Friday, August 7, 2009

Crazy Love by Leslie Morgan Steiner

Leslie Morgan had it all. At the age of 22, she had already overcome substance abuse problems, graduated from Harvard and had a great job at Seventeen magazine when she met her "knight in shining armor." Conor was handsome, he was smart, and he had overcome a tough childhood to become a successful investment banker in New York City. Sure, he was a little quirky, but Leslie was sure, with a little patience and a lot of love, they would live happily-ever-after.

Before long, they were inseparable and making plans to move in together. As their relationship progressed, so did the controlling behaviors and violence. Not only did Conor talk Leslie into putting both of their student loans into her name when they attended grad school together, he also convinced her to finance her own engagement ring. Believing that their love was one for the ages, she did these things to prove her love and commitment to their relationship. Leslie finally overcame her denial and offered Conor an ultimatum - if he hits her again, that will be the end of the relationship. He agreed to this condition, and was able to live up to it...until the night he almost killed her. Although it wasn't a totally clean break, eventually Leslie realized that in order to move forward with her life she needed to take care of herself first and foremost and Conor was nothing but an impediment to that end.

This book, a memoir, was difficult to read at times, as it should be. Leslie was fortunate enough to have enough resources and education to help lift her out of the cycle of abuse, something that many women lack. I believe it took alot of courage to write this book, and whether or not the reader can relate to Leslie's situation, it is inspiring to read. It takes a hard look at love, what it is, and most of all, what it is not.

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