Thursday, September 9, 2010

Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go - A Review

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by Booksneeze for review. The views expressed here are honest and are in no way influenced by the author or the publisher.

I asked my mom to read and review this book for me since I knew she would be able to identify more with the subject matter than I would. Perspective really does make something sound better. Here are her thoughts on this soul searching book by Lucille O’Neal.


Lucille O'Neal shares her public battles and personal struggles as a young, single mother of NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal.

Lucille O'Neal would one day have it all, but not before fighting the public battles and personal demons that would threaten to shatter the very foundation of her life while taking their devastating toll along the way.
Over the past 16 years, Lucille O'Neal has become one of the best-known mothers of a celebrity athlete. But behind the scenes, the mother of four has her own story, at once heartbreakingly familiar in its pain and yet wonderfully inspirational in its outcome.

In this memoir, O'Neal candidly describes the pain of being an outcast and the stigma of becoming an unwed, teenage mother. Most interestingly, she candidly shares another side of fame and fortune-a side rarely revealed or admitted in public: her unexpected feelings of anger and resentment towards her son's blinding success.

Mummy’s Review

Here’s a story that many women in my generation know all too well. Lucille O’Neal may have a famous son and may live the life that one can only imagine. Yet where she started is all too real and less than glamorous.  Pregnant at 15 for an older man, living with her grandparents, having a strained almost non-existent relationship with her mother,  being in an equally strained and emotionally taxing marriage; all of the above are recipes for a mentally unhealthy woman. Yet never once do you sense defeat in this book. Lucille preaches the power of God and finding solace in him and that gives her the strength to persevere.

Some of the main themes that presented itself were that of Family Relationships, especially traditional ones and Religion. I grew up under the guidance of my grandparents as well and their values are the ones that I hold close to me even to this day. All grandparents are strict, even mine, and so I connected to the pain that Lucille felt when she just simply could not express herself around them. Her grandparents were also religious and she credits them for bringing her to the Lord in this first instance. Here I saw the marriage of both themes; religion and family relationships at play.

Was there any doubt that I would chose Lucille as my favourite character!? She trusted and believed in God and even in the face of adversity she stuck by her beliefs.  I loved Shaquille too, because he too defied all the odds and saw his dream to fruition. He made her proud in the same vain my children do everyday and when I read those corresponding chapters I could not help but smile to myself. However I could hardly say the same for Lucille’s grandparents. They never took the time to explain the strained relationship with her mother or why she and her brother were taken away from her mother. At the same time, in their rigid household, Lucille was never able to express herself.

Though she did not go into much detail about her feelings towards her marriage and her grandparents, there is very little that I would change in this book. I loved the story and really connected to Lucille’s plight of becoming a mentally strong woman. Walk Like you Have Somewhere To Go is raw and soul searching and for the first time, Lucille is telling her side of the story. Her accomplishments in the end all seemed like the icing on a beautifully made cake.


DCMetroreader said...

This sounds like a great read!

jewelknits said...

Thanks for this review. When I saw this book coming up for review, I said to myself, "No"...partly because I'm not a huge memoir fan in general, but mainly because I'm not a big celebrity memoir fan at all. I'm glad to see that this book didn't fit into what I see as the typical celebrity (or mom of a celebrity) mold!

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

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