Book review – Collection of key moments

2010-10-23 13:38

My first impression of Queen Latifah’s Put on Your Crown was: “Oh no, not another celebrity who thinks they can get into the self-help business!”

I was also disappointed when I realised it wasn’t an autobiography of the star’s life. But after reading a couple of chapters, I ­began to get what Latifah was trying to do.

The book is divided into eight chapters: Success, Beauty, Money, Love, Fear, Loss, Strength and Joy.

Each offers a peek into Latifah’s life, and touches on issues relating to weight, money, boundaries and the lessons she’s learnt from life. It’s a candid book.

In the chapter dealing with loss, Latifah really lets the reader in. She lost her brother in a motorbike accident. She writes it like an excerpt from a journal – the call, the drive to the hospital and the moment she’s told he’s gone.

It gave me goose bumps, and I began thinking about the people I’ve lost. The pain of losing a loved one does not stop once the funeral is over.

Latifah’s pain gushes out of the page. She got through it by going through it – crying, avoiding people, overworking and even sleeping on his grave.

This is Latifah’s third book. Her first, Ladies First: Revelations of a Strong Woman, is said to be the actual autobiography.
Her second was a motivational children’s book, Queen of the Scene.

If I had read Put on Your Crown when I was 16, perhaps I would have appreciated it better. It reads as if it’s targeted at teenage girls and young women.

And for those wondering if she says anything about her sexual preference, the answer is no. She touches on having had boyfriends, but says nothing about her current love ­affair. She neither denies nor admits to any gossip or rumours. However, she does hint at regret for not having had children.

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