Lynne Spears with Lorilee Craker
272 pp. Thomas Nelson Publishers
By Scoti Springfield Domeij
Through the Storm reveals Lynne Spears struggles in her marriage, the pain of her husband's alcoholism, the frenzy of her daughter's rise to mega-fame, and the relentless stalking by paparazzi. Lorilee Craker captures Lynne Spear's southern voice and clichés, sharing bits of humor and the emotional conflicts of Lynne's life from the death of her father to Jamie Lynn's teen pregnancy. Lynne's story recounts her feelings and regrets regarding many of the events her family faced as Brittany's fame skyrocketed their family into the public spotlight.
The most griping chapters deal with her first phone calls and meetings with Sam Lutfi, his hold upon Brittany's life and her parents' battle to regain control over their daughter. When she tells about Lutfi's first sickening phone conversations with her, I found myself wondering, Why would Lynne consent to meet with him?
After telling the reader about her husband's alcoholism, I started feeling irritated at repeated mentions of his alcoholism. However, I must say, I have not struggled with that kind of pain. I caught my breath when she described Brittany's first husband. Her putdown and her beloved sister's comment reminded me of cruel small town gossip. The comments were demeaning and unnecessary to the story. Then her warm affirmations of K-Fed felt like a disconnect when compared to his lack of moral fiber—dating Brittany while his other girlfriend was pregnant.
She swings between feelings of guilt to being naïve to rationalizing to second guessing herself to expressions of her faith in God. I slogged through some of the biographical parts of the book, along with chapters about her friends and thought, If an unknown author sent in a manuscript that dull, it would be rejected. Near the end of the book the sermonizing seemed thrown in to give the book a spiritually "up" or redeeming ending. The chapter "A Mother's Heart" may provide a cautionary how-to for young parents.
It's obvious that she loves her children and grandchildren dearly. I found myself cheering her on, "You go, Girlfriend," when she sprayed the paparazzi with water. Lynne Spears describes the frustrations and helplessness a family feels when fame strips privacy away from normal (or perhaps it's more accurate to say dysfunctional) family life. Parts of the book live up to the title Through the Storm, but the tone of the book fails to deliver on the subtitle's sensationalist promise "A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World."