Affairs of the Heart

After looking at what’s on at the movies at Denver Central Library this month, it seemed appropriate to put together a list of resources available to those needing guidance in the area of relationships. While some of us like to learn from the experts, others like to lean in vicariously and watch what happens to characters trying out new situations.

Marriage Boot Camp is from relationship experts Jim and Elizabeth Carroll. They have created a program proven to mend marriages, revive relationships and make the happily-ever-afters come true. After twenty years of resuscitating thousands of marriages, the Carrolls bring their wisdom directly to readers through this do-it-yourself relationship bible, filled with advice, exercises, quizzes and games that will teach couples to fight the Top Ten Marriage Killers.

Author Giovanni Frezetto, a research fellow at Trinity University in Dublin, Ireland, uses a mix of personal stories, biological and chemical information, psychology, and neurology to ponder what intimacy really is, what it means, and how it shifts and changes throughout a person's lifetime in Together, Closer: the Art and Science of Intimacy in Friendship, Love, And Family. Science and anecdote intertwine in this close examination of the bonds that bind humans together.

Divorce & Money: How to Make the Best Financial Decisions During Divorce is a detailed, nontechnical, self-help law book with this central theme about divorce proceedings: "Legal reality and financial reality are fundamentally different." The authors, both attorneys, present a fact-filled review of the emotional, financial, and legal aspects of a dissolving marriage by posing such probing questions as "Is it really over?" "Who should move out?" "What must I know about joint finances?" and finally, "What is it like to go from we to me?" 

A staggering number of couples in America-about 70 percent-have been affected by extramarital affairs. After the Affair is the offers strategies for surviving the crisis and rebuilding the relationship. Written by Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D., a nationally known therapist and acknowledged expert on infidelity, this edition brings the groundbreaking classic into the 21st century, with a new section dealing with online affairs in cyberspace.

Moving to an Atlanta suburb after her divorce, Merilee forges tenacious bonds with a town matriarch and a wealthy supermom before terrible secrets throw the lives of all three women into turmoil. Karen White’s The Night the Lights Went Out really evokes a southern PTA-Mom vibe, and the surprise is not in learning that Merilee's perfect new friends are not as perfect as they pretend to be but in the  way that grief and guilt are passed around like a rejected potluck dish in the  wake of a terrible tragedy. 

Men talk about their relationships more openly now than in the past. The Hearts of Men by Nickolas Butler explores the ways boys become men and how even flawed men may stand as models for the  young. Across three generations and as many wars, this earnest novel explores the forces that bind and erode friendship among a group of young men growing up in a Wisconsin town, and their adult lives which followed.

Domenico Starnone’s Ties is a snapshot, a sliver of a marriage and a slim, stunning meditation on marriage, fidelity, honesty, and truth. Four years after leaving his wife and children, Aldo returns to them, ready to rebuild. This book begins with a bang: "In case it's slipped your mind, Dear Sir, let me remind you: I am your wife. I know that this once pleased you and that now, suddenly, it chafes." So Vanda writes in a letter to her husband, Aldo, who's left her, and their children, for a younger woman.

Written by Dodie on August 4, 2017

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