Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Book Review: "How to Find the Right Person to Date" (Celia John)

In relationships, abuse --- of women, children, and even men --- is an all-too-common occurrence. Statistics provide a sad commentary on how many people find themselves trapped in controlling, manipulative, hateful relationships that they then can't seem to escape.

Author Celia John knows that kind of feeling first-hand. Her book, How to Find the Right Person to Date: A Step By Step Guide to Finding the Right Partner and Detecting an Abuser, is her response to her own experience.

Her work is a nonfiction compilation of statistics, criteria, and questions for self-examination. She discusses the different types of abuse; the distinction between a good relationship and a bad one, and between a good partner and an abusive one; and guidelines for deciding whether you're in an abusive relationship, and for deciding how to respond and find help.

Having been in an abusive relationship myself, the information that comprises the book is familiar to me. I was most interested in the author's personal experience in an abusive relationship, but that portion of the book was very brief. I feel strongly that her work would have been more powerful and would have had more impact on readers if she had written a memoir about her victory over her past abuse.

As it stands, the book offers useful information, but in a dry, lecture tone that I found difficult to follow. The information is overly simplified and comes across as almost condescending.

Many of the sentences are written according to the same structure over and over, with little variation for interest or impact, and the repetition (both of sentence type and information delivered) was at first dull and eventually frustrating. Furthermore, many sentences are awkwardly organized; there are too many words used to say what a single word or phrase could more efficiently say; and assorted typos proved distracting as I tried to focus on the content.

As aforementioned, the work contains well-researched information, much of it backed and made credible by Celia John's personal experience. If she had written about her own story in detail and as a memoir or documentary, I (as a past abuse victim myself) would have found it much easier to follow her story and empathize with her.

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Title: How to Find the Right Person to Date: A Step By Step Guide to Finding the Right Partner and Detecting an Abuser
Author: Celia John
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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