Next book

LOVE WARRIOR

A MEMOIR

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

Next book

INTO THE WILD

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

Next book

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS

FROM MEAN STREETS TO WALL STREET

Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

Close Quickview