Alice Gold's Reviews > You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss

You Have No Idea by Vanessa Williams
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Apr 19, 2012

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bookshelves: biographical, author-american, nonfiction, fam-marriage-parent
Read in April, 2012

"I was upset. I was frustrated. But I didn't want to kill myself, as was reported. I look back at stories and headlines written about me at the time. They'd say things like 'Vanessa's dark days or Vanessa's hit rock bottom.' I knew it would be tough, but I also never doubted I would succeed. When you know this, you don't have dark days, you don't hit rock bottom. You just have days when you want to scream at people: 'You have no idea what I can do!'" I just love this quote by Vanessa no page 66.

Vanessa Williams is an extremely talented American icon. After reading this book, I have no doubt that the reasons she has accomplished all that she has are her determination and confidence, her God-given talent, and her wonderful parents. I really enjoyed this book. I don't follow pop culture very much, but I remember so vividly when our first black Miss America was robbed of her title. I really enjoyed reading Vanessa's side of the story. I also enjoyed reading about all that Vanessa has accomplished including Broadway, TV, and a successful recording career: all while also being a caring and involved mother of 4.

Perhaps the best of this book, the part that really made it unique, was that all the stories were told from the perspective of Vanessa and her mother. This was my favorite part. I loved their dynamics, I truly related to their mother/daughter relationship from page 1. When Vanessa was a girl her mother told her to never ride doubles on a bike, she did, and she was severely hurt. Funny, same thing happened to me. Everyone needs a mother like Helen and everyone should listen to her, and if they don't believe me then they should read this book and learn from Vanessa's mistakes.
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