Book title: Through the Storm
Author(s): Lynne Spears, Lorilee Cracker
Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 2008
Number of pages: 206
Lynne Spears sets the record straight. She is not the insane “stage mom” the media says she is. Out of the chute, Spear’s book takes the defensive posture of a woman used to dodging rabid paparazzi.
Despite pre-release press reports, this book does not attempt to give advice about parenting. That’s good because as I write this, tabloid covers in check-out stands across America announce Jamie Lynne Spears, 17, the youngest of the Spears brood, is pregnant. Again.
The book is a great read if you enjoy memoirs (as I do) or you are a pop culture junkie. Whether you think Lynne Spears did a stellar job raising her kids or not, you’ll find yourself emotionally involved in the Spears family story.
As much as I enjoyed the narrative, I was continuously under the impression that Spears saw herself the victim of circumstances. Her husband’s alcoholism, Britney’s meteoric rise to fame, bad choices, ravenous press and paparazzi, and a young daughter that deceived her about the fidelity of her teenage love all converged to create a perfect storm. Lynne Spears could barely keep her head above water.
The story would read better if Spears owned some of life’s outcomes. She visited, briefly, some bad choices she made, but readers are better served when shortcomings and failings are owned and learned from. I was distracted by constant blame-shifting. I kept thinking what if you did this or that? Here’s an example: Mom supported Britney pursuit of her dreams. She was ecstatic when Britney’s debut song blew past expectations and Baby, One More Time topped the charts. Baby, one more time do what? Spears confesses that she didn’t think Britney’s song would get very much recognition (she hoped it would get a little), but this kind of song is a formula for making one’s daughter a sex object and a record company money maker. This is not a new phenomenon in American culture.
What I don’t want to do is discount the faith of Lynne Spears. Everyone I know has regrets about how they’ve engaged their children with faith in Christ and living life in the real world. Incredible tension exists between the two. No one is exempt from second guessing their choices. Spears brings that out. Ultimately, I respect her for hanging on to her faith. She continues to pray for her grown children and sow the seed of God’s Word into the lives of her children and grandchildren. For that reason and for the many interesting twists and turns the Spears story takes, I’d commend this book to anybody with teens in their home or young adults launching out on their own. It will force the reader to think beyond the moment as future decisions are made.
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