on June 6, 2011
I picked up this book because I saw an interview with Shania and was impressed with how she came across. There is so much BS in the entertainment business and Shania just seemed... different. I'm not a big country fan, but I liked HER. She chose her words carefully, was thoughtful and polite, and didn't seem phony and self-involved like 99% of the other celebrities I see on TV.
So I brought the book home (I've actually never read a celebrity autobiography) and honestly, I was blown away. I could not put it down. It was like a window into her life. It's clear that Shania is a very private person but she's taken a big risk here, and her book is like a conversation with an incredibly thoughtful, honest, and down-to-earth person.
I take issue with some of the comments that other reviewers have made about her parents, because I myself was particularly impressed by her take on the abuse. Her discussions about her parents weren't black-and-white, but instead were textured and nuanced, which is a lot closer to how we actually experience these things in real life. It's so easy to make other people into monsters and it's much, much more difficult to see them as people, which is what they are. We are all capable of incredible darkness given the right (or wrong) conditions. This is her story. She was there. I wasn't.
I walk away from this book amazed by a woman who has overcome a lot, and is still working through stuff (and is honest about it!). It was downright inspiring, and I don't say that with even a hint of sarcasm.
on April 8, 2013
Last night Shania Twain showed up at the AMC Awards show to announce the winner in one of the evening's key categories. Wearing black thigh high boots and with her hair perfectly flounced,she looked as if she'd just walked off the set from one of her mega hit video shoots. The audience was wildly enthusiastic in its welcome and the collection of contemporary country performers on the stage stood around, respectfully giving Shania some space and maybe thinking about what a genuine musical superstar she once was.
It had been ten years since Shania Twain's last visit to the ACM's. One of the things that she had done during her absence was to complete her autobiography, FROM THIS MOMENT ON.
As so often happens when celebrity bios are produced, stories about the famous people's early days and dogged determination during their climb to success are told in great detail and reveal much about the subject's motivation, personality, and family background. FROM THIS MOMENT on is no exception in this regard.
As a child, a teenager, and a young woman, Shania Twain learned to work hard, to be resourceful and to develop a sort of self reliance that carried her through some of the devastating crises she faced in her early life. A love of music was part of the picture, of course, but there was much more than that, including incidents of abuse that Twain relates in a more or less matter of fact way. In addition, she offers details about the causes of the road accident that killed both her parents -- factual information, combined her own speculative thoughts.
Achieving mega fame was not a big goal for Shania Twain. Along with then husband and highly skilled producer, she created an astonishing string of successes and a country/pop/rock style that rewrote many of the rules for aspiring country and western singers.
With the massive success of the double cd UP! (released in three different instrumental styles) Shania seemed to have gone about as far as she could go. Retreating to the tax haven of Switzerland, Twain tried to live a simpler life, but the story she tells about this time suggests she found there was a lot lacking for her in this environment.
In the last part of FROM THIS MOMENT ON, Shania recounts the emotional devastation and feelings of betrayal she faced as her marriage to Lange unraveled. Twain tries to think her way through her problems and even presents a list of the pop psychology books she read in an effort to make things right. Nothing worked, though, and although Shania is candid about her feelings, there are no real insights into the chemistry of the Lange and Twain connection and why it didn't last.
Emotionally wounded and insecure about her age and looks, Shania falls into a relationship with the man who was married to the rather plain woman who took Mutt away from her. It's easy to feel sympathy for Twain as she soaks up the flattery and blandishments that came her way during a period of pain and vulnerability.
With her new gig in Las Vegas, Shania Twain has gone into the middle road of the world of musical entertainment where spectacle meets the downward trajectory of a professional career. It will be interesting to see what happens on the other side of this glitzy trip to the desert.
In FROM THIS MOMENT ON, Shania Twain comes across as a sincere woman -- someone who has worked hard, seen a lot, and has something to say about most of it. We can only guess about the missing pieces.
on June 5, 2011
Was it the best book I have ever read? no it was not! Was it truly a literary gem? again, no; however, I have no regrets regarding its purchase. I read it in a few days and it captivated me - maybe because I have been residing in her hometown for many years, and I remember her vaguely in our McDonald, in our malls, and maybe even heard her sing in a local bar. And although I am no country music fan, I appreciate that many of her songs are great for dancing. What I know for certain is that she had a story to tell, and I was interested in knowing what it was: a young woman from Timmins who successfully made it in the Nashville scene and of whom our city is extremely proud.
I believe that her autobiography was as honest an account of herself as she could make at this time: her experiences, her feelings, and her perceptions. How easy it seems to be for others, who have no inkling of Shania Twain as Eilleen, to judge, criticize and comment on matters that truly do not concern them. Shania shared a gift of some her most personal experiences with the readers, a gift probably intended for her fans as well as for her son.
