When I heard Kerry Washington had written her memoir, I knew I wanted to get a copy. I preordered the book as soon as it was available. I waited on bated breath for it to arrive. I have been following Kerry since her performance as Chenille in the film, Save the Last Dance. I remember wondering to myself who is this beautiful young woman that’s acting her behind off! I knew she was special back then. She oozed stardom. After numerous other roles, she landed the starring role in Scandal! As a little girl, I loved watching the late Diahann Carroll play Julia. She was not a maid. She was a nurse. She was the first African American woman to star in her own tv series. Little did I know it would take four decades before another African American woman would star in a tv series. That’s what made Scandal monumental, and Kerry was amazing as Olivia Pope. After all these years watching Kerry, I thought I knew her, but of course I didn’t. Who someone is on your tv screen or on the big screen is not who you think they are.
In Thicker Than Water, Kerry reveals that she didn’t even know who she was. She takes you on a journey of her life beginning with a text from her parents telling her that they needed to talk to her about something. That something changes the trajectory of her life. Like Kerry, this book is special. It is evident that it took a lot of painstaking work to craft this book. Everything is meticulously laid out, from the chapter titles to the narrative. Kerry’s writing is lyrical and beautiful. She doesn’t just tell her life story, she paints a picture with metaphors and imagery that takes your breath away. The water theme is brilliant and captivating. I remember when she swam on Scandal. I was so impressed.
I am equally impressed that Kerry and her parents are okay after the publication of this book. She reveals so much about her parents and the secrets that held them together while at the same time kept them apart. I was surprised to learn that her picture perfect family was dysfunctional. I couldn’t believe the adorable man I saw her making TikTok videos with caused her so much pain and confusion as a child, as he battled his own demons and that the metaphorical veil her mother wore kept her and Kerry from truly bonding.
I related to this book on so many levels, because I am a writer and an actress and I too suffered as a child. Not exactly as Kerry, but I suffered brutal beings by my stepfather and like Kerry, I was molested as a child. Kerry covers the latter in the chapter titled Frozen. I don’t want to give any spoilers here, but this chapter is riveting and I was on the edge of my seat reading it. There are so many sections of the book that gripped me. I loved reading about her acting journey and how she reached stardom and how playing characters allowed her to find herself. It was a whirlwind experience, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see how it all worked out with the secret she talks about in the beginning. Her journey to marriage and motherhood is fascinating. She has gone through so much and has come out on the other side an amazing woman and role model. This book is beyond inspirational, and I’m so glad she and her parents have finally found love and peace as a family.
Bravo Kerry Marisa Washington!!!