Today’s BlogHer Book Club review is of You Have No Idea, an autobiography by Vanessa Williams and her mother, Helen Williams (with Irene Zutell). Disclaimer: I received a free advance copy of the book, and will receive a small payment for participating in the campaign. However, the opinions expressed here are my own. The discussion starts right here, so jump on in.
This isn’t much of a spoiler (others have pointed out that there’s not much to spoil), but Vanessa starts with exactly what any reader would want to know: How did the Miss America scandal come to be? Where did those pictures even come from? After she’s got the juicy stuff out there, she talks about her childhood and her life since The Scandal. There are a few heartwarming moments, particularly when talking about her Dad. I also enjoyed the photo montage of her with 7 different United States Presidents.
Helen is a very proper lady who grew up in a very trying household. Her commentary on Vanessa’s life is a pleasant reality check!
I really thought hard about whether to bring this next subject up. Vanessa uses the rhythm method of “birth control.” I put that in quotes because she has 4 children (and one abortion) as a result. Even she admits that she “obviously… never mastered it.” I respect her decision. However, even when I was in high school sex ed the one joke our teacher made was “What do you call people who practice the rhythm method? Parents!” Planning to pull out is not birth control.
In the end, Vanessa and Helen are right: I clearly have no idea.