A moving portrait of “young love turning into old love” in the face of unexpected life challenges.

TOGETHER

A MEMOIR OF A MARRIAGE AND A MEDICAL MISHAP

An award-winning author recounts how her husband’s treatment to alleviate chronic back pain wreaked unexpected havoc on his health and their relationship.

When Goldman’s (Losing My Sister, 2012, etc.) husband, Henry, saw an advertisement for injections that alleviated spine problems, he eagerly made an appointment. Surgery had been ineffective in curing chronic back pain, and engaging in the athletic activities he loved—jogging, racquetball, and tennis—had become impossible. Rather than cure him, the treatment left Henry paralyzed from the waist down. The doctor insisted all would be well despite disturbing signs to the contrary. Goldman, who was “too timid to take charge,” suddenly found herself having to fight a medical establishment that could not explain what had gone wrong. Henry did regain some, but not all, feeling; with physical therapy, he also regained the ability to walk. But for the next several years, he endured worsening pain, blood clots, knee replacement, and, eventually, total shoulder replacement due to an “altered gait and awkward posture.” When the pair eventually tried to take legal action to compensate for Henry’s suffering, they were told they did not have a strong enough case to sue for damages. The author watched her husband struggle and observed how extreme stress caused her to display her most “unlovely self.” At the same time, she also pondered their past and the new normal of their present. The shifts that threatened to tear their relationship apart forced both Goldman and her husband to assume new roles and expand old identities in ways they could never have foreseen. For all their trials, they emerged more bonded than ever. Honest and compassionate, Goldman’s book is a life-affirming story that celebrates the grit that goes into making a long-term marriage work.

A moving portrait of “young love turning into old love” in the face of unexpected life challenges.

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-385-54394-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Nan A. Talese

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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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 48 LAWS OF POWER

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 20, 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...

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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