I have just ordered the book on Kindle which I have inserted in my PC. This book is fantastic. Vanessa Williams exemplifies the word "survivor". She adamantly refused to permit "setbacks" and "scandals" deter her from being the supersuccessful triple threat that she is and will continue to be in years to come.
Vanessa details her adventurous childhood. She acknowledged that she loves adventure and that taking risks are part of her personality. She further divulged that when her parents forbade her to do something, she always saw a reason to do it. According to her mother, Helen, Vanessa was quite a headstrong child.
Vanessa demonstrated her strong willed character by riding a bicycle with her cousins without any protection. She stated that as a result of this adventure, she fell and injured her face. She further relayed that her mother had no iota of sympathy towards her whatsoever. She indicated that her mother believed that since she disobeyed the rules, she was to suffer the consequences of her actions. She stated that was the dictum of the Williams household- if you do not wish to listen, there will be dire consequences.
Vanessa endured many things such as racism and child molestation from an 18 year old family friend. She stated that because of the molestation, she started to rebel and to become more distant from her parents. She also recounts her teenaged years, especially falling in love with Bruce Hanson, whom her parents forbade her to see. However, whenever she could, she found an opportunity to be with Bruce once with quite disastrous results. She revealed how she had an abortion while in senior year and how it affected her.
Vanessa discussed her college triumphs which included winning several beauty contests culminating in winning the coveted Miss American contest. Helen stated how protective she was of Vanessa during that time because there was hate mail, including death threats. She further mentioned the pictures which lead to her dethronement. Helen stated that in the pictures, Vanessa's eyes betrayed her boldness. Helen revealed that Vanessa's eyes were sad. Helen further added that Vanessa subconsiously did not want to pose in those nude pictures.
After being "dethroned" as Miss America, Vanessa related how the road to success was quite perilous. She further related to starting at point zero at her career. She stated that during this time, people would interview her, including a very noted actor mentioning her nudity, thinking that she was a novelty. She knew that she had a long road and had to work beyond hard to have people take her seriously. Vanessa even mentioned that a noted owner of a play called her a pejorative name, indicated that if she obtained the part, her presence would draw a "certain" element to the theatre.
So Vanessa worked long and long, eventually obtaining success. In fact, more than that- she obtained respect. She garnered so much respect that she was asked to do another Broadway play. She proved that owner wrong- she was packing them in and the play extended its run thanks to her prodigious talents. More movies, records, plays followed. Then she got the role of a lifetime, Wilhelmina Slater, for which she was nominated for a couple of Emmys and winning NAACP awards.
In spite of her prodigious acting, dancing, and singing talents, she was a wife and devoted mother to four children. She is very honest detailing her two marriages and divorces to her mentor/manager, Ramon Hervey II and Rick Fox, basketball player. She wanted the marriages to last but unfortunately that was not to be. She was also a loving daughter to Helen and Milton Williams Jr., an esteemed educator, loved by his family and community. When he died, it emotionally impacted on her.
This was an awesome and beautiful book. It is at times joyful and at times, extremely sad but the book is an inspiration to all that no matter how bleak and dismal your life may be, no matter how many "mistakes" and "failures" you have, you CAN overcome and succeed. At heart, Vanessa is a truthful and unpretentious woman. She is also very traditional and old fashioned regarding her mores. She has led a life beyond reproach.
It is mother Helen who is the more liberal one. Helen is quite a woman- she has sass and vigor. very traditional and old fashioned regarding her mores. She has led a life beyond reproach. I have found that it is mother Helen who is the more liberal one. Helen is fantastic, she has sass and vigor. I love this book as it presents the side of Ms. Williams that hardly anyone knew until now. I just could not put the book down and have finished it in 4 hours. Great read, you will definitely not regret purchasing this book!