In fact the whole book is a dichotomous mixture of wisdom and self deprecating wit with serious clinical terms and sit-com humour. In this way it is far more palatable than other psychology text books.
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Katie is in fact quite simply the product of upper middle class England. A terrifyingly extreme example - but an example nonetheless. But the reason she's so popular is because she DOES say what many people secretly think. Things that usually, we like to deny we think. We are appalled by what she says, but also addicted, because it reflects our own internalized prejudices. It rings true with us. And that's not about blame; it's about recognizing the privilege that is ingrained in our capitalist, bigoted, judgmental thinking.
A truly comprehensive coverage of various relationship issues are examined in a therapeutic setting - death of sex in a relationship, cheating and broken trust, development of a workable triad, first time swinging and my personal favourite, the polyamorous-monogamous configuration.
In fact, the girl behind the mask is exceedingly enjoyable on so many levels for me. Not least the awakening my sexual ardour after so much downtime as a new Mum.
The goal of the book – as outlined by the author at the beginning – is to provide a new map for relationships. But no book can persuade readers through only emotionless hard analysis, psychological half truths and noticeably ‘masculine oriented’ sweeping assumptions about women and their motivations.
What she achieves - and surely what all girls should aspire to - is an offer to join a prestigious law firm (where no doubt she will take an 80 hour work week and still have time for exercise and manicures) and a proposal of marriage. Splendid.
But then I read this book. And I can safely say it surpasses every expectation you've ever had of a guidebook to life. Whereas others like Illusions by Richard Bach speak in parables and enigma (beautiful though it is), this book is more practical. It's also brutally honest; shockingly so.
Personally I like to measure my success in this life by how content I am with my circumstances, how happy my children are and how much opportunity I create for me and those around me (and not only in professional terms). I am no saint, but I have realised that it is impossible for me to be happy at the expense of others. And it is impossible for me to be happy by working 12 hours a day in the corporate sphere. But I am not everyone, and cannot make that call for others (unlike Ms Sandberg who seems to speak on behalf on all women).