Candid, brave, and generous.



How a marital crisis became a catalyst for a painful but ultimately enlightening journey into the depths of the human heart.

Though raised by loving parents, Melton (Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed, 2013) felt socially ill at ease and unworthy. At age 10, she found temporary release in the bulimic cycle of bingeing and purging. As a teenager, she hid her vulnerability behind a mask of trendiness and toughness, divorced her sexuality from all emotion, and began drinking. In college, she learned what she perceived to be the “rules” of female success: “thinness is beauty. Beauty is power. Power is Being Chosen by the Boys.” Melton found the popularity she desired but at the cost of becoming an alcoholic. When she met her future husband, Craig, he seemed the embodiment of the “wholesomeness and goldenness” that she felt would save her. The two wed after the author, who aborted their first child, became pregnant for the second time. Motherhood forced her to get her alcoholism and bulimia under control, but she felt lonely even with a family to care for and resentful toward Craig for imposing sex on her. After creating a successful blog and book that gave her truth-telling spaces she longed for, her world suddenly collapsed. Craig admitted to multiple infidelities, and the pair separated. During the course of therapy, the author realized that she had been seeking perfection in a man who was as needy and broken as she was. To become whole, each needed to own parts of themselves—Melton, the body, for Craig, the mind—they had disregarded. As the two gradually accepted their flaws and limitations, they learned to communicate more directly and honestly with each other. Though the memoir sometimes reads like a self-help book rather than a narrative, it nevertheless tells a compelling story about self-discovery and the nature of mature love.

Candid, brave, and generous.

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-250-07572-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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


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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