Official Review: Loving Well, The Key To Satisfying and J...

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Honeybeetle
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Latest Review: Loving Well, The Key To Satisfying and Joyful Relationships by Erin K Leonard (Dr Erin Leonard)
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Official Review: Loving Well, The Key To Satisfying and J...

Post by Honeybeetle » 13 Apr 2018, 18:11

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Loving Well, The Key To Satisfying and Joyful Relationships" by Erin K Leonard (Dr Erin Leonard).]
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2 out of 4 stars
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Loving Well: The Key to Satisfying and Joyful Relationships by Erin Leonard is a book offering examples and advice for relationships. Both romantic partnerships and parent-child relationships are covered, with my personal favorite sections being the parent-child scenarios. The author’s parenting insights are spot on. The sections covering partnerships are more hit and miss, though they’re useful for the specific case of being trapped in an emotionally unfulfilling or abusive relationship.

The book’s title doesn’t quite line up with the bulk of the actual content. It’s far less about general advice for strengthening relationships and mostly about recognizing and dealing with toxic people, described by the book as “emotionally unevolved.” The narrower focus on toxic relationship dynamics is fine, but the title should reflect this.

If I have one big issue with the book, it’s the tendency to apply a fairly black and white interpretation of toxic relationships. Such relationships are always presented as being between an “emotionally unevolved” person and an “emotionally evolved” person. The emotionally unevolved are almost a parody: endlessly selfish, toxic, and abusive. They are presented as shallow to the point of heartlessness, incapable of experiencing real love or any finer human feelings. Evolved people experience the opposite treatment. They are presented as put-upon saints who can basically do no wrong save for loving and sacrificing too much to the undeserving.

This presentation persists throughout the book and got on my nerves after a while. It’s unprofessional in how reductionist and bitter it can get and only serves to undermine a lot of the good advice otherwise present. I can’t imagine anyone fitting the criteria of an “unevolved” person would self-identify as such. Rather, they’ll identify with the “evolved” person and gain no insights. The author has seemingly already written them off as a lost cause. This issue was pervasive and bothersome enough that I was moved to remove a star from my rating.

There are also numerous typos and grammatical errors, for which I had to remove another star. The book starts off strong but gets weaker in its editing as it goes on. The overall effect is to make the book appear unprofessional. This isn’t a unique issue with independently published works, but that doesn't excuse it. Choosing to publish independently doesn’t mean standards should be lowered, and it makes the industry look bad when we release works that aren’t polished.

Overall, I give Loving Well 2 out of 4 stars. I honestly enjoyed the read, for the most part. However, lack of editing and some unprofessional writing choices convinced me to dock a couple stars. It’s by no means a bad book, however, and if you suspect you may be in an unhealthy relationship or want tips on cultivating a closer relationship with your child, it’s worth checking out.

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Loving Well, The Key To Satisfying and Joyful Relationships
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cristinaro
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Post by cristinaro » 16 Apr 2018, 04:19

The book might be the author's more or less conscious response to a personal toxic relationship. I guess a thorough revision and further proofreading may improve the quality of both form and content. Thanks for all the information!
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Niski
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Post by Niski » 17 Apr 2018, 04:56

There should always be some grey areas when it comes to relationships. I agree a right and wrong approach is not ideal.

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cpru68
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Post by cpru68 » 17 Apr 2018, 13:48

I love the idea of this book and those similar to it. A lot of us come from a family where it was “assumed” that parents were doing a good job. Books such as this and according to your review, are important so we are at least trying to improve our relationships. After reading your review of the book’s contents, I don’t like the title either. And the editing sounds like it needs some sharpening up. Thanks for your review, I enjoyed it.
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Javier Campos
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Post by Javier Campos » 17 Apr 2018, 21:21

Good and objective, review thank you!

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Post by nobunkum » 17 Apr 2018, 23:18

I really appreciate that you noticed that false dichotomy and called the book out on it. I see that more and more. The us versus monsters. And the more I live the more I come to understand the motives, emotions, and reasoning behind a lot of people that we write off as bad guys in society or the unevolved. Thanks for the review.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 18 Apr 2018, 13:15

The title and the cover gave me an initial impression of a dating/marital relationship self-help book. Some relationship authors actually do an excellent job of providing valuable advice that can apply to many types of relationships. Of course, many concepts that apply between significant others can be extended to others, but some authors are better at conveying the practical applications than others. I would have still considered this book, despite my misinterpretation of the contents but I do not think I would like this book much with the "good vs bad" assignment the author seems to be applying to all relationships. No one is blameless in a relationship; we can all be better. Thank you for the thorough explanation of your rating.

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Post by crediblereading2 » 18 Apr 2018, 15:29

This book will train me to avoid the emotionally unevolved person before forming any kind of relationship.

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