“You can love what you see in the mirror but you can’t self esteem your way out of how the world treats you”
Celebrity memoirs are always so interesting because I think a lot of them think they have a lot to say just on the basis of being famous. I almost always do celebrity memoirs on audio especially if they read it themselves. This is not exactly a memoir, she calls it “a collection of essays” so go into this with that in mind. I picked up Gabrielle’s essay collection right after I read “The Devil All the Time” by Donald Ray Pollock because I needed a palette cleanser after that really dark book.
This collection of essays starts with Gabrielle’s childhood in a very white neighborhood which they moved to against her mother’s wishes of moving to the more black neighborhood of Oakland, takes us through the mishaps and ups of her career, to rape, terrible marriage, colorism and a lot more. Union’s words are very clear and precise. Whether she’s telling you about trying to cure a yeast infection at home or about the Black Lives Matter movement. She has a strong voice and knows exactly what she wants to convey.
This book feels surprisingly honest. She doesn’t shy away from messy feelings and tells you exactly how she felt when she was negotiating her prenup with Dwayne Wade, to being a stepmother and heartbreakingly, details of her failed IVF cycles.
The writing style is super casual when she is talking about personal topics. Her tone shifts and becomes soap-boxy and impersonal when she tackles universal and politically charged topics but she always ended it on a personal or funny note which brought it back to base for the reader.
This book has helped me see Gabrielle Union in a totally different light. As a black women who had to learn to accept her blackness in the white dominated areas she has inhabited for most of her life. And as an actor who has had to advocate for herself when no one else was going to do it for her.
Whether she is telling us a story about Prince or having to put vanilla yogurt into her vagina via a straw, “We are Going to Need More Wine” overall feels like an authentic breath of fresh air from a celebrity that actually has something to say.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Have you read it? Would you recommend it?