Posted 20 hours ago

Love Warrior

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Joined in 2023

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Love Warrior is the story of one marriage, but it is also the story of the healingthat is possible for any of us when we refuse to settle for good enough and begin to face pain and love head-on. Essentially this means to shed the layers of what society has taught her about who she is and what she should be, and to embrace her true self instead. If we don’t trust in ourselves to be able to self-soothe through the pain of disappointment and betrayal, how can we dare to open ourselves up to love?

What I’ve found is a representative of me who’s just tough and trendy enough to survive high school. Maybe the beautiful girls will have me if I just wear the right costume, smile more, laugh right, watch the leader's cues, and show no mercy, no vulnerability. As Melton shares her unedited inner thoughts, we recognize them as our own---except, this woman with a really messed up history sounds a lot smarter than us.Melton ably articulates this desire to hide we’ve all experienced, and gives reflective readers the opportunity to consider how they might be hiding in various behaviors or identities. I explain that he was a coal miner in Pittston, Pennsylvania, and that every morning my great-grandmother packed a lunch pail for him and sent him down into the mines. My love is so overwhelming and terrifying and uncomfortable and complicated that I need to hide from it. When she's dressed, we take turns leaning over and kissing her cheeks while she kicks and giggles — her arms jutting straight out from her sides like a starfish.

She berates her husband for being a porn addict but fails to see until much much later that she is not a nice person either, her addictions in this case happen to be food and drama. In fact, it’s striking (though not surprising) that in a book filled with the brokenness of adultery and addiction, discussions of sin, repentance, and Christ’s atonement are completely absent.

Mom and I smile at the ladies, say thank you, and together we join the crowd under the bright stadium lights. I spent many years living as an “accidental” expat before becoming more intentional about my own global life.

We work to see that instead of seeing this as a character flaw, it is actually something that they can harness to their benefit. My eyelids were smeared with purple and my cheeks were pink, but I just looked like me wearing my cousin's makeup. Join the Women's Prize newsletter for a chance to win a stack of all 6 brilliant 2023 shortlisted books, and get the latest book news, author features and exciting competitions!

There is a green lighter lying diagonally across the pack, and for a moment the lighter and cigarettes remind me of the two of us, tossed haphazardly on top of each other, meant to be of quick and practical use to one another. This astonishing memoir reveals how internalizing our culture's standards of masculinity and femininity can make it impossible for men and women to ever really know one another - and it captures the beauty that unfolds when one couple commits to unlearning everything they've been taught so that they can finally, after thirteen years of marriage, fall in love. Everyone else will just react, but you’re the one who created the powerful thing that people will be reacting TO. As she looks back over her life, she realizes she started to feel society’s pressures concerning who she should be and what she should look like at the age of 10.

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