“The Value in the Valley” Book Review

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As a big fan of Iyanla Vanzant (I even love her name, so whimsical!) since she first appeared on the Oprah program in the late 1990s, I picked up two of her books after seeing her “Oprah” show appearance in February 2011. Unfortunately, her books are not what I remember them to be. The Value in the Valley: A Black Woman’s Guide Through Life’s Dilemmas is full of great advice, but her words are so generic and pedestrian that anyone could have written them. I remembered Vanzant’s message being powerful and engaging, or at least this is how it came across when she appeared on television. Instead, the book contains canned “self-help” mantras: “You can do it! You will overcome! You are powerful! It’s all inside of you! Don’t be afraid!” but with Vanzant’s colorful language and flair. And her valley metaphor was confusing at best. I kept wondering when, where and what the valley experience entailed. I didn’t read the whole book, just up to 3 chapters, because the experience was too painful. Maybe I will go back someday and finish. This time I will lower my expectations.

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