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A Mother's Gift

Review

A Mother's Gift

Fourteen-year-old Holly Faye Lovell has a dream --- she wants to sing, specifically on television, even more specifically on The Haverty's Talent Hour. But how can a poor girl from Biscay, Mississippi who has never even been in an airplane before make her hopes for stardom come true? The answer is contained in A MOTHER'S GIFT, the debut novel from pop sensation Britney Spears.

The story is a pretty simple one; we have all read books like it a thousand times before. Holly is too perfect and sweet and her life in Biscay is free of any pain or worry. She sings in her church choir and has a loyal, loving, hot boyfriend named Tyler. In addition to being all those things and a talented mechanic to boot, it is Tyler who scores her the audition at the prestigious Haverty School of Music, sacrificing their relationship for her ambitions. Holly (of course) aces the audition, even though she has no training and she fumbles through the process. And, of course, Holly is the youngest student ever at the school and given a huge scholarship. Once Holly gets to Haverty, located in cosmopolitan Hattiesburg, she is bunked with Lydia, a beautiful, older and rich student who (of course) underneath it all is unhappy and has substance abuse issues. The girl's adventures together teach them many lessons about life and friendship. Sickly sweet lessons, that is.

A MOTHER'S GIFT is not all bad. Some of the characters are cute and well drawn. In particular, Holly's mother Wanda and the ladies of her sewing circle --- Juanita, Ruby and the others --- are lively and seem like real people. Wanda's side of the story is told through entries of her diary and she comes across as very loving and kind. And then there is the surprise twist at the end of the novel that involves Wanda and the horrible birthmark she has on her face.

I've got to say, I had very very low expectations for this novel. After all, good old Britney is quite good at showing off her navel and dancing like a hoochie, but can she write? She can, but not too well. A must for Britney fans but skippable for everybody else.

Reviewed by Lucy Burns on April 10, 2001

A Mother's Gift
by Britney Spears and Lynne Spears

  • Publication Date: April 10, 2001
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0385729537
  • ISBN-13: 9780385729536