I'm glad to recommend it to others.