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Newlyweds and couples looking to jump-start a foundering relationship will find Piazza’s analysis of marriage useful,...

How women from different cultures handle the complexities of marriage.

Before journalist Piazza (co-author: The Knockoff, 2015, etc.) met her future husband, she had a successful career and good friends, and she knew how to live happily by herself. After marriage, she had to adjust to having another person in her life on a continuous basis, and like many newlyweds, she wondered if she was doing it correctly. “Marriage experts,” she writes, “call the first year of marriage ‘the wet cement year,’ because it’s the time when both members of a couple are figuring out how to exist as partners without getting stuck in the murk. It’s a time to set and test boundaries and create habits that continue for the rest of your marriage.” This idea led the author to ponder how women in other countries adjusted to sharing space, money, time, and all the other minor and major aspects that affect the union of two people under one roof. To smooth their own “wet cement,” Piazza and her husband traveled around the globe for work and pleasure, and she interviewed women from all walks of life about their secrets to a successful marriage. The answers were useful, humorous, seductive, and often far more intricate than she imagined. Among dozens of other pieces of advice, her interview subjects suggested to create a comfortable home, wear sexy lingerie (paid for by the man) on a daily basis, take care of yourself first, discuss most subjects but keep some things hidden, and, contrary to conventional wisdom, allow yourself to go to bed angry. Piazza blends the life stories of these interviewees with her own struggles during those first 12 months of matrimony.

Newlyweds and couples looking to jump-start a foundering relationship will find Piazza’s analysis of marriage useful, amusing, and engaging.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0451495556

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Harmony

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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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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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

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