Sometimes it's important to walk in someone else's shoes to see the "rest of the story". This past week I curled up with a new book, Through the Storm, written by Lynne Spears and Lorilee Craker. In it we see the Spears home from the perspective of a mom who loves her girls, but is swept into the midst of a small but powerful segment of society called fame.
Her life and that of her children are on display for the world to see. Dad is an alcoholic. Lynne is a young mom just trying to get by, happy to sit in dance studios and on sports benches as her children pursue what they love. When Britney wins an audition with the famed Mickey Mouse club, the life of her child changes, but is still protected within the children's world of Disney. But later her daughter becomes a pop star and suddenly her child is sought after by people who can harm her, and do. From the paparrazi to a sleazy manager who moves into Britney's life and moves her family out, to a bizzare night when Lynne watches helplessly with the rest of the world as her daughter is transported by ambulance to a psych hospital.
What is interesting about this book is the lack of pretense. Lynne is someone I might meet in the grocery store in my home town. She's a small town girl who loves God, loves her family, and who got caught in the spotlight because of two very talented daughters.
She's honest about her struggles, her relationship with her girls, her hopes for her daughter who is finding her way back from the man who gave her pills to keep her in his control. She tells about the day her youngest told her that she was pregnant. She explains her love for her ex-husband, but how the day came she had to unchoose him because of his choices that were harming their family, and the friendship they still have.
This book made me wonder. Would I want fame for my own children? As much as I want my children to succeed, I think I'd pass if they had to pay the price that this family has, and yet like Lynne I want my children to run after their dreams.
The book is choppy, moving from subject to subject at random, but held my interest. It felt like a conversation over tea with a new friend as she described her life.
Want to preview the book? Click here.