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This review is from: Remembering Whitney (Hardcover)
It is very difficult to write a review/critique a book on somethng so devastingly personal. Everyone writes their own story on their own way. There were parts of this book that broke my heart, listening to a mother wondering if she did everything right, if her daughter actually loved her, the shock and devastation of that loss, the unyeildig love for an estranged daughter etc., Although I loved parts of the book, I was a little taken aback by some things.
First, I didn't realize that a good portion of the book would be devoted to Cissy Houston's childhood life, singing career, courtship and marriage, travels etc., Not to say it wasn't on some level interesting but based on the title of the book, I didn't expect it or expect as much of it as seemd to be present in the book. For example, at the very end of the book, she includes a section called "Discography" which lists all the songs she, Cissy Houston recorded. In a seperate chapter, following immediately thereafter, were songs recorded by Whitney Houston. I just thought that was odd in a book the purpose of which, given the title, was about the relatioship between mother/daughter and the loss of that daughter.
Second, I was somewhat troubled by the way she dealt with the Robyn Crawford situation. There were really no specifics (maybe for legal reasons) on why she didn't like her and felt she was a bad influence other than to say she was gay. It left the impression that it was the reason she didn't like her and felt she was a bad influence even though she denied it. However, each time she referenced Ms. Crawford, it was for a good thing. Interestingly enough, Ms. Crawford was the ONLY person who told her that her daughter was having problems with drugs VERY early on as she was apparently one of few in a position to know. Ms. Crawford went with Mr. Houston to look at rehab facilities for Whitney Houston, which made Cissy Houston angry as she wasn't informed or included. No, I don't know Ms. Crawford but based on what she did as described in the book, those were good things, things that were designed to help her daughter.
I do agree with another reviewer that Mrs Houston does seem, at times, to come off very judgemental, self righteous and arrogant. Although it does detract from the book just a bit and is somewhat off putting, the book is still a good read.Enjoy.......
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 11, 2013 7:19:27 AM PST
M. Anderson says:
First of all the book is about Cissy Houston. It is NOT a Whitney Houston tell all as it shouldn't be. In addition, be mindful that Cissy Houston is and was Whitney Houston's mother. She, as any other 80 year old person are entitled to their opinions ESPECIALLY when it comes to their children.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2013 8:26:45 AM PST
Denise M. says:
I wasn't looking for a tell-all. Certainly had I wanted that, there are more than enough books on the market which would have filled that bill. Sure she is entitled to her opinion, her feelings and as mentioned in my first sentence, to tell her story her own way. It was a review and as such, I reviewed the book based simply on my opinion. I just didn't expect, given the title of the book for it to be as much about her SOLELY that was all.I also indicated, in the last sentence, it was a good read.
Posted on Feb 11, 2013 4:32:09 PM PST
L. Wright says:
Just started to read the book and Cissy second guesses herself a lot. But when Whitney got "grown" there's not much a mother (or sibling) can do. I don't know why you had a problem with her not telling more about Robyn. Once Whitney moved out, Cissy didn't visit her house so she couldn't comment on what they were doing. I think Cissy is a smarter woman than we give her credit for. She did the best she could. The streets lured her kids away, as the streets and fast life lure a lot of kids away. In entertainment, badness is around a lot. There are many artists who became drug dealers, alcoholics, it's the nature of the business, esp. if you're driven to succeed and be famous.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2013 5:24:47 PM PST
Denise M. says:
Oh I agree absolutely, when we get "grown"... There were a couple of things that just caught me off guard. I look for "why's" behind a statement or opinion. So, when she said she felt she was a bad influence on Whitney, I was looking for the "OK< you are certainly entitled to your opinion but why did you feel that way?" It's o.k but what things led you to feel that way? The specific examples she pointed to didn't seem to support her feelings. Now, as I said in my post, maybe she couldn't put it out there because of legal reasons, I get that but to give a blanket statement like that with no backup..Not dirt but "hey, why did you feel that way.
Second, I guess I thought the book was going to be one about the relationship between the mother and daughter because I thought they were closer than they actually were in terms of constant contact. When reading the book, I realized that although they were ALWAYS there for each other there were ong periods of
estrangment. So in some sense, my disappointment was based on my assumption. I agree though, Whitney was her own woman. I STILL listen to her when I need that motivation at the gym and NO ONE sang or will ever sing the National Anthem better than she did!
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2013 10:11:04 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 12, 2013 10:11:20 PM PST]
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 12:01:30 AM PST
E. Elliott says:
I agree with everything that you said. Cissy Houston is a sharp cookie and she's old school too. Even though I don't agree with some of the things she states, I respect that she had the chops to take a stand on her feelings even if its not the popular opinion. She was raised in the faith, and when you are old school in the faith, or anyone who has that strong faith will always take into account the lord when they are shaping their worldview. It took a lot of courage for her to write this book and I applaud her. I can only imagine how hard it was for her at times....no matter what others believe, I truly believe this is a family of remarkable women.
Posted on Feb 23, 2013 4:57:50 PM PST
The book was as respectful as could be. Didn't get the impression that Cissy was self righteous but she is an older woman who is set in her ways. The good thing is, Whitney was one of those people who continued to be true to herself despite hurdles. I give her mother credit for that.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2013 10:25:58 AM PST
Hope Ferguson says:
I enjoyed the parts about Cissy, because much of the information was new to me and it set Whitney and her life into context with her history and her family, making Whitney's story so much more textured for me. Cissy is an accomplished singer in her own right, and I enjoyed the parts about how much she had mentored Whitney in her professionalism. But throughout the book, the focus was on Whitney, through the lens of a mother's great love for her.
Posted on Mar 1, 2013 11:48:39 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2013 11:51:49 PM PST
I did not understand why she did not like Robin Crawford, something about her personality bothered her. I did get the impression that Robin was definitely Whitney's friend and cared very much for her. I know from her interview with Oprah and reading her book that she would not have approved, if her daughter was gay. I did get plenty of facts as to what was really going on with Whitney and how her family and Clive Davis tried to keep her off drugs. Whitney was resisting and resisting the help and advice, all the way. She became such a burden and high maintenance for family and entourage because of her addiction. I did enjoy the book, but I felt so sad.
Posted on Mar 5, 2013 11:26:41 AM PST
Cynthia Thornton says: