Every Little Step: My Story by Bobby Brown and Nick Chiles (4 out of 5)

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I should confess right away that I may be biased in my review. I have always loved Bobby Brown’s music. I was horrified when the tabloid circus began roasting him and Whitney on a spit during their marriage. I should also confess I have always loved Whitney’s music as well. Then that scary interview with the infamous “Crack? Crack is wack (sp: whack)”. I have to be honest. Once I saw that interview, I was convinced she WAS smoking it, and I blamed Bobby Brown. So many did! The tabloids- as well as the Houston’s-had a field day pointing the finger of blame at this guy. After Whitney’s death and autopsy revealed that she had evidentially been still using, some of the validity of those claims went out the window. Then their daughter Bobbi Kristina dies in almost the same way years later? To say this is a tragic story doesn’t give it the full decree of justice. And years after the allegations, who’s clean, sober, and still here? Bobby Brown. And what a story he has.

Raised in the Orchard Park project outside of Boston, Brown has a relatively decent upbringing, by his own admission. At some point, he’s bitten by the singing bug and begins performing at the age of 9. Not long after this, he becomes friends with Ralph Tresvant and they begin a friendship that not only begins the part of the story known as New Edition, but a lifelong friendship that continues to this day. New Edition’s formation and dissolution is but a springboard to what most readers would say is the “juicy” part of the story: Bobby’s romance with, marriage to, and divorce from Whitney after 15 years. He doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad, the downright bizarre, and the ugly. What you take away from this is that Brown was a willing participant in all, but that doubts were expressed in some matters, and doubts went nowhere. You also take away that there is a sense of shame and regret, but hey- true love is crazy and never does that ring so true as it does here. It’s also very obvious from Brown’s story that there was a lot of love for Whitney and his daughter, and that it was he, not Houston, who walked away from the marriage. So if you are expecting lurid tales of bacchanals, drug-fueled orgies, and the like, you will be disappointed. What you get is a respectful narrative of a love affair that consumed them both until the drugs and fighting tore them apart. No amount of love, nor tough love, is kept from the reader during the entirety of Brown and Houston’s marriage. Brown’s love for their daughter Bobbi Kristina is obvious throughout the story, as well as his heartbreak over what happened to her so soon after what happened to Whitney. You get what he knows of the story, but you also get the feeling that the only people who know what happened are the deceased and the Houston’s, and we probably will never know the entire story. You do have a fair sense that the little fucker named Nick Gordon knows more about-and may be guilty as hell- of Bobbi Kristina’s death. More details are brought forth by Brown than had already been circulated through the media, so the reader can make their own judgment. What IS obvious is that it tore Brown up then, and will until the end of his life. Anyone who has ever lost a child can relate to his pain throughout the story, beginning with their estrangement after the divorce, and his short-lived joy that they had reconciled shortly before her death. That part of the book tore my heart out, and I do not nor will ever have kids. Bad reputation or not, it’s very obvious that Brown loved Whitney and their daughter very much. So overall, this is a book in which the only living person left in the wind on this story, gets to tell his side. The other two won’t get a chance, but the reader leaves with the impression that Brown has been completely truthful in his story. And again, it’s a straightforward story, and there aren’t many nitty gritty details, but he tells it like it was, and not in a bitchy, vindictive way. Refreshing for a memoir where rampant drug usage is a prevalent side to the story. I would highly recommend this memoir.

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~ by generationgbooks on June 20, 2016.

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