Book reviews

Let Love RuleLenny Kravitz with David RitzSphere – Jonathan Ball (South Africa)Review: Lauren O’Connor-May

Fans of Lenny Kravitz will know that Let Love Rule is the name of the song that ignited his fame in the rock genre.

Fans will probably know a lot about Lenny already but the most well-known tidbit of his life, his failed marriage with The Cosby Show actress, Lisa Bonet, and the mysterious reasons behind it, is not discussed in this book.

The story stops just after their daughter Zoe is born and before they separate.

The book starts before Lenny is born, with the romance between his parents, well-known actress Roxie Roker and journalist Sy Kravitz.

It goes on to talk about his extremely colourful childhood, which was full of well-known musicians and actors and an immersion in arts, almost from birth, which clearly shaped his musical aspirations.

The book goes into great detail about his grandparents, his family life, his family history and his childhood and carries on until he leaves school and tries to launch a career as the pop musician Romeo Blue.

The essence of the story, told in Lenny’s own words, is his musical and spiritual development.

He talks a lot about his spirituality and how his musical style was influenced and nearly everything he talks about in the book links back to those two themes.

The book is very lyrically written and, based on the ending, hints at being part of a series.

I’ve watched many documentaries about Lenny Kravitz, being somewhat of a fan myself, and knew a lot about the musician already but this book gives the unique view of telling his story in his own words, through only his perspective, which is sometimes somewhat rose-tinted.

Melania and MeThe rise and fall of my friendship with the First LadyStephanie Winston WolkoffSimon & Schuster UK – Jonathan Ball (South AfricaReview: Lauren O’Connor-May

I’ve always wondered what goes on inside the heads of those who not only voted for Donald Trump but then also supported his administration.

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff admits to being one of those people but after reading this book, very reluctantly, I must admit, it’s a logic that still makes no sense to me.

Wolkoff calls herself a friend of Melania Trump.

A successful businesswoman, Wolkoff had long ago made a name for herself in the fashion industry, which is where she first met the then unmarried Melania Knauss, an aspiring but unsuccessful model.

The two texted regularly, met once a month for lunch and Wolkoff seems to feel the friendship was real, despite the clear indications that it was not.

For most of the first part of the book, Wolkofff came across as a bit of a fangirl trying to justify her obviously one-sided friendship with Melania.

Wolfkoff does Melania endless favours, is at her beck and call and she willingly shares her trials and struggles with an apathetic Melania.

Later, as Wolkoff, at great cost to herself, rallies for Melania in a way that can only be called obsessive – all in the name of patriotism – she comes across as someone desperately trying to justify her misplaced loyalties. Eventually, Wolkoff ends up the same as most people who tangled with the Trumps do – ruined.

Only then she admits, what any sane reader could have seen all along and what all her friends had been warning her about, that she was being used and it would not end well.

I found parts of this book very dull, especially when Wolkoff goes into a painful, day-by-day, blow-by-blow account of the presidential inauguration planning. Wolfkoff claims she was the scapegoat for the irregularities in the inauguration spending and whether this is true or not remains to be seen as the investigation is still ongoing. Other parts are morbidly fascinating.

How does Melania deal with all the scandal that is constantly swirling around the Trumps? It appears that she just doesn’t care.

As long as her private life is not too greatly disturbed, her expensive shoes matches her designer bag and she looks good, Melania doesn’t care what is happening outside her bubble and least of all whom it affects.

That is how she has been painted under Wolkoff’s pen at least.

Wolfkoff admits to having had a grudging admiration for this head -in-a-bubble attitude and even sometimes justifies it. Later, it comes back to bite her.

At its essence, this book is a PR attempt to salvage a Trump-ruined life.