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Book Review: 'A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger...' by Dwyane Wade

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'A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball'


"A Father First" is not the tell-all book that some readers may be hoping for. Dwyane Wade does talk about some issues he's had with his ex-wife Siohvaughn, but the way he writes about her, the only thing it did was make me hope she writes a book to tell her side. You've probably heard the saying about three sides to a story (his side, her side and the truth). After finishing this book, I'd like to read her side.

The book heavily relies on telling the tale of his own childhood, his relationship with his father (who apparently had a substance abuse problem and a fiery mouth) and mother (who overcame drug abuse after many rough incidents) and his own two sons Zaire and Zion. However, the book could be a little dry at times and sometimes went on too long talking about everyday life as a parent. But those who are parents may disagree.

There are a few paragraphs that mention Wade's actress/girlfriend Gabrielle Union, but he keeps it pretty light. He doesn't go into detail about how they went from working together to friends to being in a relationship. Surprisingly he talks more about fun times with Siohvaughn and why he wanted a second child with her. She may be annoyed with the bad things he had to say about her (finances, parenthood, his teenage years in her home), but he mentioned far more times when everything was good.

But the book left this big hole that made him seem like he was a victim. During these crazy incidents with Siohvaughn accusing him of cheating, he justified his reasons for leaving as business meetings and stated where he went, but there was never one sentence in the entire book that said he never cheated. Can a woman be this crazy jealous for a faithful man? Rare but possible.

He talked about trying to make the relationship work and how he wanted to be married and a family man, but there was never a sentence about him supporting monogamous relationships. That was the sentence I kept waiting on to really justify that she was overreacting out of nowhere. There are some missing pieces that she could fill in, such as her after-the-hospital car episode, the missing money or the clothes destruction. Can she defend this odd behavior? Don't know. Is it any of our business? Absolutely not. But would I read it if she wrote it? I'd pre-order that!

Outside of his love live, fathers will appreciate Dwyane's advice on how to deal with being a single father and the legal system. Parents in general will probably be touched at his dedication to being a present father. He even struggles with how he should act when watching his sons play basketball. He isn't shy about his views on grades versus sports. Fun facts included in the book are that he's the "I love you" guy (he admitted it) and doesn't care for cursing.

He also talked about his love for his sister, Tragil. A mental alert button went off when he talked about her though. I think he left out some things that went on in her childhood after that bus trip and through the years, but he wanted to respect her privacy.

Overall the book was much more positive than expected but left a few mysterious observations. Whether readers are interested in Dwyane Wade as a Miami Heat player, as a child who loves basketball, as a husband, as an ex-husband, as a brother, as a father or as a man, they'll read a little bit of all of that inside.

Recommended Reading:

"Book Review: 'It Takes Balls: Dating Single Moms and Other Confessions'"

"Book Review: 'Manology' by Tyrese Gibson and Rev Run"

Shamontiel is also The Wire Examiner, and for the gladiators, she's the Scandal Examiner, too.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all of her latest TV, book, music and movie reviews; photo galleries; entertainment saving tips and other entries, or subscribe to her National African American Entertainment channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her @BlackHealthNews, and follow this Pinterest board to read her celebrity interviews.


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