A succinct portrait of the nature of submission and one woman discovering herself in marriage and beyond.

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SUBMISSIVE NO MORE

ONE WOMAN'S JOURNEY TO JOY

In this candid, objective memoir of a codependent marriage, the author takes readers on a painful yet poignant journey from a failing marriage toward independence.

Moore demonstrates finesse in choosing anecdotes that portray the dysfunction of a poorly communicated union of desires and life paths. Married to Carl, Moore found herself embarking on sexual escapades with other couples in order to meet her restless husband’s insatiable desires. But, discomforted by Carl’s mounting need to control, experience and dominate Moore’s reluctant involvement with other male partners, the author began to resist her husband, only to be met with ridicule. Instances of his disgust and resentment painfully resonate, such as his insistence that Moore’s nightgown is a “bag” and telling her that she doesn’t dress sexily enough, enjoy enough alcohol or provide him with the satisfaction he seeks. In her frank memoir, Moore confronts her own rigid expectations of fidelity and marital intimacy, citing an instance of outrage upon discovering that Carl was viewing pornographic pictures on the couple’s computer. In a sense, however, the objective storytelling reveals that each partner presented obstacles to the other’s happiness. One partner sought monogamy, stability, religion and purity; the other sought openness, excitement and growing connections with other adults. Some readers might even relate to Carl. While neither partner comes across as guilty of gross abuse, both are portrayed as unable or unwilling to actively listen and understand the other’s desires. Moore paints a clear portrait of the way submission is driven by the desire for control. At a poignant moment in the memoir, Moore even admits that she suddenly recognized her own attempts to control Carl, having believed all along that he was the controlling partner. In retrospect, submission becomes a kind of conscious power play, and the unwillingness to express desire becomes just as detrimental to a relationship as the harshly honest admission of dissatisfaction. In a welcome conclusion, the memoir ends with an insightful, hopeful resolution that will speak to any reader who has endured a conflict-ridden relationship. Perhaps the author puts it best in quoting an unnamed priest: “Go where you are nourished.”

A succinct portrait of the nature of submission and one woman discovering herself in marriage and beyond.

Pub Date: Nov. 20, 2012

ISBN: 978-1452560199

Page Count: 86

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2013

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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