"LOVE SHRINKS: A Memoir of a Marriage Counselor's Divorce," by Sharyn Wolf, Soho Press, $20, 231 pages (nf)
“Love Shrinks: A Memoir of a Marriage Counselor’s Divorce” is not for the faint of heart.
This newest book by Sharyn Wolf, author of five previous relationship self-help books, chronicles the life events that spurred the corrosion of her marriage.
Wolf’s life had been riddled with tragedy, much of it forced on her by people she should have been able to trust. From an early age she was thrust into the worst events life had to offer. As a New York psychotherapist she continued to be an eyewitness to the deepest kinds of pain through her patients.
Despite having had a front-row seat to intense suffering from a young age, Wolf still took on the daunting role of crusader for relationship repair.
She wrote books, held seminars and toured the nation offering relationship fixes while watching her own marriage crumbled.
The content of this book is gritty and raw. The text drags readers through the basest kinds of filth that bad relationships have to offer. From rape, incest, molestation and adultery to drug abuse, emotional assault and hostile isolation, Wolf pulls no punches. Her descriptions are blatant and vivid.
Writing this book seems to have been a catharsis for Wolf, and she surely deserves any peace that life can offer through that release.
However, billing this as a memoir of her divorce is puzzling. There is really not much focus on her married life. The truth behind her marriage remains shadowed by her painful past.
The book is heavy. The content and language are graphic and coarse. Wolf does sprinkle in tender moments highlighting flashes of brilliance from her husband, but the overall feeling of the book is despairing and cheerless.
Maybe that is the way a book about divorce is supposed to be.
Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six young children who lives in West Valley City, Utah. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org or she blogs about her adventures in motherhood at demouxfamily.blogspot.com.