Sunday, April 18, 2010

Book Review: Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go

Just finished this book, Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go, by Lucille O'Neal.  Once again, a book outside my comfort zone.  I am afraid to say anything bad about this book, because if I do, Shaquille O'Neal will show up at my house and punch me in the face.  Just kidding.  He'd put his back out bending over to hit me, so I think I'm safe.

Ms. O'Neal has a great story to tell about her life, and she is a fair storyteller. I enjoyed her story very much.  I got the impression while reading that she would be much more dynamic if she were sitting across the table from me having a cup of coffee rather than on the pages of a book.  This is a strong woman who pulled herself up the ladder in life without the help of...well, wait.  She had lots of angels in her life, she just didn't always know it or accept the help. Which happens to us all every day.  But in Ms. Lucille's case, God kept knocking on her door until she opened it.  He was probably using a sledgehammer by that time, but He never gave up on her, and that is an important theme in the book.  At least, that is what I think she was trying to say.  Her style of writing was kind of piecemeal, and the sequences didn't always seem to be linear, so sometimes I finished a chapter and I was left a bit confused. 

There were also a few parts that were incongruous, such as when Ms. O'Neal started a bit of a lecture about parenting and knowing what your kids are doing.  Yet a couple of chapters later, the author is telling us that her daughter got pregnant in high school.  So...I'm going to say that Mom did not follow her own advice and know what her kid was doing in that particular instance.  Which is perfectly normal--teenagers are sneaky under normal circumstances.  Teenagers in "love" are completely off the charts in sneakiness.  It was just the tone of the lecture earlier in the book that made that part of the book stand out. 

And while Ms. O'Neal is very obviously a very spiritual woman, the way the book is written feels like God was thrown in there as an afterthought.  This was not intended, I am sure.  Also, at the end of the book are a list of verses that Ms. O'Neal says influenced her, along with her interpretation of what those verses mean.  That chapter comes across as a Sunday school homework assignment that was thrown in at the end.   Shaq's Mom has the makings of a good writer, but this particular venture just appeared to be unfinished.  While enjoyable, it left me wanting more.

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