The respect she speaks of for her parents (her father in particular) is not uncommon for any abuse survivor - she needed to see her parents as they truly were, and to acknowledge their strengths just as much - if not more - as she needed to accept their weaknessses - this was crucial to her survival and recovery. For better or for worse they were her parents, her family, her circumstances - they were who they were, who she had, and she loved them.
As far as those pages of "vitriol" she apparently spewed at that "other woman," I believe that she showed much restraint: I kept thinking, while I read those few pages, that if I were to face a similar situation, I would want to destroy that other woman ....
In previous reviews, there are comments that she does not seem to blame Mutt ... well put yourself in her shoes: he is the father of her child, and she loved him at one time (this does not mean, however that she did not feel shock, absolute devastation, and eventually extreme anger.) This book is written so that her son will understand, and he will: she did not hide the fact that Mutt was complicit in the betrayal, that he failed to inform her himself that he believed their marriage was over, that he refused to communicate with her and work on it .... I believe that the main message she wants to give her son is that she knew that her relationship with Mutt was in trouble, that the end of the marriage devasted her, and that she needs to respect the fact that he remains Eja's father. Her commenting further on any negative feelings for Mutt, or even his relationship with his son could be toxic for Eja.
She may follow this up with a second book later on and reveal more as memories come to her, as she creates new memories, or as her perceptions change. - and maybe not. For a person who has kept so much hidden from others, she had chosen a courageous path that should enable her to heal... I would think that she will continue to be private in her relationships, as she has every right to be. I can only wish her the best "From this moment on"
on January 13, 2014
I have been a fan of Shania Twain ever since I first heard Any Man of Mine. I think I found her more relatable and any other celebrity because like me she grew up in Northern Ontario. Her childhood stories of bitter cold winters, walking in knee deep (or deeper) snow, the old tongue on metal that is a rite of passage of any Canadian. What appealed to me the most was her stories of tree planting as I grew up on an MNR (Ministry of Natural Resources) tree nursery, right around the same time that the Twain family were running their business. Hearing the stories and even seeing the pictures brought back memories of several yellow school buses full of people coming from all over to harvest trees to be shipped out to be planted in the forest. Reading these stories made Shania feel less like a star and more like a real person to me. I found it brave to of her to write so honestly about her life. It wasn't always pretty, and was often nasty, but in the end she did triumph. I found this book hard to put down at times because it was so engaging. Even though we all know the story, it was nice to hear the events coming from the person who actually lived through them and not just second or third hand stories passed on. I admire her courage for writing this story, and her courage for getting through the tough times in her life and I found inspiration in it for my own times of difficulty that made it a most enjoyable read.
on April 25, 2015
That was one fabulous book to read, with the most honesty from the beginning to the end. That woman is amazing if you loved her before, you'll simply adore her afterward, that make us Canadians very proud of her. One tiny woman with a huge courage to overcome anything at all so at the end she found the best in her charming new man and husband, a wonderful sister that anyone would love to have as their own, what a trooper Carrie Ann is and the best shoulder to lean on for her sister too. That's one of my favorite book ever. Thank you so much Eillen Twain alias Shania Twain for sharing your life with us, in doing so, you've help a lot of peoples out there and give them the boost they need to do positive changes in their life, so they will know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel after all. Please come back to us as a song writer and singer and performer, you're way to good to let it go ever. Love from Montréal, Québec, Canada. XXX
on December 4, 2013
Simply stated - one of the best autobiographies I've ever read. Twain does not withhold in this book - in several cases I found myself with goosebumps!
After reading this book, and having the pleasure of meeting her twice during her Las Vegas concert series, I can say that she is one of the most humble entertainers of our time, who has overcome more than her fair share of obstacles in her life.
on May 12, 2011
The first part of this book looks at Shania's hardscrabble childhood in northern Ontario and is very compelling. The second part deals with her meeting Mutt, rise to fame and an honest account of her experiences in the music industry. Very interesting! The third part of the book deals with her marriage breakdown, her new relationship and growing older. This third section was the part that needed an honest editor. I was uncomfortable with a) the many pages devoted to vitriol at "the other woman" and b) the very end that read like a self-help manual for others. However, overall it was a good book, by a smart, talented and interesting person. I recommend it.
on December 24, 2013
Perfect for hitting the road to the cottage, You get all best hits. I found a few gems that I did not know existed.
on June 4, 2011
I loved this book, and was very moved by it. It seems Shania is getting a lot of flack for the respect she had for her stepfather and readers can't understand why she had that respect.I understand it as I had a father that was very much the same but as children they are still our parents no matter what they do and we have a built in love and respect for them. i think it is hard for others to understand that have come from a normal childhood to relate to this. I think considering where Shania came from and her rise to the top says something about her as a person, I say three cheers for SHANIA!!!!!! I wish her nothing but the best she deserves it. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it if you are a fan.
on June 20, 2014
I enjoyed reading it from the beginning to the end. I had heard she had had a tough upbringing. It was confirmed in the book but also learned how talented and dedicated she was as a youngster. Easy to read and very enjoyable.