Through The Storm by Lynne Spears and Lorilee Cracker

When given the opportunity to review Lynne Spears' autobiography, THROUGH THE STORM : A REAL STORY OF FAME AND FAMILY IN A TABLOID WORLD,  I jumped at the chance.  As a teenager, I'd been a huge fan of The MMC, and had been sort of shocked when Britney exploded onto the music scene in 1999.  I'd heard the "stage mom" rumors about Justin and Britney's mothers, and I was interested to see how Lynne would defend herself. 

And it's not a great defense. 

Having grown up with Southern Christian parents, I find it hard to believe that Lynne Spears was as naive as she claims to have been, particularly when it came to the '99 Rolling Stone magazine cover. 

Lynne writes, "What I saw was Britney in a bra and hot pants, sitting on her bed . . . 'Let's stop now,' I said, flustered and uncomfortable."  She goes on to say, "We assumed we would have final say over which pictures were chosen.  Besides, they took so many cute shots, why would they want this one . . ?"

When you think Rolling Stone, do you think 'cute' or 'hot'?  

Hm.

According to the book, also present at the time were Britney's agent, Larry Rudolph, and her father.  Between the three 'managing' adults present at the photo shoot for this internationally-known magazine--one that is extremely infamous in conservative Christian circles--not one person would have looked at the contract and demanded to have their say?  And beyond all that, Britney was 18 years old at the time.  She was making her own decisions.  She had a right to.  If her parents were as down-home and Christian as we're being asked to believe over and over again, wouldn't they have raised her to at least ask herself the question, "What will my mama think?"

Instances like these force me to question the narrator's sincerity.  I believe Lynne is telling us the events in a true light, but I can't quite she's telling us all of her story. 

But that's what this book is.  It's Lynne's story--she doesn't speak for Britney, Jamie Lynn, or anyone else.  That's the way it should be.  She does speak openly about her relationships with her parents and siblings, friends, and co-workers.  She obviously loves her children and grandchildren very much.  But something seems to change when she writes her perspective on Britney and Jamie Lynn's fame, and the paths they took to get there.   I don't believe she is withholding things from the reader as much as she may be withholding things from herself. 

THROUGH THE STORM gratefully acknowledges many of the sacrifices family and friends have made to the Spears brood, and accepts that compromises were made by many different people, herself included.  But above all the fame and blame, this is a story of a mother who desperately wants her children to know the grace, redemption, and fulfillment waiting faithfully for them.  

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