The Woman in Me

S. & S. Audio. Oct. 2023. 5:31 hrs. ISBN 9781797159515. $24.99. MEMOIR
In her memoir, superstar Spears breaks the silence the world now knows was imposed upon her by a 13-year conservatorship, chronicling her feelings on her career, fame, faith, motherhood, and more. She reflects on her tumultuous childhood in the 1980s, growing up with a controlling father, who has, for decades, lived with a substance-use disorder, and a passive mother; the memoir goes through Spears’s vault to fame. Spears lays bare the trauma wrought by her relationship with Justin Timberlake and the toll that unrelenting media attention took on her and her children. Unflinching in her honesty about her struggles, she gives context and clarity to how she was feeling during the turmoil she so publicly endured. Her words repeatedly beg the question, if Britney Spears could work and perform, why couldn’t she be released from the conservatorship and still do the same? Actor Michelle Williams is a great choice to narrate Spears’s memoir, bringing a performance that lovingly pays homage to the performer’s own voice, which listeners can hear during the short introduction.
VERDICT Though Spears’s words are affecting on their own, narrator Williams’s gentle Southern drawl and slight vocal fry make this gripping memoir an unputdownable must-listen.
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