Let me start by saying I finished this book in two days. I have a six-month-old. I don’t finish my laundry or even a plate of food in two days anymore. I typically stay away from celebrity memoirs, essays, or even think pieces.
I unfairly assume they’ll be full of stories that try too hard to paint our favorite superstars as normal people that somehow stumbled into becoming rich and famous.
I’m glad I broke my own rule because We’re Going to Need More Wine wasn’t that. Union jumps right in regaling the reader with stories from childhood to the present day.
Each recollection reads like a page from her diary or a very open conversation with a good friend. Every now and then I had to remind myself that this was thee Gabrielle Union.
Throughout the book, she’d mention a movie or television show but it was never the focal point of the story. I expected a decent amount of the book to detail the entertainment business and her rise to fame.
Instead, Union name-dropped iconic projects like “Bring it On,” “Friends,” and “10 Things I Hate About You” as nothing more than backdrops. She downplayed these juggernaut movies and television shows to keep the focus on Gabrielle Union the person, not just the actress.
Union recounts the dissolution of her first marriage with just the right amount of self-deprecation and showcases her vulnerability by being open about her self-proclaimed bad habits. She took accountability for her mean girl persona, jealousy, and insecurity.
She also got pretty candid about the media’s suggestion that she is being usurped by Ryan Destiny who they deem her successor. Nothing feels off-limits and in each chapter, I wait for her to skip over a less than savory section of her story but she doesn’t.
Things I liked
Union jumped headfirst into her story by referencing double consciousness. Her recollection of growing up black in white schools and neighborhoods resonated so deeply that I wanted to put the book down and snap my fingers.
The cost of assimilation is often our comfort. I also love anyone who unabashedly discusses hair and the scrutiny little black girls face from day one about their natural locks.
I enjoyed the unabashed conversation about female sexuality. Discussion around women’s desires can still be seen as taboo or to use the grandmotherly term “unladylike.”
I think it’s important for more women, especially women with a platform, to acknowledge that we are more than the recipient of male attention and affection.
Would I Recommend:
I would absolutely recommend this book. You don’t have to be a fan or have even seen a Gabrielle Union movie to be drawn in. Union’s essays are engaging and authentic.
She’s a woman who’s dealt with infertility, envy, divorce, heartbreak, colorism, ageism, and success. It reads like the diary of an everyday person who just happens to be famous.
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