Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go
This book is a story of victory over trials
In Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go, Shaq's Mom shares candidly her life story as a child through her adult life as the Mom of Shaquille O'Neil and the joys and challenges that go with this.
She shared the highs and lows of being a black teenager during a difficult time. Getting pregnant as a teenager (for Shaquille) was difficult, but she seemed to thrive as a Mother and really loved Shaquille and later her other children. It is clear that she would sacrifice anything for them.
This story chronicles the years as she marries, moves to Germany with her military husband, where Shaq began playing basketball and began getting noticed. I thought one of the most interesting parts of this was the fact that when they came back to the States, they found the prejudice much more profound than in Germany. Then, as he chooses his college and eventually joins the NBA, she was fiercely protective of him which I'm sure helped him keep a level head at that point in his life.
Though she admits she was a alcoholic, she shares how eventually her faith in Christ brought her out of her addiction. I would like to have seen more in the book about her journey out of her troubles. She speaks of divorcing and the freedom it gave her, but doesn't speak of seeking marital counsel or anything, which leads me to wonder why she considers that part of her life a triumph?
She went back to college as an adult and earned her bachelors and Masters degrees which was an impressive feat for anyone. Overall, I did not greatly enjoy this book, but it has many good examples of what a person can do when they are determined to overcome trials and depend on the Lord.
I received a free copy of this book for purpose of review.
January 25, 2011
Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go is a candid account of Lucille O'Neal's life; being raised by strict grandparents, being an unwed mother, later being a military wife and trotting her family across the globe, being the mother of a star NBA player, getting out of an unhappy marriage, getting sober and staying that way, getting the education that she so desired for her children. I found the book was very hard to put down in the beginning. It was so interesting to see life from a different culture and what obstacles O'Neal had to overcome, especially being an unwed mother at the time that Shaquille was born. As the story progressed, I was really interested to find out how O'Neal conquered her alcohol addiction and I was surprised that her recovery process was so simple: "During my mother's illness, I'd stopped drinking after some twenty years of doing so regularly...I didn't have to join AA, although I know it's a wonderful program that helps many people; I just relied on my faith in God to get me through those nights I wanted a drink so bad I could taste the white zinfandel on my lips." (p. 165-166). I put the book down for quite awhile because O'Neal's recovery just seemed too easy. I would really like to know more about how she made it through those nights. Did she read scripture? Did she pray? How did it happen? Was it hard to make it through?Overall, I enjoyed the book, even though I am not a basketball fan. It was good to see O'Neal become a strong woman and to use what she learned through her trials to help others. Walking this journey with her showed me that God can and does use the hard times to make us stronger.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program
July 26, 2010
"Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go" is a memoir of Lucille O'Neal's life. If you didn't recognize the last name, Lucille is the mother of NBA icon, Shaquille O'Neal. Lucille felt her life's journey could be of some spiritual encouragement to others and she decided to write this memoir.Lucille is very upfront and honest about her life before and after the fame and fortune of her oldest son, NBA star Shaquille O'Neal.Without giving away too much of the book, here's my review. Lucille shares her life story in a warm and conversational way. Lucille had a difficult childhood feeling unloved by family, feeling awkward amongst her peers, being a teen mom, and being in an unhappy marriage. After all that Lucille went through in the past she reflects back and sums up her past state of mind as "mental welfare". Lucille coined the term "mental welfare" as it applies to her life growing up with low self-esteem and a lack of confidence that stemmed from a love-less childhood. Lucille felt these were issues that millions of people faced daily, and she wanted to share her story.Lucille's life took a major turn when her oldest son, Shaquille, became a big NBA star, and she became caught up in the whirlwind while sharing in his fame and fortune, it brought out the worst in her. Lucille had feelings of resentment of his success and some surprising negative behaviors arose from her. This book was written with spiritual undertones, and Lucille lets it be known that when she was open to change and knew that God had a bigger plan for her life that's when she began her spiritual journey. I personally enjoy inspirational autobiographies and this was an interesting memoir. This book is an easy read, flows well, and will definitely hold your attention from beginning to end. What I got from this book is that money can't bring you happiness, but your continued faith in God can bring you the joy and guidance that you need on a daily basis.
June 13, 2010
Ms. O'Neal probably intended to be an encouragement to young women everywhere, but instead I found the book to be rather sad. She recollects her life as a young girl and woman and the family troubles and instead of using them as a springboard to dole out wisdom, she seems (to me) to be using them to make excuses for her extravagent behavior and lifestyle of wealth (supplied by her son) and excess drinking. Ms. O'Neal also has the idea that her divorce was okay in God's sight --- for someone who can list all her favorite gospel songs and Bible verses, she must've missed the portions where divorce is forbidden except in extenuating circumstances.I felt that it was not the right advice or inspiration for her target audience. Just my opinion, of course. :)*Thomas Nelson Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review.
June 4, 2010