Title: We’re Going to Need More Wine
Author: Gabrielle Union
Narrator: Gabrielle Union
In the spirit of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl, and Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist, a powerful collection of essays about gender, sexuality, race, beauty, Hollywood, and what it means to be a modern woman.
One month before the release of the highly anticipated film The Birth of a Nation, actress Gabrielle Union shook the world with a vulnerable and impassioned editorial in which she urged our society to have compassion for victims of sexual violence. In the wake of rape allegations made against director and actor Nate Parker, Union – a 44-year-old actress who launched her career with roles in iconic ’90s movies – instantly became the insightful, outspoken actress that Hollywood has been desperately awaiting. With honesty and heartbreaking wisdom, she revealed her own trauma as a victim of sexual assault: “It is for you that I am speaking. This is real. We are real.”
In this moving collection of thought-provoking essays infused with her unique wisdom and deep humor, Union uses that same fearlessness to tell astonishingly personal and true stories about power, color, gender, feminism, and fame. Union tackles a range of experiences, including bullying, beauty standards and competition between women in Hollywood, growing up in white California suburbia and then spending summers with her black relatives in Nebraska, coping with crushes, puberty, and the divorce of her parents. Genuine and perceptive, Union bravely lays herself bare, uncovering a complex and courageous life of self-doubt and self-discovery with incredible poise and brutal honesty. Throughout, she compels us to be ethical and empathetic and reminds us of the importance of confidence, self-awareness, and the power of sharing truth, laughter, and support.
I’m beginning to find a love for audiobooks read by their authors. This was interesting not only learning about her experience, but hearing Gabrielle’s story in both her words and voice.
At first the book starts with some funny stories of childhood, and coming in to womanhood and not knowing anything about it other than what she and her friends had read or found from experience.
Then the book gets serious, talking about her time as a black actress, and an event when she was a teenager. There were some hard times listening to her story. These times had me putting down the book because I was so overcome with emotion.
She touches on some hard topics, loosing her virginity, rape, and being black. These conversations and stories got so difficult to listen to at times I stopped listening to the audiobook and listened to another book. I then finished that book before returning to this book. That’s how emotional this book got.
I have a new respect for Gabrielle. The funny thing is, I didn’t even know who she was before reading this. I only picked it up because it was recommended to me through Overdrive. I don’t regret picking it up. If you decide to pick up this book, be ready to laugh, sigh, deeply inhale, cry, and be hit so hard with emotions that you don’t even know what emotion or emotions you are feeling anymore.
I am grateful to say I have not experienced rape. But hearing her story is one of the points that had me putting down the book to try and deal with the emotions I was feeling. So I do want to warn you, to be prepared. She will take you through from the first red flag she felt in her stomach about something being wrong, to the aftermath with friends and family. Get your tissues, your reading buddy, and get comfy with a bottle of wine.