Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Review: Guest Blogger Janet Morris Grimes Gives Thoughts on Lucille O'Neal Book

Walk Like You Have Somewhere To GoWalk Like You Have Somewhere to Go

Lucille O'Neal -
Two out of Five Stars.

Eager to read this story, I found it less than what I expected. Lucille shares her memories of early childhood through her own rise to the top as she created a place for herself in the high-profile world of the NBA, currently serving as the elected president of the Mothers of Professional Basketball Players Association. Lucille uses all that she has learned from life as she travels across the country sharing her message of believing in yourself and overcoming the odds, and that is to be commended.

While I appreciated the honesty offered by Lucille O’Neal, it portrayed an air of bitterness throughout, spreading the blame for her battle with depression and alcohol to everything from her parents’ early divorce, to a strict and overtly religious upbringing by grandparents, budget cuts brought on by then-President Ronald Reagan, to the controlling nature of her military husband of twenty-eight years. My first thought was that had Shaquille not found immense success in the NBA, her husband would have been viewed as the hero of the story, rescuing her from a life of poverty and providing the stability for her own family that she so desired as a child.

I found the structure difficult to follow. The writing jumps from her generation to present day issues, and is unclear. For example, with this sentence, “When you combine low self-esteem with the lack of hope for a bright future, you have some powerful deterrents to avoiding a pregnancy.”

I admire anyone who uses the gifts they have been given for good to touch the lives of others. Lucille has overcome many demons in her life. Her true and powerful relationship with God was revealed at the end, but as an afterthought. It was a non-factor throughout the story.

Both Lucille and Shaquille O’Neal will remain positive role models in a fickle world that desperately needs them. They will continue to make a huge difference through their various charities and opportunities for motivational speaking. Thankfully, that does not change based on whether or not I appreciated this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Janet Morris Grimes

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