I don’t like writing about the books I have mixed feelings about after reading. That’s why it took me a while to write a review of “A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston” by Robyn Crawford.
It’s not that I didn’t like the book. It is just this nagging feeling that something isn’t right. After doing some thinking, I’ve managed to locate the source of my dissatisfaction. I don’t like it when people try to capitalise on something they don’t possess. It is completely understandable why people do that – the chances we receive from life aren’t unlimited.
The book is not about Whitney Houston; and although it offers an interesting insight into the behind-the-scenes world of the mega-famous singer, it says disappointingly little about that singer’s personality. While reading, I had an impression that the author didn’t know Whitney Houston at all. She offers her judgements about her actions and choices, but she doesn’t say anything about why her friend/ex-lover/employer acted that way. Despite their close relationship at the beginning of their acquaintance when they both were very young and inexperienced in how life works, this closeness hadn’t developed into a deeper relationship of mature people. Maybe it is the reason why the author’s judgements of Whitney Houston seem shallow and biased. She kept her thoughts and conclusions from the time when they were teenagers and in their early twenties, having had no opportunity to develop her knowledge of her friend after Whitney Houston became a superstar and the two grew apart.
The author has drawn a picture of Whitney Houston that is impossible not only to like but even sympathise with. To be honest, the legendary singer with one of the most remarkable voices in vocal history is displayed as an indifferent, shallow person with strong drug addiction. Why she turned out to be like that, it’s impossible to guess from the author’s account of her life events.
What I found fascinating about the book is getting one more proof that success is a matter of succession of coincidences. The author’s life followed a completely different path only because she met Whitney Houston. Now, after years in show business, due to her relationship with the famous singer, having skipped college/university, she is considered a professional in the field. It is truly remarkable.
“A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston” is not a book about Whitney Houston. If anything, it made me want to read a “proper” biography of the singer. I’d call this book “how my life turned out because at some point Whitney Houston was my friend”, but it wouldn’t do for promoting it to the masses.